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The Heart of the Turnaround: The Jeff Jeffery Story (Part 2)

The Heart of the Turnaround: The Jeff Jeffery Story (Part 2)

May 08, 2014

In our last eletter, I relayed the transformation story of Jeff Jeffery, CEO of IRMCO.

But what’s really at the heart of a turn around? With a Brand Launcher business coach at his side, Jeff went from being non-assertive and wishy-washy to holding his team accountable, being held accountable, and having courageous – and rewarding – conversations with team members, customers, and vendors.

As a result, the new Jeff Jeffery enjoyed a record setting first quarter with a projected 20% sales increase this year, not to mention landing two major new clients! But there’s more. Read on to see the one change that not only improves business but also improves personal mojo and life satisfaction too.

Strike a blow with a crooked stick. Now!

The coach of any sports team can tell you that it’s not just the final score that they look at, but the actions that got them there.

In taking a new, more assertive direction, Jeff Jeffery began looking at not just one, but two types of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): results and activities. While results are always very important, too often entrepreneurs, executives, and managers make the mistake of looking only at results, and not at the activities that led to those results.

Jeff adopted a new approach when it came to products: his team would now focus on developing new products quickly. There was no room for perfectionism, which slows down too many businesses. As Jeff explained to his team, “If we’re going to lose, we’re going to lose fast.”

Or, as the saying goes, “It’s better to strike a blow with a crooked stick then never to strike a blow at all.”

In order for something to live something else must die!

At the time, everyone was working on different products. Following Jeff’s lead, his team switched their activities to developing a new lubricant that would work without staining, and putting aside other products they were exploring and developing. Sometimes some things must die for other things to grow. The team had to forgo working on other promising products. They had to laser focus to pull this off; put on blinders and go for it. This is the heart of all great breakthroughs.

The team worked hard and fast to complete the necessary activities and then went to a major university to test the product. They verified that it worked well, and got it onto the market as quickly as possible. The activity KPIs were met, and the results of the product push would be determined later. But everyone, including Jeff himself, was held accountable for getting the product completed on time, and they all came through.

Personal Results

Activities like these led to positive personal results for Jeff. He found out that utilizing a more open, honest, and authentic process of leadership and communication had a ripple effect that spilled over into all aspects of his life. Jeff was spurred on to create his personal Freedom Team, the people who help him break the shackles keeping him chained to his business. With a Freedom Team in place that could run the show, Jeff could step away from day-to-day operations to spend time both personally and professionally focussing on what matters most.

Without opening the lines of communication and learning of what his team was capable of, Jeff would never have known that he had such a team. As it turned out, he was so tickled with his team’s performance that he was able to create a powerful, vibrant, far reaching plan for his business.

"At night when you are going to sleep, you need to be able to ask yourself, ‘Can this company can run without me?’ and ‘Can the company succeed with the team I have in place?’

"If you can’t answer yes to these questions, then you still have work to do.  That is, you have to be honest with yourself and say, ‘I put the succession plan in place that’s going to help us grow at 10, 15, 20, 30 percent where we haven’t grown before,’ I never would have thought that I could do this, but I did,” says Jeff Jeffery, who sleeps well at night knowing that his team is now self-sufficient and ready to take over when necessary.

Quantifying the Results

We asked Jeff to quantify the overall changes that occurred during this process.

First was his “Personal Freedom Factor”, which included giving up some control, and being able to work better, not just harder. Jeff went from a 40 to a score of 80. That’s a 100% improvement!

Then we asked about the personal joy he experienced, not simply from the sales numbers which improved almost 30%, but from the personal growth. Not only did he see results, but he saw how much joy came from really having courageous conversations.

According to Jeff, his personal joy and fulfillment rose from a 60 to a score of 90. That’s a 33% increase.

The take away: How Does This Translate to Your Business?

First and foremost, as mentioned last week, you want to take a holistic approach that looks at more than just sales numbers. Don’t make the common mistake of disconnecting business results with resolving personal conflicts. This is often easier to do with a mentor or business coach, as Jeff found out from working with Brand Launcher.

How can you determine whether or not you are getting in your own way when it comes to moving your business forward? Go through a guided self-exploration. Ask yourself “Where can I be more direct, vulnerable and accountable?” Take the risk in your relationships and experiment with courageous communications. It can be an uncomfortable process but, as Jeff Jeffery can attest to, it works.

As you get comfortable in a more direct way of being, keep your sites focused on two KPIs: results and activities. When you truly embrace the change process, you will be happy with what you see. This is a major step in setting up your own Freedom Team. Why do this? It will turn your team on fire and rid you of the the shackles that hold you back. Ultimately, you’ll experience a more satisfying and productive company while also enjoying your life.

Would you like to have more personal freedom? Take just 2 minutes to see where you are and what you need to do to improve. It's fun, fast and free, it's our gift to you. Enjoy. 

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,

Jon