Dynasty Leadership Podcast

It's great if you can pick when you hand over the reins, but what if that time picks you? “Does your company consistently meet or beat the targets you set?" “Do you have the right team rowing in the right direction?" “Is there something going on in your market or company that threatens your growth? "Are you considering transitioning the leadership of the company?" “Is there a clearly articulated long-term strategy?" We specialize in guiding Family-owned businesses with 50-500 employees to become Succession ready.
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Nov 8, 2021

Sean Tyler Foley is a trained Safety Trainer and Auditor. Through his teachings and his 30+ years of experience as an actor, he learned how to package information in an engaging way. Today, he is the author of The Power to Speak Naked, and a keynote speaker. In this episode, Tyler breaks down what it takes to present your ideas on a public stage and shares effective communication strategies you can use today in your business. 


Key Takeaways:

[1:50] A little bit about Tyler and how he got started in speaking. 

[7:10] How did Tyler go from performer to safety auditor? 

[9:00] To Tyler, jumping out a window is way scary than speaking on stage! 

[13:35] Tyler shares what it was like to perform on a stage as a child. 

[17:10] Grief is a universal feeling. Tyler lost his father at a young age and saw his mother sacrifice a lot for him and his siblings. 

[24:25] Why are people so afraid of public speaking? Why don’t they want to go back on stage after they do it the first time? 

[26:00] You need positive reinforcement when it comes to speaking publicly. The best way to do that is to find a group you can practice with. 

[29:10] Some of the best stories happen within 20-30 seconds. Just look at commercials! Tyler shares an example of what this looks like. 

[33:35] Everyone wants to be Luke Skywalker when telling their story. Everyone wants to be a hero. The problem is, we’re not Luke. We are Obi-Wan Kenob, so we need to tell the story like him.

[35:40] What’s one thing someone can do today to tell their story in a better way? 


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Tyler on LinkedIn

The Power to Speak Naked: How to Speak with Confidence, Communicate Effectively, and Win Your Audience by Sean Tyler Foley

Oct 11, 2021

Shannon Byrne Susko has over 20+ years experience building and leading high-growth technology companies in the financial services industry.  She co-founded, served as CEO, and led the sale of the two companies less than six years apart, and she is the creator of the 3HAG. In this week’s episode, Shannon talks about her latest book, Metronomics. Her custom system that helps teams scale and grow. 


Key Takeaways:

[1:50] A little bit about Shannon and how she got started in her career.

[3:20] Shannon was looking for a system to help her get organized in her business.

[4:25] You have both hard-edge and soft-edge systems in your business. Shannon shares what these two worlds look like.

[9:10] Don’t get your team hooked on the latest ‘flavor of the month’ when it comes to internal team development and main company focus.

[11:15] How does Metronomics fit into other company frameworks like EOS or Scaling Up? 

[12:30] When it comes to entrepreneurship, you never truly graduate from the program; you just get better.

[18:10] It’s important to have empathy for where you are at in your business. 

[19:30] If you’re feeling stuck, don’t worry. Every single leader has been where you are. They all get stuck. 

[23:00] Does Metronomics work for smaller scale companies? 

[26:55] How do you have an ‘open playing field’ when trying to win at business? 

[30:35] What kind of mistakes does Shannon see entrepreneurs and business leaders make? 

[31:25] It took Shannon longer to get to where she wanted to go because she was stuck on ‘doing it herself’. 

[33:25] Shannon shares a little bit about the previous books she has written, and who they’re for. 


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Metronomics by Shannon Susko

Shannon on LinkedIn

Scaling Leadership by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams

Sep 13, 2021

John Martinka, also known as the Escape Artist, helps business owners exit with style, grace, and more money. He is also the author of, Getting the Deal Done. As a business broker, he helps his clients find the best business deals that fit within their expertise. In this week’s episode, John talks about his process and what he looks for in a business that he wishes to acquire.


Key Takeaways:

[1:35] A little bit about John and how he became a business broker.

[3:15] What types of clients does John like to work with?

[5:15] John works with a lot of folks who work in corporate America. What types of businesses are they interested in acquiring?

[6:15] Don’t focus on the particular business industry, look for a business where you can use your skills.

[7:20] How does John find companies that want to sell?

[10:15] Want to sell? You have to get rid of owner dependencies.

[12:00] Not only is it important for John’s clients to be on board with a business purchase, but their spouse does too. It is a team effort, in the end.

[13:20] Remember, don’t do things you know your employees can do. Delegation is key.

[17:40] Sellers often don’t do their due diligence on their buyers. It’s a two-way street!

[18:05] What questions should sellers be asking their buyers?

