Cameron Herold, Speaker, Author, Founder of COO Alliance

Scaling Up Services - Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold, Speaker, Author, Founder of COO Alliance

Cameron Herold is a top business consultant, best-selling author, and speaker. Named by Forbes Magazine as “the CEO Whisperer”, Cameron has touched thousands of businesses directly and indirectly through his work. By age 35, he had built two $100 million companies, and by 42, he had grown 1-800-GOT-JUNK? from $2 million, to $106 million in revenue in just six years.
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[00:00:01] You're listening to Scaling Up Services where we speak with entrepreneurs authors business experts and thought leaders to give you the knowledge and insights you need to scale your service based business faster and easier. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt.

[00:00:22] Are you a CEO looking to scale your company faster and easier. Checkout Thrive Roundtable thrive combines a moderated peer group mastermind expert one on one coaching access to proven growth tools and a 24/7 support community created by Inc award winning CEO and certified scaling up business coach Bruce Eckfeldt. Thrive will help you grow your business more quickly and with less drama. For more details about the program, visit . That’s E C K F E L D T. com / thrive

[00:00:58] Welcome everyone this is Scaling up Services. I'm Bruce Eckfeldt. I'm your host. And our guest today is Cameron Herold. And Cameron is a founder of the COO Alliance, is an entrepreneur. We're gonna find out a little bit more about his story. He's also an author, has written several books, including The Double Double, if people have read that. That was an early one, which I loved. He's written. Meetings suck the Miracle Morning as people know that book. Quite a following there. I've got several friends who have followed A Miracle Mornig for many years. Vivid vision and free PR, which we're gonna find a little bit more about. But not all great books for folks on this podcast, folks that are looking to grow and scale service based businesses with that.

[00:01:37] Cameron, welcome to the program.

[00:01:38] Hey, Bruce, thanks for having me. And just a quick minor edit on that. I really want to be factual.

[00:01:43] I heard what I co-authored, The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs, which was the whole Elrod wrote the original Miracle Morning. And then he and I co-authored The Miracle Warning for Entrepreneurs, which is a much more specific look at how entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial people should start their day and continue their day.

[00:01:59] Great. Thank you for clarifying that one, because I hear the miracle morning tossed around a lot and I know that a lot of people have been using against it.

[00:02:07] What's the difference between that is how have you specifically made it for entrepreneurs? What are some of the takeaways?

[00:02:12] Entrepreneurs are really that 3 percent that are out there taking chances, running their own business, feeling the pressure of, you know, their employees, their families, society, debt. It's a pretty special something for that individual to be able to start their day in the right way versus in the busy work, right? Yeah. You know, most employees will wake up and they'll they'll do their day and they'll go to the office and they'll start when they get to their desk.

[00:02:35] Most entrepreneurs haven't stopped working through the night to take, but they're probably processing in their subconscious as they sleep.

[00:02:43] Yeah, exactly. So yeah, it's just it's written for them. We include all the morning savers, but then I also get into hiring a second in command, leveraging the division and really all the productivity tools for the rest of the day.

[00:02:53] Awesome. So so let's go back and give us a sense of your background. I mean, how you've really developed quite a network of business leaders of, you know, executives, both CEOs, CEOs, you know, other leaders inside businesses that are looking to grow in scale.

[00:03:06] How did you get into this position? What was what was your background that got you here?

[00:03:09] So I was I was groomed as an entrepreneur at a very young age. My father ran his own business in northern Ontario and Canada, and both my grandfathers also ran their own companies. And so I grew up in an entrepreneurial environment where that's all we knew. And my brother, sister and I were all kind of groomed to become entrepreneurs. And that's what we all do today. All three of us own our own companies. So when I was 20 years old, I actually had 12 full time employees and I was running a house painting business. I would go out in Sudbury, Ontario, and knock on doors and put up signs and paint houses and did that for a few years to around a half a million dollars in house painting back in the mid 80s, which was extraordinary amount of revenue for a young kid.

[00:03:47] Yeah, made really good profit and then got involved with the head office of a company called College Pro Painters, which is the world's largest residential house painting company. And I was on the senior management team of about 30 people.

