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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Dec 12, 2017

Mark Coronna is the Chief Marketing Officer of Chief Outsiders, a company focused on accelerating growth for their customers. Today’s show focuses on the importance of a value proposition. Mark has seven key points to consider when it comes down to explaining your value proposition to your customers, how to market it in the best way, and how to keep it relevant as the markets change years later. Value propositions are incredibly vital to the growth of your company and it is not something you should skim over!


Key Takeaways:

[1:35] What does Mark do for Chief Outsiders?

[6:05] Every company needs a value proposition. A value proposition is the heart of what you offer.

[7:00] Only 7% of leadership teams can articulate their own company’s value proposition. However, a majority of them think that 85% of their employees can articulate it. That simply doesn’t work!

[7:45] Markets can change. Is your value proposition still relevant in today’s market after being in business for 3-5-10 years?

[9:00] How do you discover your value proposition and make sure it’s is still relevant as well as communicated well within the company? Here are seven points to consider.

[11:40] How does Mark define ‘distinctive competences’?

[16:45] Write the value proposition in your customer’s language. Don’t make it sound like something only Ph.D.s can read (unless they are your target customer).

[19:10] Validate your value propositions with your customers. Get them to take a survey or even interview them one-on-one.

[19:45] Adopt an ‘outsider’ perspective and really make your benefits obvious to the customer. No one really cares if you’ve been in business since 1962.

[24:25] You may have 4-6 different types of value propositions to bring to the customer, but it’s important to get the order right between each of these. Which one is the most important to you and your customers?

[26:00] How do you accurately market these value propositions to your customers?

[29:35] Once you finally have your value propositions down, how do you go about making sure it’s still relevant three years later?

[32:40] Todd does a quick recap of all seven points.

[33:45] What kind of mistakes do companies typically make when trying to find, and then market, their value propositions?

[35:00] What things should someone focus on if they were trying to implement something like this today?

[38:00] Value propositions are vital when it comes to your company’s growth and quality of service.


Mentioned in This Episode:

About Mark

Call Mark: 612-554-0081

Mark on LinkedIn

Nov 14, 2017

Dr.  Jim Schmidt has been serving as Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 2013. Chancellor Jim, as he likes to be called, has slightly over 30 years of experience in academia and has seen what a lot of leaders did wrong, and right, when it came to those dreaded budget cuts. On today’s show, Chancellor Jim discusses how he was able to make some tough decisions within his university and how he ended up making his campus much more efficient with less money.


Key Takeaways:

[1:25] Who is Chancellor Jim Schmidt and how did he get started in his career?

[2:05] Of the 30 years Chancellor Jim has worked in academia, he had to cut the budget 26 times.

[3:05] Across-the-board cuts are for lazy administrators. It’s viewed as ‘fair,’ but it really isn’t.

[4:35] When it comes to budget cuts, how does Chancellor Jim approach this?

[10:45] Remember, you’re only as effective as your people and if your people are worried about their job security, things aren’t going to get done as quickly.

[11:50] How can you be transparent with your team when facing budget cuts?

[14:25] Once your team is aware of the budget cuts, then you need to rally them towards a common goal and the university’s values.

[20:35] When you’ve established what key areas are vital for your students/customers, then it’s time to get your team together to start brainstorming on the best course of action.

[25:20] As a Chancellor, it’s Jim’s responsibility to give the students the best experience possible. If you make across-the-board budget cuts, their experience will suffer.

[27:55] Chancellor Jim told his team to reject the notion that you gotta ‘do more with less.’ You can’t do that to your customers because then your quality will suffer.

[34:00] Many of Chancellor Jim’s staff were willing to do more with less because they were used to that status quo. He had to tell them to stop because it will only lead to them being burned out.

[35:30] The university has had four years’ worth of increased student enrollment despite making these budget cuts.

[37:45] As a leader, you have to be open to having those tough conversations and you need to be available for your people.

[39:05] Chancellor Jim does a quick recap.