[21:10] Finding a business to buy is a lot like marketing; you always have to be looking for prospects/working at it.

[23:55] What should buyers consider before pulling the trigger?

[26:15] You might be an expert in XYZ, but everyone has blind spots. You need an outside perspective on whether this is a good investment deal. It doesn’t matter how experienced you might be.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

John on LinkedIn

Getting the Deal Done: Tips & Strategies to Get Your Business Buy-Sell Deal Done—Successfully, by John Martinka

Aug 9, 2021

In this week’s episode, we have a repeat guest, Mike Smerklo! He is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Next Coast Ventures and the author of the book, Mr. Monkey and Me, a survival guide for entrepreneurs and a must-read! Mike is back to talk about boards and how a young entrepreneur or a recently appointed CEO can take full advantage of the extensive experience at their fingertips.


Key Takeaways:

[2:25] Leading a board is intimidating, especially as a new entrepreneur and CEO.

[4:10] What is the “mushroom philosophy”?

[8:25] As a new CEO, what should you do to get to know your existing board after a takeover?

[12:00] In the decades Mike has been in this field, he has never seen a board take a “formal vote” on something. That’s what happens in the movies.

[15:45] If you want to avoid a mushroom cloud, ask questions and be proactive.

[18:45] What should a CEO expect from their board?

[20:40] At the end of the day, a board’s job is to make sure the CEO is still a good and capable leader.

[23:20] You have a great team backing you; use them as a sounding board.

[26:25] When does it make sense to rotate a board member out?

[30:20] How do you respectfully disagree and/or be diplomatic with your board?

[32:45] Managing a board can seem like a big time commitment, but it’s part of the CEO’s job to make sure expectations and leadership alignment are in order.

[37:00] What are some of the common mistakes new CEOs make with their boards?

[37:40] Boil your slides down to what’s working, what’s not, and so what?

[40:55] Surround yourself with smart people who you might not always agree with to help you see your blindspots.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Mike on LinkedIn

Mike on the Dynasty Leadership Podcast

Jul 12, 2021

Rick Brimacomb is the Founder of the Venture Capital Firm, Brimacomb Capital. He looks for entrepreneurs who have generated strong end-user demand by investing their own resources, hard work, and heart into their product! In this week's episode, Rick shares what makes an investment firm want to invest and bet on you and your company.


Key Takeaways:

[1:35] What does it take to make your company 'invest-able'?

[2:50] Rick shares a little bit about his journey and how he got into venture capital.

[4:00] Not only is Rick an investor, but he is also a business coach and wants to help entrepreneurs succeed. He shares what his coaching style is like.

[8:15] What kind of companies does Rick like to work with?

[10:00] When Rick is about to analyze a business for growth potential, what does he look for?

[12:15] Rick has worked with a lot of first-time CEOs in the past, which means they need a little more hands-on coaching about the rules of business despite their extensive industry and technical knowledge.

[15:30] Rich shares the types of things he thinks about when looking at a new business. It's not just about analyzing growth opportunities in the market, it's also about seeing if the business is in the best position for success to get to that market.

[17:55] Everyone has gaps, especially early stage companies. Their team might not be fully fledged out yet. It's Rick's job to understand what those gaps are and fill those in quickly.

[21:15] What does it look like to work with Rick?

[27:15] Rick shares the sweet spot of where a company needs to be to maximize growth potential.

[33:00] Rick shares his exit strategy and how he helps manage a graceful exit out of some of these companies.

[38:10] Don't get stuck in the status quo. Take risks, calculated risks, to achieve greatness.

[42:15] What is a scorecard and how can it help you?

[45:15] Best piece of advice to make the most impact in your business? Build a scorecard right away.



Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Rick on LinkedIn

Jun 7, 2021

Mike Smerklo is an experienced entrepreneur, investor, and business leader driven by the desire to turn ideas into reality. Having bought and scaled a small business into a publicly-traded company worth nearly a billion dollars, he has a deep understanding of the hard work, dedication, and grit that truly powers successful entrepreneurship. Mike shares the ups and downs of his entrepreneurial journey, and why he decided to write a book to help other entrepreneurs get over their fear and doubt about themselves, and the type of company they’re trying to build.


Key Takeaways:

[2:25] Mike talks about his book and why the proceeds are going to charity!

[3:35] Mike really struggled with imposter syndrome throughout his career.

[5:45] Entrepreneurship books fall into two camps: Tactical advice or rags to riches stories that make you feel kind of bad.

[8:35] Throughout Mike’s career, he was plagued with negative self-talk and inner voices. He didn’t have a lot of good role models growing up, and his book wanted to highlight ways to get over that voice of “not being enough.”

