Jim Jelinek is an EOS Implementer and Vistage Chair from Cleveland, Ohio. He helps owners get what they from their business by using a proven technique that strengthens Vision, Traction, and Health. The EOS system helps leaders become a cohesive team as they work toward 100% strength in each of the six key components of successful businesses. Jim has found that many leader do not function cohesively as a team. Individual leaders in a business often find they are not always on the same page with fellow leaders. In order for a business to be successful, they must agree on an operating system and work together in order to achieve the company vision. Jim enjoys helping business find better ways to work together and build a business that is f...

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Aaron Biehl is the Vice President and General Manager for Reliable IT. He currently manages over 60 people in five different locations around the US. While he started with a background in advertising, in 1999 he took a sales position in the IT world working in a company selling IBM computer hardware. When it became clear that computer hardware was quickly becoming a commodity, he and a partner began to look for ways to get beyond computer hardware sales.

They found the answer in providing a new service to small and mid-sized companies. Many companies were finding the management of their internal computer networks to be difficult. They were not willing to hire a full-time professional. When Aaron and his partner had the opportunity to acqu...

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Bob Marsh is the owner and principal of The File Depot, which assists companies of all sizes with document management whether this means scanning to become digital, shredding or organizing. He was born and raised in Seal Beach, California.

Most business owners know the importance of keeping proper documentation and records. This is an extremely simply process when a business is small with few clients. As a business grows, proper record keeping can become a tedious and daunting task. Most people do not know the retention schedule for documents, that is how long they are supposed to keep them, how they are supposed to keep them, etc. There are different rules depending on what type of business is provided.

An important aspect that Bob brings...

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Brandie Nava has been a State Farm Insurance representative for four years. One of the first things she wants to know about businesses and households is their liability protection plan. The most important part of a liability protection plan is a business liability umbrella and a household liability umbrella. Even some sophisticated business owners do not understand the value of a business liability umbrella. Often business owners do not consider their family vulnerability to liability claims that could affect the family's financial health.

A simple example is a woman who dropped her coffee and took her eyes off the road momentarily. Her car was totaled and she ended up paying $600,000 in total damages. Because she had “total coverag...

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Cary Facer, one of the two founders of Warren Street Wealth Advisors, is dedicated to assisting employees plan for retirement. Cary recommends people find a financial advisor who will develop personal relationships with clients. It is essential that financial advisors have a comprehensive understanding of what each individual client needs and expects in their future.

Warren Street Wealth Advisors was started in 2015 and is a Registered Investment Advisor Firm. One of the main core values is to put the client’s best interest first. This is something that they feel they practice in their day-to-day business and take pride that all their team members share the same value. Among the normal values that most business share, such as honest...

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This blog post, by my mentor Ed Callahan, was prompted by a December 2015 blog post from Seth Godin tucked away for inspiration, called, “Is it too little butter, or too much bread?” Here is the gist. When is the last time you complained about having too many resources in your business? Too many engineers, too many clients, too much revenue?

Let me guess. The answer is probably never. It is always the opposite. The engineering plan for this year to too expansive – we don’t have enough…fill in the blank – time, money, people. And so on.

I love Seth’s accusation – he probably wouldn’t use that word – that “spreading our butter too thin is a form of hiding. It helps us be busy...

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Written by Connie Chwan on December 8, 2016


When working with our leadership teams, we spend a lot of time strengthening the People Component of their business. We work on the two disciplines: getting the Right People into the Right Seats on the Accountability Chart™. You must have both – Right People and Right Seats.

I have helped a number of leadership teams make the difficult people decision when they determine one of their employees is either the wrong person or in the wrong seat. Our approach to this issue is the Three Strike Rule.

The Three Strike Rule for Your Employees

By way of example, let’s say one of your employees is not the Right Person, but they are in the Right Seat. They are amazingly productive in their seat, but when you completed the People Analyzer™, you determined they did not exhibit three of your five Core Values. It is time to have a discussion with that individual.

You schedule the first of three meetings and explain exactly why the person does not fit the organization’s culture. I always recommend you provide no less than three examples of what’s not working, help the individual develop a corrective plan of action, and set a deadline for correcting the problem.