[41:40] What mistakes did Chancellor Jim make along the way that he wishes he did a bit differently?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Jim on Twitter

Call Jim: 715-836-2327

Email Jim:

Oct 10, 2017

Karl Neset is a Fractional CFO for CliftonLarsonAllen. Karl has perfected a process that allows business owners to give employees more skin in the game and earning potential, without giving up their equity. Employees can act as owners through a profit share program that compensates people based on their contribution to the company. Karl explains why this strategy leads to a better team dynamic within the company and gives employees a strong sense of purpose, too.


Key Takeaways:

[1:35] Who is Karl and what does he do for CliftonLarsonAllen?

[5:10] There are roughly 10 steps in how an owner can help an employee get more skin in the game and earn more income.

[6:10] The first step starts with gathering the data.

[7:10] How do you properly compensate differently-skilled people?

[9:25] Karl shares an example of how a system like this (ownership among employees) looks like, once it’s been properly put into action.

[11:40] It’s a team discipline. If one screws up, they all screw up.

[12:20] What does the sales department look like when a strategy like this is put in place?

[14:10] A system like this makes it a lot easier on the owners. They do not have to micro-manage their employees.

[15:35] If the owner goes away for a couple of months, the business will still run smoothly, because employees are being compensated similarly to how the owner is being compensated.

[16:45] What kind of percentage does each employee get, based on their roles?

[18:35] This strategy gives motivation to both new and older employees who now see that they can be a part of something meaningful and they will get compensated fairly well for it. It gives them drive to advance within the company and obtain career growth.

[19:50] The next step is to lay out different projections for the next five years in the company. You should have three: A bad year, an okay year, and a great year. Based on these numbers, your employees will be compensated accordingly.

[21:00] This model allows for employees to make double, in some instances, than what they can in an open market. Who wouldn’t want that?

[22:35] If someone makes double their normal salary, do they start getting cocky? How does that affect the company as a whole and how do you address it?

[28:20] Before implementing a plan like this, why is it important to run it through HR first?

[30:40] Many employees/owners might think this plan is too good to be true or unsustainable.

[32:15] It is critical to incorporate wealth management classes in the company after a strategy gets put into place. Employees who see a huge spike in wealth do need to understand what that means to them.

[33:30] Why should a business owner use this strategy vs. something like using phantom stock or equity?

[37:00] What are some things to think about/potential mistakes that could happen?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Email Karl:

Karl on LinkedIn

Sep 12, 2017

Rebecca Metz is the Founder of Web Pages That Sell. When Rebecca was coming back from vacation, she found out something horrible — her website had been hacked! Not only was the experience stressful, but having her website down meant she was not generating any business, too. After recovering from the incident, Rebecca has some advice for those business owners out there on how they can prevent this from happening to them, and what they should do in case it does happen.


Key Takeaways:

[2:10] What is Rebecca’s business about, Web Pages That Sell?

[3:05] What happens when your website gets hacked?

[6:55] If you have multiple websites, one website can affect the other.

[7:15] Call your hosting company or your webmaster!

[8:15] Check whether your website has been blacklisted.

[9:45] When you’ve been hacked, it’s usually not personal.

[13:00] When you call your hosting provider, be prepared that they may not be very helpful.

[15:40] Another thing to note, your webmaster is not responsible for this hack either. However, they may have some answers for you to help you regain control of your website.

[16:40] When your website has been hacked, this needs to be the first priority. The worse it gets, the harder it will be to get your whole website back.

[17:40] Find a website cleaner. You can be expected to pay between $200 to $1,000 to have this done. Make sure the price includes multiple website clean ups.

[21:20] If you’ve been infected once, expect to be infected again.

[23:10] Get into a habit of backing up your website. Both your entire your website and your database.

[24:35] You should back up your website once a month and your database once a week.

[26:10] If your site has been blacklisted, this may mean your emails are too.

[27:20] Regularly update your plugins!

[31:05] What are some of the top mistakes people tend to make?

[32:10] The good news is Rebecca has a service to help you backup your website regularly.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Call Rebecca: 612-516-5388

Aug 8, 2017

Ron Dunford has been working for Schreiber Foods for over 30 years, and has learned a thing or two about leadership along the way. Now that he’s retiring from Schreiber Foods, Ron plans to help business owners achieve and set the right tone for their team. Over the years, Ron has come up with five leadership principles that will help someone go from completely clueless to a powerful, and thoughtful, leader.