[11:50] Self-awareness might be the most important attribute for an entrepreneur.

[14:15] How do you know if a leader has self-awareness?

[16:00] All successful business owners ask for help. There is no shame in that!

[21:25] How can leaders be more authentic?

[23:50] It’s okay to not have all the answers for your team.

[28:15] Your entrepreneurial journey doesn’t get easier, it gets different.

[32:50] As a board member, how does Mike coach his leaders to rally their people and move in the right direction?

[37:00] Struggling with a particular task? Go find someone who has done it recently. Get good people around you.

[39:00] The biggest thing an entrepreneur can do is to stay focused.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Mr. Monkey and Me: A Real Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs, by Mike Smerklo

May 10, 2021

Terry Moore has earned his reputation as a “bulldog lawyer” by being aggressive, tenacious, and practical. With over 30 years of experience representing businesses and individuals, Terry has become the business divorce lawyer of choice. His recent book, The Bulldog Guide to Business Divorce, dives into what you should be thinking through to protect yourself and your business!


Key Takeaways:

[2:00] Terry shares how he became a business divorce lawyer.

[3:00] Marriage is easy when everything goes great. Business goes the same way.

[3:25] COVID-19 gave business owners a whole new stress level never seen before.

[9:00] Are you and your business partner aligned on where you’d like the business to go?

[11:00] What kind of clients does Terry work with? He shares some nightmare situations that business owners have had to go through.

[18:15] Want to avoid a business divorce? Here’s what you need to be thinking about.

[21:35] What happens if you or your business partner gets sick and can’t perform their duties?

[25:45] Make sure your agreements, in the beginning, are clear and signed!

[27:00] Calling a lawyer too late doesn’t mean they can’t help you, but it does mean it can be a bit more complex, and expensive.

[29:00] What are some of the steps you can take to better protect your business?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Terry on Dynasty Leadership Podcast

Apr 12, 2021

Steve Van Remortel is the Founder and Chief Strategy and Talent Advisor for Stop The Vanilla, a company that develops leaders to achieve their business goals, and helps them find the right talent for their organization. In this episode, Steve shares his three-part framework to how you find exceptional talent that’s right for your organization.


Key Takeaways:

[2:20] How did Steve discover his passion for strategy and cultivating talent?

[3:00] Steve helps companies fix their number one problem, which is finding the right talent for their organization.

[4:00] Want good talent? The first step is to create your vision.

[7:50] Why is a customer going to choose you? And pay you more for it?

[9:40] What does a good vision look like?

[15:20] Talent is the biggest roadblock to an organization’s success. Talent management is critical. Don’t leave talent up to chance.

[16:25] How do you stop “winging it” when it comes to hiring new talent?

[18:35] You can’t outsource your talent development plan. You have to do it internally.

[22:00] HR is often considered “an afterthought.” How do leaders get better in this arena when they have so much else going on?

26:20] How can leaders best help their employees outside of work?

[28:10] Every leader needs to manage their emotional intelligence. Own your own issues.

[30:50] What are the three steps a leader should be thinking about today?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream: The Scoop on Increasing Profit by Differentiating Your Company Through Strategy and Talent, by Steve Van Remortel

Steve on LinkedIn

Mar 5, 2021

Eric Harkins is the President and Founder of  GKG Search & Consulting, a Minneapolis-based consulting firm that helps organizations get talent, keep talent, and grow talent. He is the author of the new book, Great Leaders Make Sure Monday Morning Doesn’t Suck!


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] Great culture starts from the top!

[2:45] A little bit about Eric and what he does for his clients.

[4:25] Eric considers himself pretty lucky that he got to work with some bad leaders!

[5:30] Never let A players work with C players. What does Eric mean by that?

[6:45] Eric always asks leaders: How do you create a culture that high-performers want to be a part of?

[9:55] You can change culture by focusing on changing Monday.

[11:05] You have to let your low-performing key players go. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

[13:55] How do you create a culture of high-performers?

[17:55] We are in a highly competitive world, which means there’s a lot more pressure to perform as a leader.

[21:45] Being a manager is one of the best jobs you can have in your career… when you are working with highly motivated and top-tier people.

[25:35] Notice your words: do you often use “we,” as in we the company or “they,” as in they the bosses.

[29:55] Eric gives you a different perspective on how you should be looking at turnover.

[33:15] One of Eric’s clients realized that half of their leaders wouldn’t fit into their long-term solution model.

[36:05] Your highest performing person might not make for a good leader!