If the problem remains in place at the deadline, it is time for a second meeting and a written warning, followed by a new deadline for resolving the issue. A third meeting means it is time to terminate the employee.

Many times the individual will resign somewhere between the first and second meeting; they recognize they aren’t the right person for your company and will avoid the embarrassment of being terminated.

These are difficult decisions to make. However, you owe it to the organization, the individual, and the entire team. Your EOS® Implementer can help you plan the discussion.

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By John Steven Montero

The white men who came to America were running from the lack of opportunity and the constraints of old, entrenched beliefs in Europe. The continual debates, often leading to wars, over theological and philosophical beliefs, and political and economic power. When they declared independence from the prevailing empires of the age, they did not know how significant their actions were.


Little did they realize that the actions of their 13 colonies would result in the largest mass genocide in the history of the human race on the way to becoming the beacon on the hill for freedom and democracy. De Tocqueville foresaw the consequences of the launching of the arrow of freedom when he wrote: “The more I advanced in the study of American society, the more I perceived that the equality of conditions is the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived…” (Tocqueville, Alexis De (2007-06-13). Democracy in America, Volume I and II (Optimized for Kindle) (Kindle Locations 700-701). . Kindle Edition.)

Looking back over the 180 years since De Tocqueville observed this fundamental fact of American democracy, we can see the successive movements calling for the equality of conditions: from slave to free, from disenfranchised social conditions for “colored people” to legislation creating equality for african americans, from the limited possibilities for women to the results of the feminist movement, and from the closeted life of gay, lesbian, and transgendered people to their social and legal recognition today–through all these struggles, we can see the thread of the cry for equality of conditions.

We see the same today in the calls for attention to the gap between the majority and the wealthiest Americans. The cry is not against the wealth itself, but against the inequality of conditions that lead to an inordinate amount of power and influence by the wealthiest.

The public conversation about equality of conditions is most evident in the current political controversies. At the same time, there is a quieter conversation in the conference rooms of small and medium-sized businesses in America. These businesses create the most new jobs, produce the largest amount of GDP, and are the engine of the national economy. Small Businesses (less than 500 employees) create 40% to 50% of the new jobs every year.

What if we could grow small businesses by 10% to 15% in the next year? What if we could increase the productivity of the existing employees by 25%? What if all those businesses hitting the ceiling learned how to get beyond the inevitable experience of overwhelm, limitation, and stagnation. The Entrepreneurial Operating Systems® provides small businesses with insights, techniques, and disciplines to align everyone in the organization with the common vision. See more at

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our company vision includes a clear articulation of the company’s core values. Knowing the company’s core values is a significant element in sustaining a highly motivated workforce. People will come to work for a company if they believe they can achieve their personal goals. They will stay with a company when they agree with the vision and the values behind the decisions the company makes in serving both the company’s customers and its employees.


Vision: Core Values Shared by All

When the values a company demonstrates in its day-to-day decision-making conflicts with the employee’s values, the employee will eventually leave. At EOS®, we say an employee “Gets it” when they understand, agree with, and support the company’s core values. That’s why it is important to articulate and share the company’s core values. People want to know what a company stands for and how it goes about making decisions. Building a company culture on the declared values a company has is one of the best ways to attract, recruit, and retain great employees.

But a company’s vision statement is more than the core values. It is also a clear statement from the senior management team about the purpose for the company and the major goals (like a 10-year goal). When everyone knows the goals, everyone can work toward them. Without knowing these commitments clearly, employees, and sometimes senior managers themselves, can pursue individual goals that do not contribute to the company’s overall direction and purpose. Getting everyone rowing in the same direction can make a major change in the energy and achievements of many companies. It is not easy to create this focused consistency of purpose. Sharing clearly articulated goals with everyone in the company is a powerful step on the road to getting all the oars moving in unison in the same direction.

Vision: Core Focus

The central concept of a core focus has been given many names over time, including “mission statement,” “vision statement,” “core business,” “sweet spot,” “the zone,” and “the ball” (as in “keep your eye on the”). In his book The 8th Habit, Stephen Covey calls it “voice.” Dan Sullivan calls it Unique Ability®. And in Good to Great, Jim Collins calls it “the hedgehog concept.” I call it core focus because it should come from your company’s core and you must stay laser-focused on it.