[00:03:59] And every year we would go out and hire and recruit and train 800 franchisees. And then those 800 franchisees would grow and hire and train 8000 painters. Wow. And between May 1st and August 30, first we paint sixty four million dollars in houses. And I was on the senior team coaching and leading one hundred and twenty of those franchisees. And even back in 1993, I had Kimball Musk, Yuan's brother was a franchisee.

[00:04:23] But also Peter Reeve, who built Solar City, was also another Francis. Sure. And through his side, I'd been coaching and managing businesses since the mid 80s and then did the college pro thing, then got involved with the friends business. We started up a chain of auto body collision repair shops in candidates known as Boyd Auto Body in the U.S. It's known as Gerber Auto Collision We took God is now the biggest collision repair chain in the world. Took it public back in 98. Then I did a private currency company for a couple of years, which we built and sold. And then I joined my best friend and he was my best man at my wedding. And he had a small business here in Vancouver, had 14 employees and 12 franchises of a company called 1 800 Got Junk, you know. And I came on as his chief operating officer and stayed for six and a half years. And I left six and a half years later. We had three thousand one hundred employees and three hundred and thirty franchises. We were operating in four countries, 46 states. We ranked as the number two company in Canada to work for. And then last there 12 years ago this month, I. Coaching CEOs and their executive teams globally and been doing that now for 12 years now.

[00:05:27] So you have just a little bit of experience. You've been in this in this for a while.

[00:05:32] What is it you want to talk about your audience? Everyone listening is really in the service industry space predominantly. And that's really where I cut my teeth. And I think that is a huge skill for me to have started in the service space because you really, truly have to listen to your customer. Yeah, I think so many businesses forget that. You know, I disagree that the customer is always right. You know, there's also an exception to every rule. But you have to listen to your customer to understand your product, to understand your pricing, to understand your or your market, and to truly understand how to please them. And if you're listening to your customer, it all works. I think so many businesses that are not in that service space really missed the point.

[00:06:08] Yeah. Would just because it's easy to kind of sitting your workshop and build a product, you know, with this kind of abstract idea of who's going to buy it or who's going to use it and then try to go to market and have problems. Is that that stuff?

[00:06:20] Yeah. That's a different takes out. I'll give you a really concrete example. I love talking to the customers and what it does when you listen to your customers, you'll actually understand how high you can start raising your prices. So one of the very early things I learned about 1 800 got junk when I was the CEO within the first couple of weeks was we just weren't charging enough. Our franchisees were not going to make enough money. Our employees weren't making money. We weren't making enough money. And the customer loved us. The customer was really, really into what we were doing. And I'm like, wait a second. I pay a lot more than we're charging right now. We could be the FedEx of junk removal. We could be the Starbucks of junk removal. So we raised our prices 50 percent across the board. And then all of a sudden we were making money. Our franchisees made money. Our employees made money. The customers were still happy. And we could increase our brand and our marketing, our image and our service. So we blew everybody away and then all of a sudden our competitors started to raise their prices, too. Yeah.

[00:07:12] Yeah, I was listening to the customer and how I guess when we would say listening to the customer, I mean, what are the things we're listening for? Is this. Is this conversations? Is this data? Is this website log reported? I mean, how. When you kind of think about listening to the customer, what gets included in that activity?

[00:07:28] Yeah. Back in those days, it was actually listening to the opening on job sites and talking to them and hearing them. You guys are amazing. You guys totally showed up. I love how friendly your guys are.

[00:07:39] So you hear all the things that they started to say and realized, wow, they're saying we have friendly uniformed drivers. They're saying we showed up on time and we had upfront rates. So those became like our quality focus areas became on time service, upfront rates, clean, shiny trucks, friendly uniformed drivers. And when the customer says to you and six different customers over the course of two weeks say, well, you guys are really clean and shiny trucks, you don't have to think about how to describe. It's called clean, shiny trucks. Yeah. And when they say, you know, God, I would use you guys over and over again, you realize car prices is, you know, reasonably priced. But when all of a sudden we started hearing loved your service, love your guys. You guys are amazing. A little bit more than I thought you were going to be. Yeah, I started to become very apparent when I was about the six year mark in the company was I think a lot of our franchisees got out of control and started charging too much. So by listening, we pulled it back a little bit. And then we knew we'd get the repeat business, the recurring business.