[38:55] Leadership really isn’t that hard. We as people just like to make it harder than it needs to be.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Eric on LinkedIn

Great Leaders Make Sure Monday Morning Doesn’t Suck: A guide to building great workplace culture, by Eric Harkins

Feb 8, 2021

Andy Wyatt is a Founder & Head Coach of Andrew Wyatt Leadership and he is out with a new book called Pro Leadership, which dives into how you can establish credibility, build a strong following, and lead with impact. In his book, he offers 24 leadership principles that he’s learned after being in business for more than 30 years. In this episode, Andy shares how business owners can pull their identity out of their business, drive effective culture, and so much more.


Key Takeaways:

[1:40] Figure out what you’d do for free and then figure out how to get paid for it.

[3:55] A lot of people want to write a book but never do it. Why is this?

[7:05] You have to excavate before you elevate, what does Andy mean by this?

[9:20] How do you separate the person from the business?

[11:15] Do you feel good or bad about yourself based on the uncomfortable whims of the business?

[11:55] There are three things every leader needs: A coach, a therapist, and a golf trainer (or tennis/gym trainer).

[14:15] Your biggest role as a leader is to create the culture.

[17:10] How can you drive culture and what makes someone a good leader in this space?

[19:50] What does character mean to you? Character is the way you act when no one is watching.

[22:15] Andy has had to learn a lesson the hard way when he tried to drive culture a little too fast in a company.

[25:05] Eighty-five percent of our leadership problems would be solved through better communication.

[27:45] How do you know a team has built trust? Watch how they handle a disagreement.

[29:35] What are some of the common mistakes people tend to make about leadership?

[32:00] It’s lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be. Leaders are notorious for isolating themselves.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Andy on LinkedIn

Jan 11, 2021

Dr. Terry Wu has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and started his online marketing firm in 2003. He also has a new book out entitled, Why the Brain Follows, which dives into the latest neuroscience research, how leaders can leverage our natural human behaviors, and the negative side of positive thinking. Dr. Terry shares some of his thoughts on leadership and why too many leaders leave it up to “chance” when it comes to getting the most out of their people.


Key Takeaways:

[1:40] How did Dr. Terry Wu get started in neuroscience and neuromarketing?

[3:55] Science can make leadership more predictable.

[5:10] A title doesn’t make you a leader and a leader doesn’t need a title.

[9:10] People love to follow a crowd. When you rally a small group of people behind you, some great things can happen.

[9:55] What does it mean to “lead with empathy”? Dr. Terry has some thoughts on why empathy doesn’t always work.

[11:15] Empathy actively causes pain. Dr. Terry breaks down what he means by this.

[17:55] We have an us vs. them bias in our brains. Empathy only confirms that bias.

[23:15] When people have a sense of control, they manage their stress a lot better!

[26:45] Dr. Terry explains what “toxic positivity” is and why positivity is not a choice.

[31:10] You can turn a very positive person into a negative person just by adding stress into their lives.

[33:40] What should leaders be looking out for in 2021?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Dr. Terry on LinkedIn

Dec 7, 2020

Ed Evarts is the Founder and President at Excellius Leadership Development and comes with more than 12+ years of leadership experience. He is also the author of several books, including Drive Your Career, which is what Todd and Ed dive into on this episode! How can you take charge and control your own destiny when you might be working with a boss that’s detached from your success? Ed shares his tips on how you can grow as well as develop your leadership abilities along the way. 


Key Takeaways:

[2:05] How did Ed get started in leadership development? 

[4:20] The first chapter details how to have a positive relationship with your boss. 

[8:00] A large number of Ed’s clients, at least 85%, wished they had a better relationship with their boss. 

[11:05] How can you be the most curious person in the room? 

[14:15] How can you be curious in a group dynamic and not hog the room with your questions? 

[19:05] Play with the hand you’ve been dealt. 

[23:45] Communication and delegation is something most people want to improve on. 

[27:50] For some leaders, when you leave the building, there’s a sense of relief from your team that you’ve finally left and they can now focus on ‘real work’. 

[29:35] How can a Type A leader learn to slow down?

[33:35] What are some of the common mistakes people make? 

[38:35] What is Ed’s podcast about? 


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Email Ed:

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

Nov 9, 2020

Steven Goodman is passionate about providing insightful solutions to the challenges of business succession, wealth preservation, and charitable planning. Steven is an accomplished CPA and has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. He is also the author of the book, Business Succession Planning and shares insights on the number one thing business owners get wrong when they pass down their life’s work to their children.


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] Around 93% of businesses Todd has helped had family in their business.

[1:30] If not structured properly, the family business can cause family members to tear each other apart.

[3:15] How did Steve get involved in succession planning?

[4:35] Steve shares a couple of examples of a typical family business structure.

[6:50] What are some of the issues a family business runs into when it comes to a succession plan?