Key Takeaways:

[1:20] How did Ron first get started in Schreiber foods? And now that he’s retiring, what’s next for him?

[3:25] Leadership and success principles are universal.

[4:40] Ron has a five-principle philosophy that he’s developed and perfected over the years.

[6:35] One of Ron’s principles is to dream big. How does someone successfully do that?

[8:15] Are people telling you you’re crazy? If not, you might not be dreaming big enough.

[10:30] How does Ron motivate others to get beyond their comfort zone and to dream big?

[14:25] If we only expect success, we won’t be able to handle the roadblocks along the way. What are Ron’s thoughts on this?

[16:10] How does Ron manage the millennial generation? 40% of the Schreiber Foods workforce are millenials.

[23:35] Ron is a competitive guy, but it’s important to realize that he doesn’t, and nor should you, want to try and win no matter what the costs.

[25:20] When you know what your values are, it’s easy to say no, and walk away from business deals.

[27:20] If you find yourself saying, “I’ll be happy when… (fill in the blank),” watch out! You need to enjoy the journey, not just the end result.

[30:35] What was Ron’s big aha moment when it came to achieving his goals and changing his mindset?

[33:20] Ron does a quick recap of his five principles.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Ron on LinkedIn

Ron on Twitter

Email Ron:

Jul 11, 2017

Steve Nelson, ASA, is the Managing Director for Chartwell, a financial advisory firm. Steve breaks down everything business owners need to know about ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) and the seven steps you need to take to get one implemented in your company. Steve also outlines the various benefits employees would receive if your company had an ESOP in place.


Key Takeaways:

[1:00] Before we get started, what is an ESOP?

[3:10] What are some of the benefits of an ESOP?

[6:25] Remember, ESOP is not for everyone.

[6:40] Who would best benefit from an ESOP?

[13:40] What are the seven steps business owners need to do to get an ESOP?

[17:15] How many lawyers typically get involved in an ESOP transaction?

[19:15] Employees need to understand that they’re not a direct owner of the stock. They are a beneficiary of the trust. Why is this distinction important?

[24:15] Big companies can greatly benefit from an ESOP, but what about smaller-sized companies?

[26:15] Why would anyone want to be a trustee?

[29:30] Steve estimates that there are probably 7,000 to 8,000 privately-held ESOPs in the country and it’s growing.

[31:10] ESOPs give opportunity for wealth to people who otherwise would not have that opportunity.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Jun 13, 2017

Lance Madson is the CPA, MBT, and ABV for Boulay Group, an accounting and financial consulting firm. Lance leads the firm’s business valuations department, as well as specializes in tax planning for both businesses and individuals. On this week’s show, Lance discusses Boulay’s 7 step process on how they accurately evaluate businesses worth between $1 million to $50 million dollars.


Key Takeaways:

[1:30] Who is Lance and what does he do for Boulay?

[5:45] Boulay has a 7-step process that helps them properly assess a business.

[8:00] Lance breaks down the thought process behind step 1, which offers three approaches on how to look and evaluate a business.

[11:50] What would Lance need to know, when a client comes to them with projected business growth? How does he know the client is being reasonable with his projections?

[17:15] What types of things does Lance need from the client, and what should you prepare for in order to make your evaluation as accurate as possible?

[23:10] Lance also has access to outside resources and databases that help compare a client’s industry and their projected growth.

[26:15] Lance and his team always look at the debt-to-equity ratio in any business they evaluate.

[30:40] Another aspect Lance considers is the compensation aspect. Are there any family members taking a salary when they don’t spend time at the company?

[36:15] What happens when business owners disagree with the numbers Lance provides?

[39:45] We’ve just come off an election year. What trends has Lance seen so far?

[44:45] What should business owners know about their business?