[00:08:34] Look, I see a lot of companies that I think struggle with this process or they struggle with figuring out what they're kind of differentiating factors are. And they I think they they try to do everything or they try to they try to meet all of the customer needs, I guess. How do you how do you help a company or how do you suggest a company kind of focus on a limited set? Or talk to me about that. I mean, do you see companies that have tried to do too many things for their customers?

[00:09:01] Yeah, I think in the end of the day, you're really not netting down to what matters. Right. So I think it's you know, I'll give a great example on service with Starbucks around 10 years ago, 2008, 2009. Howard Schultz came back in as CEO. And one of the things he became very manic about was starting to ask the customer their name again. They stopped doing that. Now, what they really missed the point on in Starbucks was actually giving a shit about your name. So, yes, they could because they wrote your name down on the cup, but they didn't build any human connection with you and you had other coffee shops. And because their hiring is so on point and because they've hired people who actually care and will build a connection when that barista asks you for your name, they don't even need to write it down, but they talk to you while they're making your drink. Yeah, they mentioned you name a couple of times and that's that was the original point at Starbucks from asking your name was you're trying to emulate the fueling of Italy where you were going to the coffee shop and say, oh, yeah, the corner.

[00:10:02] Right. And that's what it's like in the early days at Starbucks. I remember I actually used to date Howard Schultz, his kids nanny as well. Ninety three, a true story. I dated her. I love the shop on property wave security cameras. Ninety three. I would go into a Starbucks and it just felt different, right? The food was more custom. It was less. The reaction was more with the brief stop. So I think by doing too much. Yeah, they tried. Most brands try to do too much. They forget the basics.

[00:10:29] Yeah, yeah. And those things that really, really different channel or that define why their particular customer higher is down or likes them so much, you know, and really doubling down on those things because I think that's spreading yourself too thin as always a risk.

[00:10:42] Yeah. There's companies you know, you mentioned something in there which I'd be curious to to dig into a little bit. Was the hiring process? Know, certainly. I think one of the big challenges was surface space businesses is that it does become such that the hiring become such a factor. Who works in the company is such a factor.

[00:10:57] And, you know, not only kind of getting skill capability in alignment, but the cultural element.

[00:11:02] I mean, how I guess how have you found successful service based businesses? How did they approach the hiring process or particularly around the cultural side of that hiring process?

[00:11:12] Most companies make all the excuses in the world of why it's tough and they start to believe their own bullshit.

[00:11:16] So what you have to do is you have to decide that you're going to be different. You have to decide that you're going to kind of cover off Maslow's hierarchy of needs and pay a little bit more, give more vacation time, create a better work environment, only hire a players, fire the C players, get rid of the cultural cancers and the toxic people. So one of the things that we did as an example of 1 800 Got Junk was we described what our employees would look like, act like and feel like.

[00:11:42] So when they walked in the door, we could see them and we wanted the fraternity boys, right? We wanted rugby players and football players and soccer players. We weren't looking for garbagemen. We didn't have one. None of our employees smoked like the guys that rode in the trucks were athletes, younger and friendly. And we threw a, you know, a branded golf shirt on them. And all of a sudden they stood up, stood out right as these friendly uniformed drivers. But we hired friendly people. We didn't have to train them to be friendly. We only interviewed them if they were friendly. I think most people in the service industry forget that they think they're hiring a painter or a cap or an h vac person. No, not at all. You're hiring a really, really friendly person who happens to be a great electrician. Yeah. So, yeah, you have to think about the behavioural traits first.

[00:12:26] I get every job posting that I'll write the kind of tactical side of the job posting, first of all. Right. About the electrician we're hiring for. And I make it very specific. Well, all the things they need to have. And then I get a copywriter, a marketer to take a look at that job posting and rewrite it so that it pops off the page and reads more like a sales out.