[9:55] You want to give the business to one child who has taken interest in it, but what about his/her siblings?

[11:00] Founders/parents are afraid to communicate with their children about who is getting what because they don’t want to sour their relationship and potentially never see their grandchildren again.

[14:15] No plan ends up hurting your entire family vs. having a plan that only one or two family members like.

[18:55] If a son comes to Steven and says he owns 0% of the business but has been working in it, what are Steven’s next action steps?

[26:15] This scenario that Steven just walked us through is not uncommon.

[26:35] What should parents or children in the business be thinking about when it comes to succession planning?

[34:00] What are the negatives to creating a trust for the family?

[38:20] What are some of the common mistakes families make?

[42:10] How can someone get started in planning the future of their business?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Oct 12, 2020

Geoff Thatcher is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Creative Principals and the author of The CEO's Time Machine, a fictional story about how a CEO created one of the most innovative companies in the world. Geoff shares his unique view and perspectives on how to elevate a brand through powerful stories and examples that will help you stand out from your competition! 

Key Takeaways:

[4:05] By being so obsessed with only looking to the future, you can miss key insights and lessons that were learned from the past.

[7:35] When it comes to innovation and new decisions, the most important thing you have to do is make a decision, even if it’s the wrong decision. 

[8:40] No matter what, there’s never enough information out there. 

[10:50] How did Geoff get into this line of work? 

[13:50] The book is written like a theme park ride. What does that look like? 

[17:20] The experience model of track, trust, inform, interalize, and act is rooted in psychology as well in history. 

[19:30] How do you build unique companies in ‘traditional’ industries and create a message that stands out from the competition? 

[24:15] Once you know the type of person you are serving, then you can build a story around that avatar. 

[26:00] What are some of the common mistakes Geoff sees people making? 

[28:30] Tell a good story and no one will complain. 

[30:00] Goeff shares an example of how you can create a story and make it memorable. 


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Geoff on LinkedIn

Sep 14, 2020

Todd gets interviewed by Rick Brimacomb from Club E as he talks about his business model and how he helps his clients achieve 5X growth within five years. With a global pandemic going on, a lot of businesses are being left in the dark as they try to figure out their next big move. Todd shares whether we’re headed to a 100% digital society, some of the biggest mistakes he sees his clients make, and so much more, in this week’s episode.


Key Takeaways:

[1:55] A little bit about Todd and what he does.

[3:45] Were you really that good in your business or were you just lucky?

[7:40] How does Todd structure his planning sessions?

[10:40] Todd explains what the ‘Ikea Effect’ is and how it can help you.

[12:10] Who are Todd’s ideal clients?

[16:25] Todd breaks down his process on how he helps his clients grow 5X.

[19:55] Some of the biggest mistakes people see is when the CEO tries to also be the leader. Todd explains what he means.

[22:55] What have been the top highlights and key takeaways Todd has learned from his podcast guests?

[27:20] Ask yourself these questions to refine your strategic business plan.

[32:40] Have we now moved 100% to a digital society?

[34:15] What would the job market look like after the pandemic?

[39:55] If you want your company to stand the tests of time, it starts with having a strategic vision.

[40:50] What did Todd wish he’d learned sooner in his career?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Aug 10, 2020

Jennifer Fernjack is a brain tumor survivor and through that experience, she learned the power of emotional grit. She used six strategies to help her get through her brain diagnosis and still uses these strategies today to change her brain chemistry for the better. In this week’s episode, she shares how to face your fears, leverage gratitude, and shift your perspective to see the positive in everything.


Key Takeaways:

[1:40] The glass of life is really half full. If your plan doesn’t work, tweak it and find a Plan B.

[5:35] Jennifer decided to turn this around and write a list of reasons why it was a good thing she had a brain tumor.

[7:10] Step 1: Get creative when coming up with Plan B.

[8:40] Jennifer walks through the six pillars that helped her overcome her diagnosis.

[10:45] Laughter will always make you feel good. Getting ready to go into a stressful situation? Find resources to make you laugh.

[11:50] Practice gratitude. Make a list of reasons why your bad situation is a blessing.

[12:25] Face your fears through cognitive reframing.

[17:25] Help others. By giving back, you get an endorphins boost.

[21:50] Jennifer shares an example of the power of perspective.

[24:25] What can the power of emotional grit do for you?

[27:20] Cut yourself some slack if you’re going through a hard time.

[29:05] Jennifer offers advice on the one thing you can do right now to improve your mental and emotional grit.

[30:35] What are the best ways to deal with isolation?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Jul 13, 2020

PK Krihai and Natalie Watkins both work as an Employee Benefits Consultant for Marsh & McLennan Agency. Natalie started as an intern, where PK trained her and showed her the ropes of the role. Today, both PK and Natalie share their experiences and how impactful mentorship has been for both of them in their career growth.


