Unshakeable: June 3, 2020

            The latest Unshakeable session took on a town hall format, featuring an incredible group of entrepreneurs from St. Louis. The speakers included Bob Chapman, CEO of the Barry Wehmiller group, Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology, Chris Zimmerman, CEO of the St. Louis Blues Hockey team, Alaina Macia, CEO of MTM, Inc., and Andrew Martin, Chancellor of the Washington University in St. Louis. I was thrilled to hear their thoughts about what it takes to be a responsible leader.

            Bob Chapman said we often view leadership as a responsibility, but it’s also a privilege. In other words, we have the responsibility to give our workers grounded hope, but we have the privilege to watch that hope turn into growth. As the world changes around us, it’s our responsibility to provide stability to our businesses and workers. Jim Kavanaugh insightfully notes that a balance of rigor and innovation will successfully lead us through change.

            In order to adapt, we have to help our workers engage in a positive work culture. Chris Zimmerman has learned through experience what it takes to build a great work culture. Often times, we allow a culture of complacency to take hold, perpetuated by the notion that any individual problem can be passed onto some other worker. Nobody wants to deal with it themselves, and everybody has a reason why a problem that affects everybody is really somebody else’s problem to solve.

            Leadership is necessary to fix that. It’s our job as entrepreneurs to break down silos and redefine the work culture into something that encourages everybody to be successful. Breaking down silos is easier said than done, of course, but we’re all gifted with the one tool necessary to make it happen: communication. By talking to our workers, we can provide clarity of purpose.

            Bob recommends that instead of talking to our workers about winning, we should talk to them about playing their positions. All of our workers are on the same team, and we’re all responsible to the team’s success. That’s how we all earn our livelihood!

            Of course, not all workers understand that team mentality. Sometimes, we have to let the workers know they’re not carrying their weight. “It’s not about being nice; it’s about doing the right thing,” said Bob. It can be difficult to balance your loyalty to old employees with the rising talent of new employees, so we’ll have to lean into those difficult conversations, and create a culture with a “spirit of no surprises,” as Jim calls it.

           We have to allow that communication to go both ways, however. Alaina Ma

cia has had such success in her business because she listened to her employees. She used to feel the need to rush. But if workers view you as a sort of taskmaster, they will give you the bare minimum in return.

            Andrew Martin noted that some areas require excellence, while others require proficiency. Often times, a B+ job is good enough. But “leadership requires creating leaders below you who can do the job in case you get hit by a bus,” and that requires excellency. By listening to our employees, and then staying intentional as to who we are investing in, we can create successful work cultures where leaders are created, workers are productive, and everybody feels cared for.

If you have enjoyed our sessions and these articles, please let us know by visiting our website, www.AEGISLAW.com.

UNSHAKABLE: HOW THE BEST BUSINESS LEADERS NAVIGATE UNCERTAIN TIMES WITH CONFIDENCE

As a business owner and entrepreneur, you have the responsibility to your family, employees, and community to navigate the uncertainty instigated by COVID-19. Of course, in a crisis such as this one, we can’t always know what to do. That is why Entrepreneurs’ Organization hosted Unshakeable: Marketing & Sales Strategies for Uncertain Times, part of the Wednesday webinar series where insightful and connected entrepreneurial experts teach us how to respond to, and come out on top of, crises. Scott Levine of Aegis Law served as the moderator and kept the conversation moving and on time.

Nearly 4000 people from 75 different countries registered for Unshakeable, hosted last Wednesday, April 29th, 2020. Webinar listeners heard from 8 world-renowned speakers, even engaging in a Q & A to discuss the skillset necessary for navigating these trying times. Speakers ranging from former Shark Tank host Kevin Harrington to New York Times best-selling author Suzanne Evans tuned in to help readers like you – the entrepreneur – become the best version of themselves.

Before you sign up for the next webinar, held on May 6th at 3 PM CST, here’s a recap of what you missed last Wednesday.

First, listeners learned how to stay focused. Lisa Sasevich, multiple time Inc. 500 honoree, shared how to make a focused pitch with ‘reverse engineering,’ or selling with the end in mind.

Based on her personal experience, Sasevich explained how the best pitches focus more on the ‘transformation that your ideal candidate’ receives from your offer. Only part of your pitch should be focused on service delivery! Listeners also learned about how a focused mind can better prepare for the future by making a ‘playbook’ of best-selling practices, like a sports team!

Second, listeners learned how to cultivate empathy and care. As speaker Josh Turner said, you can’t just pitch a customer; there must be a relationship present to truly make the sell. No matter the business, customers can sense how invested we are in crafting a relationship with them. The care we put into our ourselves, our businesses, and our communities begets better business.

Third, listeners learned how to use digital media to your advantage. Whether you’re a tech genius or not, you can use digital assets to your advantage. These speakers had us asking all the right questions: Are my websites mobile optimized? Am I using the most up-to-date, tested methods? Is my message tailored for the time? Listening to these webinars is the best way to navigate the tricky terrain of investing in local tv advertisements, online media, and more.

And that’s only the beginning! Keep tuning in to this blog to find out more about these topics, advice from some of the marketing sales greats like Dan Martell, Jack Daly, Todd Herman, Eben Pagan, Suzanne Evans and more!

Finally, remember to hunker down for the time being. Stay safe and healthy. The global, supportive, and historical entrepreneur community is here for you. Show up next Wednesday, May 6, 2020, to learn how you can be a part of it. To see the line-up of speakers and reserve your spot, click here.

Major inspiration and take-away — Don’t back down in tough times: LEAN-IN ! Be creative, advance your business, don’t sit back waiting for all of this to clear. Be the leader and move forward beyond your prior imagination.