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EOS Part 2: Insider Tips & Tricks – Jeni and Nick Clift – Episode 105





integrator, leadership team, people, role, meeting, business, issues, clients, question, implementer, EOS, Nick, session, sales manager, rocks, absolutely, reasonable timeframe, person, bit, capacity


Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:00

Welcome to another special episode of Better Business better life, where myself Nick and Jeni Clift are talking about what the heck is EOS. And some of the questions, common questions are actually asked about EOS by our clients or people who are considering adopting EOS into their practice. We actually recorded this as a whole podcast episode. And we’ve broken it down into two pieces to make it easy to digest. So if you’re keen to listen to part one, then please go back to last week and have a look for part one. And this is part two, continuing on that journey.

Jeni Clift  00:29

So I’m going to ask some questions around when I’m talking to potential clients. So one of the things that I get sometimes is okay, so we’re really keen on on signing up and doing this EOS thing.

Jeni Clift 00:42

But we’re going to wait until x happens. So have you ever had that, you know, whether that’s our you know, we’ve got a bunch of projects on so we just want to get these down. Or whatever it might be. But have you had that question? And how, what’s your response been? Yeah,

Nick Clift  01:01

Yeah. um, I haven’t, to be honest, I haven’t really had a lot of that challenge. Because the way I been approaching it when I, when a client is the ask, little bit of a question that EOS I’m pretty good at explaining the benefits that have happened to us. And, and it’s like, you don’t need to have things you don’t like you don’t go and cut your hair, and go to the makeup artists before you employ someone to do your hair and makeup for a wedding, for example. Or you don’t go mow your lawn before you get the lawn mower guy to come in. And I just have a whole bunch of analogies like that. And I say, Well, why do you think you need to complete all these projects and recruit an extra person on the leadership team and we’ve got a problem with Bill over in accounts, we need to fix him up before we can start this process as well. That’s one way of doing it. But we could start the whole process together. And I can guarantee you, we will touch on all of those things, we will solve all those issues on the journey through and you’ll bring everyone on the same page on the same journey and you end up with a hugely better result. So I probably don’t let people use that as an excuse to be honest with you.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  02:10

And I love your analogies. So that’s really cool talking about you know, not mowing the grass before or cleaning your house for the house when it comes right someone like us that they relate to? And to answer your question, Jeni, I think that I always ask the question. So what’s going to happen when that when that thing happens, like what’s going to be different? And you know, sometimes I get a bit cheeky, and I go, so how’s it working for you at the moment? Because if we keep doing the same thing over and over again, we’re gonna get the same result. So why don’t we try something a little bit different because I know that the the tools and the framework we have will actually give you a real opportunity as an accent to kind of pull these minds together and actually help solve these issues potentially quicker than you would do if you tried to do it on your own. So yeah, what’s holding you back? What’s the difference? If you’d if you did solve that, first.

Nick Clift  02:53

All the answers are generally in the room already, what most businesses have very smart people in the business. And sometimes they just don’t have an environment or a platform to express themselves and, and had they’re in a safe, supportive way. And once you create that environment, with your leadership team, or any team in the business through that, through the process of saying we’re here to deal about a business issue, nothing personal, everybody’s voice is equal. There’s no hierarchy in these meetings. Once you’re in the meeting, you’re all treated equals. And I start all my sessions with saying it’s a it’s actually a privilege to be here, the owners of this business, and trust in the future of the company to you guys in this room. So it’s a privilege to be here, don’t waste the time here. And your input is required and and is valued. So just don’t hold back and nothing you say will be able to hold against you in the room. And there’s some interesting things come out of that. And, yeah, that’s as assets implemented or allowed or able to go to places where potentially our line manager couldn’t go. Because they’ve got the history with the personnel, they’ve got to sit next to him tomorrow, whereas I don’t, I’m only there once a quarter and I can be the bad guy. It’s always with the best intentions for the company, obviously.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:05

I call it poking the bear. But I always preface that by saying, you know, I love poking the bear. But I actually do it for a different place where I actually want to make sure that there’s poor on bears aren’t doing itself any disservice. And I think you’ve touched on a really interesting point there’s, you know, when you’re in the any teammate or the leadership team or the sales team meeting, you are or absolutely equal. And sometimes the answers to these things come from the most unusual places. So I remember working with a client where they had a real major cashflow issue, and normally you kind of go well that’s for the finance person to deal with or whatever. And in actual fact, that was the chef in the business who kind of came up with a solution. Because once we’d really identified what the real issue was, we went around discussed it and this person who generally kind of cooks food sort of went well. How about we try this? Okay, genius. So you know, it’s not it’s nice to have the power of other people to him helping you solve your problems.