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] The most important asset is your people, but how do you go about developing them?

[2:15] What does PK do for Marsh & McLennan Agency?

[2:55] How did Natalie find an internship at Marsh & McLennan Agency?

[4:15] What is PK’s mentorship style?

[10:05] How do you find time to mentor someone when you already have a full plate of work?

[12:55] Natalie was able to see everything PK was doing during work hours. She was following her everywhere she went.

[14:10] When faced with an angry customer during a sales meeting, how did PK and Natalie navigate that?

[18:00] As a salesperson, how does PK manage work-life balance?

[21:25] By watching PK work, it prepared Natalie for better success in her role when she started working full-time after she graduated college.

[27:15] What were some of the lessons learned along the way?

[30:45] Having someone shadow you during your working day does not require any extra time!

[36:15] There has to be a right fit when it comes to mentorship. Natalie shares her experience in trying to understand her mentor.

[38:15] PK shares what makes a good internship fair successful.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

PK on Marshmma

Natalie on Marshmma

PK on Linkedin

Natalie on LinkedIn

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time,
by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

Jun 8, 2020

Alain Hunkins is a leadership expert, speaker, and author. Over the course of his 20-plus year career, Alain has recognized leadership patterns that are both healthy and unhealthy. In today’s episode, he discusses how leaders can build healthy patterns and develop themselves. He breaks down three key traits that leaders need to know: Connection, communication, and collaboration.


Key Takeaways:

[2:15] How did Alain get into leadership?

[5:25] Every single chapter in Alain’s book ends with a call to action to help you quickly apply new strategies.

[5:55] What are the three secrets to building strong leaders?

[6:40] Leaders think they lead well, but studies show that only about 23% of people think that’s true for their leader.

[7:45] What is leadership, really?

[9:45] We need to create connections based on empathy. What’s the best way to do that?

[12:55] Another piece to building connection is your credibility. How do you build your credibility and trust?

[15:25] Leading through fear is great when the building is on fire. Everyday life, not so much.

[20:00] Alain shares an example of why the drive-thru process at fast-food restaurants was a nightmare, and how they fixed it.

[24:35] A week later, people only remember about 10-20% of what you communicated to them.

[27:45] Human beings can’t read your mind! How many times did you think something was clear when it wasn’t?

[34:40] Think about how to make communication easier for your audience, not for you.

[34:50] Once you’re connected and communicated effectively, how do you also collaborate effectively?

[38:45] How do we make people feel that what they’re doing matters?

[42:40] What are some of the biggest mistakes leaders make?

[44:50] Vulnerability plays a big part in a good leader.

[47:45] Ask people around you for feedback.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Cracking the Leadership Code: Three Secrets to Building Strong Leaders,
by Alain Hunkins

May 11, 2020

Paul Annett is the Owner of inTransition LLC. He has more than 25 years of experience in corporate management and consulting and has successfully helped first-generation family-owned businesses transfer their leadership to the second generation. This is Paul’s second guest appearance and today he dives into what makes leaders successful. Paul believes it’s their ability to handle and manage conflict effectively (and their awareness of conflict in the workplace) that helps people feel heard and feel like their situation has been resolved.


Key Takeaways:

[1:50] What’s the most common cause of a leader’s long-term success or failure?

[2:15] Who is Paul and what does he do for his clients?

[5:15] How you deal with conflict determines the success of the relationship and the business.

[5:55] The funny thing is, the stronger the leader, the less awareness they might have about conflict happening within the organization.

[7:40] Everything in life is tied down to good communication. Paul has spent a lot of time studying how to deal with differences.

[8:15] What is conflict to you and how do you view it?

[8:40] There are two different definitions of conflict. Paul breaks this down.

[13:45] The common complaint Paul hears when people quit their job is that they didn’t feel listened to or heard.

[16:10] Paul shares his process on how he helps leaders become aware of their conflict patterns.

[19:30] To be in a relationship is to be in conflict. You’re never going to be in a relationship long-term without seeing things differently.

[21:35] There are three myths about conflict. Myth #1: Give it time.

[26:00] Myth #2: Confrontation weakens relationships.

[29:55] Myth #3: The presence of conflict equals bad management.

[31:55] Paul shares a story about how internal conflict was eating the business alive.

[37:55] How do you get people to engage in healthy conflict and face confrontation?

