Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Day 2: VACEOs 2015 Retreat Highlights

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Keynote Speaker: Cameron Herold, “Zero to Good”

Cameron Herold may be best known as a driving force behind 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s spectacular growth from $2 million to $106 million in revenue in just six years. During our time together, he was very candid with us, and we liked that! (See First Day Highlights.) The audience was engaged and presented him with lots of thoughtful questions, including, “How do I find the right people?”, “How do you budget for a culture-perfect space?” and, “I’m not a people person, so how do I rally the troops?”


How to Build a Culture of Success:
1) Start with a VIVID vision. Write down your three-to-five-year goal. Key: Be able to express your vision in vivid detail. Hire a writer to create a statement that describes things like what your customers will be saying about you, what operations will look like, what the energy of the company is, etc. Once it’s crafted, keep repeating it over and over (and soon you’ll find others joining your “dance”).
2) Transition out people who don’t share your vision. Your goal is to attract and hunt for only the best. Hire for attitude, skill and core values. Raise the bar on your next hire.
3) Train every employee on how to run a meeting. A culture based on respect and effective communication skills is key. Hint: Each meeting should have a purpose, three goals and an agenda.
4) Provide an attractive office space for your employees. Ask yourself, “Is my personal office space sending the right message?”
5) Understand communication is a two-way street. Review how you’re speaking to the outside world. Does it attract or repel the right people? For example, how are your job descriptions written? Or the copy on your website? It may be time to shake it up a bit. Also, are you really listening to your employees? Do you really know what their dreams and aspirations are? If you genuinely connect with them, you’ll gain their loyalty.


A. Start with Step #1 from above!



douglass-tatum-200Doug Tatum, “No Man’s Land / Your Company’s Worth and Why”


Doug Tatum is a repeat Retreat presenter and a recognized expert on the capital markets and the entrepreneurial growth economy; in fact, a number of VACEOs members have cited Doug’s ideas as the catalyst for change and growth in their companies.


We appreciated the fact that he was quick to say it’s completely legal, ethical and appropriate to stay small, but we were there to think BIG – to make our way through No Man’s Land.


Systems that Need to Be in Place to Meet the Growth:
1) Market. Determine exactly what you’re good at. Is it a personal or company trait? (If it’s personal and it can be transferred to your business, then you can scale; if not, stay small.)
2) Management Culture. Your inner circle will change if you trek through No Man’s Land, and so will your ability to give one-off customer experience.
3) Model. Know the size of your industry and how your business compares. Is there room for you if you scale?
4) Money. Capital is king, and you’ll need easy access to lots of it for expensive, top-notch employees, infrastructure changes, etc., to navigate your way through No Man’s Land. (Good news: Tatum suggests there is a trend toward investors backing add-on acquisitions.)


A. Ask yourself: Does it make sense for me to remain a small giant, or should I try to scale?


Want more? Revisit Day 1 Highlights.


Posted by Scot McRoberts at 8:18 pm

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