When business owners get bored, there is always the potential for them to get distracted by the shiny stuff and inadvertently sabotage what they’ve created. Fading passion and losing sight of why you’re in business are other pitfalls that could lead to the same fate. Defining your core focus will return you to your original levels of clarity and excitement.

Vision: 10-Year Target™

One common thread unites successful people and successful companies. All of them have a habit of setting and achieving goals. That’s why I am consistently amazed by the number of entrepreneurs who can’t tell me what their number one goal is. To me, they’re like rudderless ships. How do you know if you’re heading in the right direction if you don’t know which direction you’re meant to go? As Yogi Berra said, “You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, ’cause you might not get there. ”

That one of the main differences between a 10-year target™ and any shorter one you might set. This is the one larger-than-life goal that everyone is working toward, the thing that gives everyone in the organization a long-range direction. Once your 10-year target™ is clear, you and your leadership team will start doing things differently in the here and now so as to get you there.

The reason this particular target’s time frame is 10 years is that 90 percent of EOS® clients have selected it in the past. Some preferred a five-year time frame, while others went as high as 20 years. The length is entirely up to you.

Vision: Marketing Strategy

The intent of this section is to create a laser-sharp focus for your sales and marketing efforts. Many companies waste thousands of dollars on consultancy fees, inconsistent marketing messages, printing, and time, all because they failed to establish a clear strategy from the outset. A focused effort will enable you to sell and close more of the right business. It will become the foundation upon which you create all future materials, plans, messages and advertising.

This enables you to be different and stand out to your ideal customer. All of your people will have clear direction on who your ideal customer is, what you’re supposed to be doing for them, and how you will do it. Ultimately, you will know which customers you should and should not be doing business with. That means you can stop trying to be all things to all people.

Have you examined the marketing strategy the company is using to generate new business? Digital age markets change continuously. Regularly taking the time to assess the efficacy of the strategy the company uses to generate new business can make a major impact on the health of the top line sales numbers as well as the bottom line results. Sharing the marketing strategy with the entire company increases everyone’s creative contributions.

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Written by Connie Chwan on February 2, 2017


Making decisions as you and your Leadership Team work on your business is a thoughtful process. And during that process, doubts most likely creep into your thinking periodically.

Doubts are those nagging feelings of uncertainty, where you may question a belief or hesitate to take action. Doubts generally make us uncomfortable. They leave us feeling anxious. After all, we’re entrepreneurs, leaders, managers – we’re supposed to be decisive and have all the answers at our fingertips. Right?

The Good News About Doubt

Well, maybe not. Consider this. Doubts arise because we are being thoughtful. We’re contemplating the various paths that will solve a company issue. We’re evaluating new ideas, opportunities, and customer requests to see if they fit our Core Focus™. We’re thinking about our priorities for the next quarter; determining which ones deserve our attention and focused effort as Rocks.

So the next time you realize doubts are part of your thought process, revel in them – don’t try to ignore them or set them aside. Each doubt has a purpose, and if you chew on it for a bit, you’ll find the way to the best possible decision. Being thoughtful is a journey, and the journey never ends.

Using EOS® in the Midst of Doubt

Implementing EOS® into your company is also a journey. It’s your marathon-training plan that takes time, dedication and commitment in order to succeed. As with any new initiative, you may experience doubts along the way – in your team, in your business or even with your own abilities. But when you put your faith in the EOS® Method, you get the framework and stability you need to eliminate that doubt.

In Gino Wickman’s book Traction®, he thoroughly explains EOS’s Six Key Components™ and how they work together to move businesses forward. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about EOS® and how it could benefit your business. Also download Gino Wickman’s ebook Decide! and discover how to make better business decisions.


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Will Crist on LinkedIn

For 25 years, I have helped organizations get clear about their vision, agree on the path, and progress toward achievement of their goals. I use the EOS® tools to bring clarity of vision, traction® to progress, and maintain healthy relationships in the organization.