[47:00] There is your way, his/her way, and there is a middle way/third option. That’s the ground you want to try to strive for.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Paul on LinkedIn

Email Paul:

Call Paul: 651-261-0326

Apr 13, 2020

Ryan Tansom sold his family business to a local competitor for eight figures. After stumbling through the exit process, Ryan realized he left millions on the table and he could have controlled the outcome much, much better if only he had known! This is why he started the company Arkona and has developed a boot camp for business owners so that they’re aware of the steps they can take to make a successful exit. On this week’s show, Ryan shares his 5 Intentional Growth Principles!


Key Takeaways:

[2:35] What is Ryan’s boot camp about and how does it help CEOs?

[5:35] Ryan shares his entrepreneurial story and how he first got started in all of this. 

[11:20] Investment bankers go in and look at the facts/numbers. If that means laying off 60% of the workforce, so be it! This is why it is important to talk to them beforehand about what’s important to you.

[14:50] It can be difficult to think about all the trade-offs and stick to what’s important to you if you don’t lay it out first. Since it’s your business, you have the power in this situation to get what you want.

[15:35] What financial targets should you be measuring and monitoring even if you don’t plan to sell?

[17:55] What is the risk of your cash flow? What’s the risk that it’s going to still be there tomorrow? Do you depend on China, for example?

[20:15] Make sure your evaluation and your price are realistic for your industry. Just because you heard someone make 5X to 10X on the sale of their business doesn’t mean it’ll apply to you!

[28:00] The biggest thing is people simply do not know/are not educated enough about this and that’s where the rookie mistakes end up happening.

[33:35] How can you strategically implement value in your company?

[40:00] Sign up for the boot camp to learn about this while you’re still passionate about the business, because when you figure out your number and want to sell, you may already be too burnt out to do the necessary steps needed to get your price.

[44:45] Either you’re going to be acquiring someone to de-risk your cash flow to continue growing or you’re going to be someone else’s target to de-risk their cash flow and keep going.

[45:15] Get yourself a team of advisors, but what does that look like?

[49:45] Ryan shares the types of lessons his boot camp students are walking away with.

[55:00] What can attendees expect at the boot camp?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Call Ryan: 612-720-6530

Mar 9, 2020

Ken Gilmour is the CEO of Knogin, a cybersecurity company. Many small business owners are unaware of how much their data is worth. Ken shares some insights on hacks that have happened in tech, why firewalls and antiviruses aren’t always enough, and he shares 10 steps on what business owners need to know about protecting their business.


Key Takeaways:

[1:10] Cybersecurity is a hot topic but many business owners don’t know what they should be doing to protect themselves.

[3:35] Traditional cybersecurity tools are targeted for large enterprises, but the reality is there are more small businesses in the U.S. and these tools don’t cater to them at all.

[6:55] Entrepreneurs typically aren’t well-versed in cybersecurity. They just want something simple to protect them.

[9:30] What causes businesses to close down is not the fact that they’ve been hacked (although it doesn’t help); it’s the fact that their reputation has been damaged.

[9:45] It’s important to have a Plan B or a contingency plan on what to do if your company were to get hacked.

[12:40] As a company grows, one of the things business owners struggle with is managing user privileges and remembering who has access to what.

[15:05] Be aware of your ‘removable media’ like your USB keys or backup devices.

[18:05] A good monitoring tool that watches over your network can help you fight against tricky phishing emails.

[21:10] How can you secure your laptop, router, and other tech products?

[25:10] If you have an antivirus, you’re probably going to get hacked because those companies have been hacked themselves.

[26:45] Malware software doesn’t protect the ‘patient zero.’

[27:55] Ken explains why firewalls don’t always protect you against attacks.

[32:05] Amazon’s S3 buckets have been compromised and that was on the cloud. Sometimes the cloud is not the safest place to store things.

[33:15] What are some of the biggest mistakes business owners are making when it comes to their security?

[34:40] How do companies like Facebook make money? You are the product!


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:


Correct Horse Battery Staple

Feb 10, 2020

Terry Moore has over 30 years of experience representing businesses and individuals in a wide variety of legal matters throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. He is a lawyer for Hellmuth & Johnson and talks about how you can turn the tables and profit from a crisis in three steps. There are clear action steps you can take when things go wrong.


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] Are you concerned about what kind of company legacy you’re leaving behind? Reach out to Todd!

[1:45] How do you turn the tables when you’re in a crisis?

[2:35] A little bit about Terry and what he does at Hellmuth & Johnson.

[3:50] Terry grew up in chaos (one of 11 children) and there was always something going on.

[6:00] Terry was in seventh grade when he found out his older brother had a brain tumor and died, and his family was able to profit. (Terry explains what he means).

[7:50] There are three steps you can take to help a crisis situation. Step 1: Clarify the problem with precision, Step 2: Control with prediction, Step 3: Close with power.