[47:55] Want to work with Boulay? Lance discusses prices and what you can expect from their service.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Call Lance: 952-893-9320

May 9, 2017

Terry Slattery is the President and CEO of Slattery Sales Group. After serving four years in the Air Force, Terry got his degree in economics, and joined IBM’s sales team. This propelled him into 20+ year career in sales. On this week’s show, Terry discusses what a ‘bankable forecast’ is, where companies lack the most when hiring new sales reps, and why so many companies struggle to get that big deal locked in.


Key Takeaways:

[2:10] Who is Terry and what does Slattery Sales Group do?

[6:10] A founder was once telling Terry it takes him two years for a sales rep to be properly trained in his industry.

[9:35] Terry has to make sure there’s alignment between the CEO’s priorities and management. When things aren’t clear, that’s when things start to break down on a production level.

[12:10] Before you spend resources training a sales rep, you first have to ask yourself a series of important questions.

[15:00] 6% of your entire workforce will be elite, another 20% will be good, and the rest of the 74% will range from being a 3-year project to a bad hire.

[20:00] Don’t be in a hurry to hire! It’s going to be a mistake!

[22:00] What does ‘bankable forecast’ mean?

[32:50] Focus on organizing management first; that way your team understands the process. The process is easier to train/teach than throwing them in with the sharks.

[41:25] Half of all sales people are uncomfortable to talk about money. This means that they can’t defend premium price.

[43:25] Didn’t get the deal? You will want to listen to what Terry has to say on why!

[53:40] Keep in mind there’s a big difference in the daily operations and behaviors of someone who is closing 90% of their business vs. only closing 10%.

[54:30] How much does it cost the business when there’s a bad sales hire? Over 6 figures!

[1:03:50] Statistically, in a multivendor contest, the last contestant gets the business 9 times out of 10, no matter what the price is.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Apr 11, 2017

Jonathan Cleveland is the Managing Director for Houlihan Lokey, a global firm with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, and more. Today’s discussion focuses on how to spot and handle distressed companies. Although Jonathan works with companies who average around a billion dollars in debt, the lessons Jonathan talks about apply to all businesses.


Key Takeaways:

[1:55] At the Houlihan Lokey firm, they have three main divisions. Jonathan explains what each of these divisions are and how they help their clients.

[3:10] What’s Jonathan's background, and how did he get involved with the firm?

[6:00] Houlihan Lokey works with high-scale clients. The average debt level for a client is around one-and-a-half billion dollars.

[7:50] How do distressed companies get so deep into trouble? Is it because they have an easier time accessing capital?

[11:25] You know your industry is in trouble when the guy on TV says, ‘This time it’s different.’

[12:55] Let’s say the industry or sector is doing okay, how do you tell when an individual company is in trouble?

[17:15] The rest of your business operations can get a bottleneck when the company is focusing on paying off high levels of debt. It can often be a Catch-22.

[20:15] If lenders feel unsure you are able to pay off the debt, they can re-price or even increase their rates.

[22:30] What types of distressed companies come to Houlihan Lokey?

[26:25] Who makes the call to get help? Is it the bank or maybe even the CEO of the business?

[30:20] What are some of the biggest mistakes distressed companies are making?

[34:25] How does Jonathan access the executive team?

[37:20] A lot of human psychology is used when interacting with a distressed team.

[37:30] Failure challenges our ego.

[39:10] You need to have a real awareness over the consequences of borrowing money.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Mar 14, 2017

Corky Hall is the CEO/Founder of Stellus Consulting, founded in 1993. Corky and his team focus strictly on brand strategy for his clients. Stellus Consulting has worked with some very well known and established companies, like The Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Coca Cola, and more! Why are such big name companies coming to a brand strategist? Well, as Corky explains on the show, the company name and the brand identity are two very different people.


Key Takeaways:

[1:45] Corky focuses on brand strategy for his clients, but what does that entail, exactly?

[5:00] Corky has helped some very well-established companies hone in on their branding skills.

[5:45] If you already have a brand, tell me about your brand. ‘Who’ is your brand? Your logos and colors are irrelevant to Corky!

[9:30] How does branding help a business?

[13:25] How do you create a brand?

[15:30] Why does a young adult vs. a retired couple go to a baseball game? It’s the same game, but they each have different motives.

[19:30] Are advertising agencies Corky’s competitors?