[00:12:45] That way, I'll stand out from all the rest of the electrician's job postings that I pay about kind of the 18th percentile of the bell curve so they can get a little bit more somewhere else, but will pay more than most people will pay. And I'll put that compensation right in the actual job posting. Interesting. I also give 5 weeks paid vacation to every employee and that costs you nothing more. Right. It's the same amount of money, but then no one quits. Everyone wants to pay you. Retention goes up, your training cost goes down, your sick days go down. You make it a use it or lose it policy. So they have to take those days off during the period, the twelve months. December 30 first. Any days they haven't taken, they lose it. But every month you're pushing them to take more vacation time. So all of a sudden employees recharged and are happy and then it's easy to recruit.

[00:13:28] Yeah. Yeah. No, I agree. Having run technology services for many years, that was always, you know, those kind of benefits. I mean, you know, people want money, but people want, you know, a good quality of life. And if you can't start providing some of those other benefits, it's incredible how it helps you really kind of hire at the top of your the market rent or the higher quality. In terms of the market that you're going after.

[00:13:49] Like North Americans suck. Like if they would actually get their head off their ass and compare themselves against the rest of the world real.

[00:13:56] The rest of the world is five or six weeks paid vacation. This whole thought of like to. I would never let my child go into work at a place for two weeks vacation. I'd be like, fuck that. Yes. Yeah. So, you know, Italy, they take off the entire month of April. Everybody, you know, they just shut down. So I think we have to start looking at then. But then what will happen is always really hard to find. Good people know it's really easy to find good people. It's easy to find great people. But they won't work for an average company. So if you turn your company into a above average, you'll find better people. All of a sudden you'll have happier customers, help your employees more profit share. Now, you can actually pay even a little bit more if everyone listening would go and check out a company called Redirect Health. Redirect. Health allows you to give free health care to every employee around one hundred and five dollars a month. Wow. Yeah. So think about now for eleven hundred dollars a year. You can give free health care to every single one of your employees. That becomes an unfair recruiting advantage. But instead of doing that, most people sit around. It's really hard to find good people. And how are the bears doing?

[00:14:56] That's not why I love it. Yeah, I can just imagine being coached. But I know I do. I don't disagree. I don't disagree. I love how you break it down. I'm curious about that. I mean, I think I know. Yes, I agree. I think it's hard to find good people.

[00:15:12] Here's and here's the thing that people will go back in while you guys were really an overnight success bullshit, like it took a long time to get to the night before we became the overnight success. And by the way. Three times, right? Yeah. You don't build the world's largest collusion or approaching the world's largest has been a company, the world's largest junk removal company by accident. That an awful lot of focus, faith and effort and a lot of kind of people really aligned and plot driving the flywheel, even even reading business books like so many people all but and read the miracle morning for entrepreneurs, but then they weren't putting the systems in place. Save your time.

[00:15:43] Don't read the book if you're not going to do it. A double right. Do you know a company out of New Jersey area called Gold Medal? You know Mike Engler? No, I don't. Tell me about it.

[00:15:53] I used to coach them there in the electrical age box, out hundreds of vehicles on the road when they finally sold the company. And these guys executed like mono maniacs. That's what makes the difference. Yeah.

[00:16:04] Yeah. Well, it's about discipline. I mean, I guess how I mean, is this something that you see either a company has it or doesn't? Or is it something a company can develop this kind of real executional discipline?

[00:16:13] It's part of your DNA and it has become part of your core values. Right. So you have to. And this is where Jim Collins in the book, Good To Great, talked about getting the right people off or on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and everybody in the right seats. Most companies won't fire the toxic underperforming players. So if you have those toxic underperforming see players walking around your business like the guys who smoke and just sit and watch the sports all we can. They're not driven. They're not focused. They're not pushing hard. They're not self learners. If you hire people that come in on us on Monday morning, go, dude. I watched for TED talks on the weekend and I was doing this charity thing and I was like reading this book on such and such. Their business will explode. And those people are out there. You have you have to, one by one, hire those right people and then one by one to line those right people.

[00:16:57] You know, I talk about this concept with a vivid vision and showing people what your company looks like, ox like and feels like in three years. So they're excited about why they're a part of it and what they're building. They're not just part of the job.

[00:17:08] Well, so let's talk about the division, because I think that's a really interesting it's interesting book. Interesting concept. And I was looking online and you're I think you have your vivid vision for C O alliance on there. I'm pretty sure that's what I was looking at. And it's for 2019. But you wrote it in 2016, correct?