Jeni Clift  04:57

Absolutely. And somebody who’s not in the wage who’s got that? And sort of, you know, potentially still in the business, but a bit of a, you know, sort of, you know, a step back from what’s going on can come up with some great ideas.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  05:09

Yeah. So what do you say, Jeni? When you get asked that?

Jeni Clift  05:13

Probably something along the lines of I do like Nick’s analogies around, you know, or as you said, Debra, you know, you don’t clean the house before the the housekeeping Hill House planner comes. But I think more around. So how long have you had, you know, X in the business are, you know, 20 years? Well? Are you going to wait another 20 years? Yeah. So that’s how I handle it. But it is one that I do get sometimes of I, you know, we just need to get through this phase. Okay. And the one business in particular that I had this conversation with same industry, as Nick and I have been in and 25 years that had the same issue going on for 25 years or so? Well, you know, I’m hoping to not still be working in another 25 years. But, you know, perhaps we don’t need to wait quite that long. Exactly. Perfect. And the other question I have, I’ve actually had this question, but it’s certainly a, you know, a topic that I hear in our community as implementers is when people say, you know, why would I pay for an implement, implement, I can buy the book I can solve implemented, but why would I go and pay for somebody to do this? So if you have had that question, or if you did get that question, what would your response be?

Nick Clift  06:30

There? Why what? I have heard that like that question, and my answer is always the same. It’s like, it’s like people that drive fancy cars, when I call fancy car, but the I call practical car like an Audi or, versus I wonder if they had to or something. getting from A to B is a journey, you can choose to take an uncomfortable, difficult journey with lots of stops, or you can get in a business class flight and go this quickly. And that’s, that’s what I think the whole EOS methodology is it’s not there’s nothing magic about it, there’s nothing that you couldn’t do yourself. There’s nothing, there’s no magical tool. It’s hasn’t been taught in other business schools over the years. But it’s the combination in this regard, doing it regularly. And having that accountability is the number one thing and from my own experience, holding yourself and your life partner, business partner, coworker, manager, children in your business accountable is very difficult to hold them accountable. Whereas an external implementer can be that accountability partner, you know, we’re not there every day of the week. But definitely once a quarter, we’re there and we’re absolutely shining the spotlight on every single part of it. So there’s, that’s kind of a major Vantage I see of an implementer plus, plus the experience that we bring, with Debra’s got years of running other businesses, we’ve run our own businesses for 30 years. It depends what you’re looking for. And that’s probably how you go through the process of choosing an implementer. Yeah, we all deliver the EOS, methodology and tools and education the same way. But it’s our unique experiences that and how you relate to people that can add super value to your team, that’s for sure.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  08:16

Yeah. And personalities as well. I mean, you’ve got to actually, I think the relationship with an employer is a really important one, they’ve got to feel comfortable working with you and vice versa. But I use eyes analogy myself on this one, I always say it’s like, it’s like having a personal trainer versus just signing up to a gym. So you know, you can sign up to a gym and you can go along. And sometimes you might do the exercises, sometimes you kind of go on for a little bit lazy to say I won’t bother, or you know, a personal trainer who’s actually there alongside you. And with my personal trainer, she’s not only there alongside me and pushing me when I don’t want to do it, even when I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine the night before, which is also then got an app as well. And she’s actually keeping track of things for me and making me track my food intake and my exercise and everything else. And so it’s kind of like putting on steroids is actually you’re still going to get to the end goal, but you’re going to get there a whole lot quicker, because you because I need someone to actually hold me accountable. But also, more importantly, she doesn’t get tied up in all this stuff, if you’re doing it within your own business. And you absolutely can and there’s nothing wrong with that. But you have relationships in there with people that can sometimes just make it a little bit hard to call out the elephant in the room, or to poke the bear or to you know, so it’s like actually having somebody external, they’ve got a little bit more permission to do a little bit reveal more cheeky about asking the questions. And we and I always say we don’t tell people what to do. We never do with the dumpers at the front of the market. But we are external and therefore we can ask the right questions. And like Nick said, based on your experiences, we’ve I’ve worked with about 500 companies of my coaching career, and you know, 10 or 20 in my actual business career, and so I don’t have the answers, but I know the right questions to ask, which will help you come up with the answers.