[10:00] If you are able to turn off or stop the problem, the symptoms will go away.

[10:25] Terry shares an example of what these three steps look like in reality.

[14:00] Never, ever underestimate the power or the influence of a spouse.

[16:45] How can you predict the future?

[20:25] Terry explains what the Nash Equilibrium Principle is.

[24:05] How do you get to Step 3: Close with power?

[29:45] What are some of the common mistakes people make in crisis mode?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Email Terry:

Jan 13, 2020

Todd was invited to speak at a Club E event in Saint Paul last September and would love to share with you the interview in this week’s episode. You’ll find out a little bit more about Tom and his accomplishments, his thoughts on finding grand slam clients, and how to best bring on new business the smart way.


Key Takeaways:

[1:35] A quick introduction about who Todd is!

[3:15] How referable are you on a scale of 1-5?

[4:25] There are three things we look for, especially when we are networking. 1. We want clarity from our new friend. 2. We want brevity. 3. And we want uniqueness.

[11:15] How much does it take you to get one new client aboard?

[13:25] There are three characteristics in identifying grand slam clients: Demographics, timing triggers, and psychographics.

[20:45] Look for companies looking for innovation. They want the best for their company, regardless of the label.

[22:45] Todd shares an example of how bringing these three characteristics together can make a profound impact on your business and your community.

[28:55] Todd recommends that you have seven questions during the sales process to help you discover if they’re a good grand slam client.

[34:50] What looked great when you were a $5 million company will definitely change when you are a $25-50 million company.

[37:35] People willing to take vacations end up treating their people better.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Dec 9, 2019

Eric Mitchellette is the Founder of Strategic Business Coach, Inc. and has over 20 years of experience as a financial advisor and CFO. He helps small to medium-sized businesses understand their financials and helps them become cash flow positive. Eric shares his process and some of the things you need to consider when you are looking to get a financial expert to open up the company books.


Key Takeaways:

[1:35] How did Eric first get started in business planning and capital formation?

[3:15] Cash flow problems are common but sometimes business owners are not aware of what state their company is in until it’s too late.

[4:40] How does Eric help business owners and turn their businesses around?

[7:55] When Eric steps in, the biggest thing he has to do is educate business owners and leadership the state of the company and what that means.

[11:50] After Eric knows where the numbers are, then it comes to adjusting the owner’s draw from the company and to restructure the finances so that it makes sense.

[16:00] When owing money to vendors, what’s the best approach or financial plan to let them know the company plans to make good on their promises?

[19:25] What happens to the employees during this financial turn-around time?

[20:35] If an owner has to exit, what are some of their options?

[25:50] What kinds of mistakes do owners tend to make?

[27:55] Eric shares his thoughts on next-generation family management.

[28:55] Final words of advice: You can’t plan enough. Have a strategic plan in place.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Email Eric:

Call Eric: 612-532-9284

Eric on LinkedIn

Nov 11, 2019

Paul Annett is the Owner of inTransition LLC. He has more than 25 years of experience in corporate management and consulting and has successfully helped first-generation family-owned businesses transfer their leadership to the second generation. Paul was also responsible for growing a privately-held printing services company from $40 million to over $140 million. In today’s episode, Paul shares the four stages teams go through before they become a high-performing and high-functioning team.


Key Takeaways:

[2:15] What types of clients does Paul usually work with?

[6:45] Instead of building a high-performing team first, Paul works with the individual leadership members first. Everybody might be very talented, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they work well together.

[10:00] Paul breaks down the four different phases a team goes before becoming a successful and high performing team.

[13:55] The first phase is the forming stage where leadership takes the time to really get to know each other. You’d be surprised that even siblings in leadership roles might discover something new about what it’s like working with their brother or sister.

[14:20] The next phase is the storming stage. Leadership members can be stuck in the storming stage for years if they’re not careful and it can lead to a lot of conflicts and lack of trust.

[16:45] What’s the difference between healthy conflict vs. unhealthy conflict?

[22:50] With every bright side, there is a shadow. It’s important for leaders to be aware of both their strengths and their weaknesses.

[27:40] The third stage is the norming stage. This is where leadership can begin to align the mission of the organization with systems and processes.

[30:25] How do you know when you’ve successfully completed one stage and ready to take on another?

[31:40] The next stage is the performing stage. This is the stage that a lot of people don’t always realize they’re in because everything is so easy!

[38:05] What are some of the biggest mistakes teams make when going through this process?

[41:00] What is considered ‘healthy friction’ within teams?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Todd:

Paul on LinkedIn


On Becoming a Leader: The Leadership Classic, by Warren G. Bennis

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