[00:17:24] I have I actually have a diary this August to write my 20 22 vivid vision for the CEO Alliance. It's already in my calendar to be working on it this August.

[00:17:33] So tell us about that vision and tell us about the process. And then I'd be curious to talk about CEO Alliance in terms of how that vision has impacted the process and the development of growth of that part of your business.

[00:17:43] Sure. So the idea of the vivid vision is that I got this idea from an Olympic coach. So Olympic athletes, high performance athletes will actually visualize themselves performing their event. So they will picture themselves, role themselves through the event hundreds of times. You know, a high jumper will close their eyes and picture themselves running up, going up over the bar multiple times so that when they're doing it, it's kind of happening completely on instinct in business world. More often than not, the entrepreneur has an idea of what they want the company to look like, but they haven't explained it to anybody else.

[00:18:19] So imagine if you kind of leaned out into the future. Imagine if you hopped into a time machine and you went out three years from today to December 30 first three years from now, and you could describe what your company looked like, act like and felt like. And it becomes a four page description, four or five page written description. You describe marketing. Describe I.T.. Describe operation was. Describe sales. Describe your leadership team. You talk about what your customers are saying about you, what the market is responding to. You talk about your pricing. Talk about your employee engagement. Talk about your suppliers. You literally describe every aspect of your business as if it's already come true without work, without worrying about how you make it come true. And then the idea is you get a writer to help you polish that up. So it's really professional and feels good and adds and graphic design elements to it. And then you give a copy of that to everyone. So when everyone can read what the future of your business feels like, it acts like they want to be a part of it and they want to be a part of helping you build it.

[00:19:18] I know. And I love the idea that you write it in sort of past tense like you're writing in as this has happened. It's not it's not I hope these things happen or this will happen in the future. This is you're in the future looking back.

[00:19:30] Yeah, we actually read it. And present tense, it's called us. We actually say, I got it in my office. And it looks like this. My employees are saying this. My customers are saying this. Like, you write it as if you're standing there literally, as if you hopped into the DeLorean. Michael J. Fox well into the future.

[00:19:45] What should this fucking officer's cool look?

[00:19:48] Amazing. And that's really where the power of this comes.

[00:19:51] And where it gets exciting is when you can harness that energy, because the reality is most people are not going to get that excited about what your business looks like today. Yeah, yeah. But if you go too far, if you go five or 10 years, it's too far out there. But three years out is far enough to provide some good tension and excitement and they can actually work toward something.

[00:20:09] Yeah, and I like that. I'm a big believer in in a three kind of a three year plan. We do twelve quarters thirty six months where we actually just lay out what's happening quarter by quarter because I think it is it's far enough that you have to do some planning but. So far that it becomes too abstract. So I like the three year time period. And how does the cycle work? So now. For example, like the CEO Alliance you're coming up on, you know, I think it's written as it's the end of 2019. So we're a couple of months away from that. Do you keep updating it or you write every three years you write a new three year. How do you how do you handle that?

[00:20:38] Three years? You write another three year vivid vision. So, yeah. So I haven't touched it other than rereading it. Sending it to customers. Sending it to suppliers.

[00:20:46] I send it to my accountants like everyone around me, sees my vivid vision and knows what it feels like, but can still make a note right now again to send kind of been a couple of quarters and send it to my lawyer and my accountants and I got to send a copy of my vision. I all of them again.

[00:21:00] So what? Yeah. What I try to do is have everyone see what my vision of my company looks like and then they conspire to help me make it come through.

[00:21:09] And I guess, how are you doing? I think if you look at your 20 19 vision for a CEO alliance, are you achieved all those things? Are you close to or is anything you're gonna miss? How do you deal with that kind of the delta?

[00:21:20] Well, so what's interesting is when I wrote it, we had not even started it yet. So I have the CEO Alliance and I had no members, I had no brand, I had no logo. I had I had nothing in the dream.

[00:21:34] You had a dream like.

[00:21:36] So now we've run 15, 6, 15 or 16 events.

[00:21:40] We're having our first event next week here in Vancouver, Canada. We have members from all over the world. We've had members from four different countries come. We launched the second in command podcast attending to the marketing of it. Our pricing has remained high. It's twenty thousand a year for a member to join and they pick five of the five events. It's like three of the five to come to. A lot of the stuff has kind of worked itself out. And then there's probably a couple of little things that haven't happened. We have not launched our online community yet, but the online community is now becoming something that I know will happen over the next three years because we get too much demand for the program and not everybody is the right fit, right. So we have to take 100 people that apply 10 or the right fit. I need to send those 90 somewhere else because they should be a part of some community.

[00:22:24] Interesting. Yeah. So it's not that you want to just drop them. It's rather. How do I how do I channel them into the right solution for where they are and what they need.

[00:22:32] Again, that's listening to your customers, right. In 1990, people saying, I want to give you money, I want to be a part of something. I go should I should create a something and take that money from you and give you value. Like, what do you need? I want to learn this stuff, OK?

[00:22:45] How do you want to learn it? Would you like to learn online? If I just ask them questions and talk to them and create some kind of like. It'll probably end up being a closed private Facebook group with a Dropbox of resources. And then once every two weeks, I'll come on and do a live Q and A in a video. But they will connect in that community. That will probably be the program. Yeah.

[00:23:04] I like the idea. You really you know, it's product or service design based on iterative conversations with customers or customer driven kind of evolution iterations talking creation, a vivid vision. So you mentioned the first one you did was was you you didn't have any one yet.

[00:23:20] You know, now that you're gonna do this again, is this do you go off on, you know, climb some mountain and sit there and ponder? Do you sit with your leadership team? Do you bring in outside people? Like how do you how do you create a vision for a company that's in flight that has, you know, has a group around it already?

[00:23:34] Yeah. You do not involve your leadership team and management team in creating the vision of the future. It's really up to the entrepreneur in the CEO to know what the future looks like and feels like. And it's up to the team to figure out how to make that come true. I'll give you the best example of that possible. Yeah, let's say you're a homeowner and you want to do a renovation of your kitchen or you want to build a house. Do you want the do you want the electrician to design your cabinets? No. Do you want the plumber to decide how your home looks now? Do you want the contractor to figure out how many bedrooms? No, of course not. So you want to have the vision for what your house looks like and you're going to give them sketches and drawings and pictures out of magazines and say, like, this is the kind of house I want you to build. This is what it needs to look like and feel like they then the contractor will go away with an architect and create the blueprints or the plan to make your vision come true. He will sign off on your vision. You'll sign off on his plan, and then they give the plan to the employees. But when you get too many people involved, it becomes something. And the homeowner is just not that excited about it because everybody else does on the home instead of them. Yeah. The vivid vision of your company is the same thing. The reason we start companies is because we want to build something. The reason other people join companies as employees is they want to help someone build something. If they wanted to build their own vision, they would. Yeah, they might take some of their ideas because you know them and you go, yeah, that's a cool idea. It'll become part of it. But they really have to buy into the vision of what you're building. They have to see it. They have to feel it.

[00:25:03] Yeah. And I like that that the the founder of the CEO, that the head head leader of the company needs. It's their responsibility to really write that, to visualize it or to put it into terms that other people are gonna be inspired by, clarified by to create alignment around that. I'm talking.

[00:25:21] Ceo Alliance, so I know that, you know, you've been kind of both sides of the leadership team there. Tell me about this relationship between a C CEO, Cee Lo. Why why is this important? Why have you focused on the CEO side of it where? Tell me about your kind of take on that and why you think that is so important to successful companies.

[00:25:41] Yeah. So I've played the second in command role a few times in companies and I've also been a part of a lot of groups for entrepreneurs. You know, you think about Wipro and you know, and this is a genius network and maverick and go abundance and war room and has all these amazing places for entrepreneurs to be a part of. And then there's trade associations for electricians and lawyers and marketers, et cetera. But there was never a place for the CEO. So I went on to create a network and a mastermind for second in commands to go and learn from each other. So that's what the CEO Alliance is. And then even my podcast, the second in command podcast, we only interview second in command. We will never interview the CEO it. I want the rest of the story. I want to hear the operational side.