[21:30] Price comes down to 5, 6, or sometimes even the 7th most important thing, when comparing brands.

[26:40] Most business owners don’t stop to think about their customers that deeply.

[28:45] Customers want to know you have their backs.

[31:35] Remember, what makes a strong and sustainable tree? The roots!

[40:00] How can a big company incorporate brand strategy into their storefronts?

[43:40] As the brand, you are always the voice of the customer.

[49:45] When it comes to shifting your brand, it’s not just 6-8 bullet point items you need to fix. You need to fix the emotion behind your brand.

[53:45] What is your brand promise?

[53:55] Remember, strategy is inherently dull.

[1:00:20] How can small business owners improve their brand?

[1:02:40] Don’t get the sales guy to interview your customers.

[1:07:45] Why do your customers choose you over your competitor?

[1:12:30] Every business can benefit from Corky’s advice on today’s show. Every company has to face the ‘branding’ music.


Mentioned in This Episode:


Feb 14, 2017

David Samuels is a corporate executive benefits designer. In the course of his career, he has also bought out seven other companies that do similar work. This means he helps business owners transition themselves out of the business and into retirement. These transitions can be difficult to manage, which is why David explains his unique process on how he gets the job done, where everybody involved in the deal comes out a winner.


Key Takeaways:

[2:15] What does a corporate executive benefits designer do?

[4:05] How did David discover this career field?

[7:35] Before David begins work with a client, he first has them take a compatibility test to see if they’re a right fit.

[8:55] What does the compatibility test entail?

[9:35] When there’s a winner, there’s always a loser, and David hates that. He wants to have a win-win scenario for both the buyer and seller.

[10:30] David needs to know he’s working with someone of integrity and honesty.

[10:55] The entrepreneur's books have to be clean.

[12:10] Why is finding the core needs of the seller so important?

[12:25] You’re not just buying a business, you’re buying somebody’s life’s work.

[15:35] Is the seller jumping in front of the train or is he being pushed?

[17:15] What happens if a deal goes bad?

[20:35] Transitions take time. If the owner wants to retire quickly, their staff is going to feel abandoned.

[24:35] At the end of the day, David wants his clients to feel great about the deal. David wants them to always know that he’s got their back.

[26:40] As business owners are looking to retire, they’re trying to cut back on their overhead and simplify their lives. David, so to speak, takes on those complications.

[29:05] Even though David has to do extra work, he firmly believes in a 50/50 monetary split.

[36:50] How does David evaluate a business?

[42:50] It boils down to having extensive conversations with the business owners to understand what they do and what David will do.

[46:20] David has been in this business for 27 years and has done 7 acquisitions. What kind of lessons has David learned throughout his career?

[49:55] What has the turnover been like once David has acquired a business?

[51:30] When a takeover happens, David often sees an increase in clientele. How is this possible?


Mentioned in This Episode:

Jan 10, 2017

Blois Olson is the Founder of Fluence Media, an agency that provides perspective, strategy, and execution to clients. They specialize in public affairs, litigation communication, labor/management, online/social media consulting, and crisis communication. Blois was listed in the “40 under 40,” by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, at age 31, and recognized as a “Top Marketer,” by Minnesota Business magazine, in 2012. On today’s show, Blois discusses how businesses can position themselves in the right light, when it comes to their PR.


Key Takeaways:

[:45] What’s Blois’s world like?

[2:50] How does Blois help his clients?

[4:00] Business can get dark and scary sometimes.

[5:45] Leaders need to be transparent, especially during times of uncertainty.

[9:30] How does Blois decide which form of media is the right platform to showcase his clients’ message on?

[10:25] Technology allows us to directly communicate with customers.

[15:35] What’s considered ‘newsworthy’?

[19:55] It boils down to reputation and storytelling. It’s not about hype!

[20:30] Do Blois and his team have to coach his clients on who their ideal audience is?

[25:45] When does it make sense to have a M&A conversation?

[30:30] How can companies create their own PR disruption?

[36:05] If you’re communicating and you’re first, you have the upper hand to directly target the right customers.


Mentioned in This Episode: