A Short Story of Transformation

The WBM Turning Point...

  

About 10 years ago I made a decision that I was determined to make WBM (my former company) a great place to work!  By no means did I do it on my own, but the decision had to start with me as the leader of the organization.  I began to read books, listen to podcasts and attend seminars but after a few years still nothing seemed to change.  


One of the things I had heard talked about was the idea of having a few people that I worked with closely, do a 360° review on me…scary - but that was the best thing I ever did!


That was about 6 years ago and there was one comment on one person’s review of me (to this day I don’t know who it was, and it really doesn’t matter) that hit me like a ton of bricks and I will never forget it.  


This is what it said…


“I once had to borrow Jon’s truck and some sort of “leadership” lesson was playing on a CD.  I decided to listen to it and thought, “why isn’t he doing this stuff””?  Ouch!


It was that day that I made another key decision; if I’m going to spend all this time and money learning I’d better start implementing too - and so that’s exactly what I did!


It was a slow go and some days it seemed like nothing was changing…but it was!  In the last few years, morale, communication, individual production, profitability and the spirit of teamwork was great!  It wasn’t perfect by any means but going to the office was fun again!  


A huge benefit to this process for me - and in hindsight likely the turning point - was getting the right person to run our shop.  Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great talks about the importance of “getting people in the right seats on the bus”, in other words, working in the area they add the most value and where they fit best.  This was huge for us!  The next game changer was identifying our unique Core Values and then hiring, firing, recognizing and rewarding team members based on living them out.  Core Values are all about "getting the right people" which Collins also talks about in his book.  The key thing here is "the right people" is different for every organization and until you've discovered your organizations Core Values you can't tell who "the right people" are.  There is so much more that went into the transformation and it will be different for every organization, but for us this was the starting point and little by little we made small changes that ended up making a BIG difference.


That was the good news, but there was still a major stumbling block in that we didn't have a cohesive leadership team.  In his book  The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive Pat Lencioni talks about the importance of building and maintaining a cohesive leadership team and that proved to be an even greater challenge to deal with.  As business owners, me and my partner had very different visions for the future of our company.  The solution we decided on was to sell off several assets, some of our IP and then scale the company way back before he bought me out.  


It was in the weeks and months following that decision that I came to realize just how much I loved small business and wanted to take everything I've learned to help other small and medium sized businesses.  I was introduced to EOS® shortly after starting TriBridge Solutions in 2018 and found it to be a perfect fit in my quest to help Entrepreneurs get more of what they want from their business while creating great places to work for their teams.


Living the Dream,

Jon

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