[00:26:21] So what I learned from being a CEO is that it's kind of like a husband and wife raising a family. If you ask if you ask the husband, how did you raise your kids, you would have a very true story. He would tell you how they raised the family. It would be very accurate if you asked the wife. How did you raise your kids? She would have a very true story. It would be completely different from what the husband would say. And it would be absolutely true. So what I recognized was CEOs and CEOs have very different views on how they're building the company. And both of them are very accurate. We've been teaching the wrong person how to grow the company. We should not teach the CEO how to grow the business. We should teach the CEO what needs to happen. But we should teach the CEO and the management teams how to do it. Yeah, right. So CEOs need to know that there should be some structure around meetings that meetings should have some formats. The reason I wrote meeting suck at the CEO and the managers and the employees should read the book meeting stock and should implement it. Yeah. All right. See, you should know that we need to have a leadership development programs. We need to grow our people. CEOs need to know how to grow the people because the CEOs can't do all that stuff. They just need to be aware of it. The CEO needs to know how to do it.

[00:27:31] And if I'm a CEO and a company who's been reasonably successful but is struggling with growth and I don't have a CEO. How do I find one? What does that process look like? How do I how do I find the right person to be my CEO? Based on the company, based on who I am, based on leadership, a set process.

[00:27:49] Great question. I actually cover a little bit of that in the book, The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs as well. So the first step in finding a CEO is making sure that you actually have an executive assistant.

[00:27:59] So, you know, if you don't have an executive assistant, you are one. I love that phrase.

[00:28:04] First things first is make sure you hire. Like a really solid executive assistant who take a lot of the stuff off your plate that you suck at, but you don't love that are minimum wage jobs. I get all that stuff off your plate. Leverage your time. Next part is make a list of all the key things that you would have a second in command do for you. What are the key projects, key areas that they would run? Because if you're a really strong finance oriented CEO, you don't want to finance oriented CEOs. If you're a really strong marketing focused CEO, you don't want a marketing focused CEO. So figure out all the stuff that you need to get off your plate. That is really impactful, high impact stuff that you suck out or don't like and make sure that you hire a second in command who is really great at that and loves doing that.

[00:28:46] Really? That's a good point. And it's going to keep an eye on that because I think there's a mistake. I see a lot of CEOs, Max, and they they bring in someone that looks too much like themselves or is too similar to them rather than kind of complimenting.

[00:28:58] I mean, is that my brother is, I think, one of the best examples of this. He and his wife, they divide up what they call the pink jobs and blue jobs at their house. And some of the pink jobs are not really pink jobs. Some of the pink jobs, like his wife likes changing the oil in the car. So that's a pink job. I like brother. My brother likes cutting the grass. So that's a blue job. But my brother likes washing dishes. So that's a blue job and he doesn't like me. So dividing up your roles of the CEO CFO is first part. Second one is making sure that you recruit someone who on day one you trust so much you would give them the keys to your company passwords, bank account information on day one. If you don't have that level of trust, you haven't finished doing the interviewing and reference checks to the next part of this is you put a title related to all the stuff the person's doing. So the second command doesn't have to be called the CEO. It could be a general manager. It could be a director of operations. It could be a BP of operations. It could be a CEO. By the way, that's the same for every title in your organization. You don't necessarily need a CFO.

[00:30:01] You might need a controller or an accountant or a bookkeeper or a BPO finance or director or finance or a CFO. So be careful with the title you give. Because people tend to want more money for it. I think the role has all of a sudden elevated.

[00:30:14] And I think that's important. I think that, you know, getting the right CFO in place, the right director financing, you know, figuring out these roles. I think. I've seen many companies stall or, you know, hit the ceiling because the CEO is either unwilling or unable to to figure out that design. Figure out who do I need to surround myself by both in terms of the nature of the company and what we do and the services that we provide. And in terms of who I am and what I'm good at, what I'm not good at, what I'd like to do, what I don't like to do, and what is the company going to need. I mean, it just maybe as a company gets to a certain level, you need certain capabilities, certain functions that are going to have, you know, leaders within it.

[00:30:48] The reason that most companies stall in that spot is because they're actually trying to focus on what do I need next? Instead of saying, OK, forget about next, what's my company look like in three years? What's my vivid vision look like in three years now? What's my org chart look like in three years? What's my org chart look like in two years? What's my org chart look like twelve months from now. Oh, ok. Now I see I should maybe hire a couple of those people a little bit early, hire ahead of the curve. But if we're trying to kind of like if we're always just making what we have a little bit bigger, it's hard to visualize what we need because we're not looking for a vote.

[00:31:22] Yeah. Yeah. Call it swimming the underwater cavern. I mean, sometimes we need to make moves that are temporarily painful. Yes. They're going to disrupt the organization. I'm going to hire someone who's, you know, maybe there's gonna be overly capable for a period of time. But I'm hiring for my twelve month plan or my 20 for my plan and getting those people in place now so that I can actually build at that level. And that's hard. It's hard to do without a strategy. It's hard to do without some forethought.

[00:31:45] I learned a great outage or outage around this years ago. And it was the two guys that are out in the forest and they have teams of people cutting down trees and competing against each other. And the one guys got this very efficient group and they're cutting down all the trees and really working hard. And they're focused and they're aligned and they're driving really hard. And he's got the entire team cutting down trees and the other leader climbs up the tallest tree. He looks around and goes, holy shit, we're in the wrong forest.

[00:32:10] I love it.

[00:32:11] I think leadership is often about slowing down and looking around and figuring out where you're going and aligning your three resources, your people time and money in that direction. But we often don't take pause for that. We often just wake up in the morning working really hard and checking our e-mail and we don't think about the future. So I work everything backwards. I think about the future and I reverse engineer that now makes sense.

[00:32:32] But I think the important thing is having, as you mentioned, kind of having that rhythm are that process of thinking strategically, you know, whether it's once a week or every other week or once a month. You've got some kind of rhythm process in place to to be able to do the strategic work on the business, not just, you know, execute, actually could execute. So I think that's great advice. Any other thoughts or things that you typically see for four CEOs or leaders in surface businesses? In terms of where they get stock and how they move through some of those or one of them is I think they're always trying to figure it out.

[00:33:01] So I look at a lot of entrepreneurs. The reason might my core purpose is helping entrepreneurs make their dreams happen. I just try to give them the cheat sheets and the shortcuts because business is not that difficult. We overcomplicate it. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are like a fly trying to go out the window. You see those flies and they like I mean, their head in the window. They're going to try harder and try harder. And sure enough, by the end of the day, they're lying dead on the windowsill. And they've worked hard and they've tried hard, but they didn't actually slow down to kind of look where they're going. They didn't realize there's a door 10 feet away that's wide open. So I think a lot of entrepreneurs are trying hard and working hard instead of doing my R and D stands for rip off and duplicate.

[00:33:41] I like it. Right. So as an example, I saw a great job out the other day on a marketing piece on Facebook. So I copied it it into an email, sent it to myself and I said R.A. So one of the things I'm doing today is I'm going to take that posting and I'm going to rip it off, change it up, and I'm going to run with it instead of me to figure out a job posting from scratch. I can take a burger insert second in command.

[00:34:05] So I love it. I love it.

[00:34:06] If people want to find out more about you, about the books, about CMO alliance. What's the best place to get that information?

[00:34:11] Yeah. All five of my books are available on Amazon Audible and iTune. So if they look up any of my books or look at my name, they'll see them all.

[00:34:18] The book meetings suck is written so that every employee at every company will read that book because it actually teaches you not just how to run meetings, but also how to attend them, how to participate at the middle change companies. Awesome. And the second in command podcast is another great one where they get a lot of really great operational ideas. So the second command podcast and then the CEO Alliance logs are doing at least 8 million in revenue. The CEO Alliance is a great place to look to get your second command trained up.

[00:34:44] Awesome. I'll make sure that all those links are in show notes so that people can click through and get those. Cameron, this has been a pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time. I've learned a lot. I'm sure our guests learned a lot. I really appreciate it.

[00:34:53] Thanks, Bruce. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

[00:34:57] You've been listening to Scaling up Services with Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt. To find a full is a podcast episodes. Download the tools and worksheets and access other great content. This is a Web site that scaling up services dot com and toll free to sign up for the free newsletter scalingupservices/newsletter.