Nick Clift  09:52

And there is definitely a theory that you cannot work on a system if you’re part of that system. So like facilitating a full day strategy session, if you are a senior executive in that business and you’re the facilitator of the day, it means you’re not participating in the thinking part and contributing to the actual strategy. So that that’s amazing is that probably the number one thing and the feedback I get from the clients I work with that, just just the external facilitation on the day, aside from all the tools on so that stuff is gold, but the whole, you know, as we support our clients on the way through the whole journey, I think it really does add up. And I take even for me, I can’t even take notes in a meeting. If I’m taking notes on June now, I’m not contributing to that meeting at all. That’s just me, some people we have one of genuine my fellow EO, Melbourne members is an absolute machine, he can generate, like 30 pages of notes from a one hour meeting, and still contribute and listen. So I don’t know how he does it. But he just He’s like one of the unicorns, but that’s not me.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  11:01

He’s one of he’s one of the million except

Nick Clift  11:05

It’s either going in or it’s coming out. I can’t do both at the same time.

Jeni Clift  11:10

We weren’t mentioned anything about that mile, you know, general generalization of, you know, you can’t walk and talk. Well, we

Nick Clift  11:18

Absolutely can do both at the same time.

Jeni Clift  11:22

Yeah, I think, yeah, a couple of things. So Nick, one thing you mentioned, there was a good segue for my next question, which is, as an implementer, what’s your best or favorite comment or feedback that you’ve had from a client?

Nick Clift  11:36

So this was a client that I met through association, and we had a meeting and we decided to progress together. And they’d been working with this another external strategy coach for five years. So I was, I was very confident of the EOS was the right thing for them where they were in their journey. But it was a little bit of a bit of nervousness about, hey, I’m the new guy coming in to take this leadership team on a genuine, they’ve had another guy, and he happened to be in session as well. So the previous strategy guy, so I was kind of thinking and anyway, getting the cut to the chase at the end of the day, the CEO Conklin said, mate, that was amazing. I did not see that discussion. And it was about the accountability chart and the the the key roles in the business and said, I did not see that going that direction. And different people were in different roles, the where they were at the in the morning session that started the day, and he said, That was amazing. Everyone was crystal clear on a knew exactly what they needed to do for the next period. Okay. Yep. So that’s what it’s all about. And just that crystallization of it at lunchtime, it was complete confusion. There was upset people there were grumpy people they were they were not like, how am I job isn’t the line and this kind of stuff. And then after lunch, they came back and all crystallizing. Man, this makes so much sense. And everyone was happy. So that’s probably the best feedback I’ve ever had after a session aren’t really appreciated. Yeah, and they’re rolling with it. And you know, they’ve had a couple of changes in the leadership team since then. But they definitely got the right people on the right, on the right path now.

Jeni Clift  13:14


Debra Chantry-Taylor  13:18

So mine was I actually got feedback from a client that they got more clarity in one day with me than they had in 17 years of business. And to me that was just like that. That’s what we do it for, right? Because when you have those light bulb moments, it’s just great. And I mean, I’m very fortunate, I’ve got a lot of feedback from clients about the things that they actually achieved. But that to me was the one that nailed it for me.

Jeni Clift  13:40

For me, I have a client who’s one of their sort of operations or client services manager was really quite sort of non committal, you know, very much in that. Yeah, I don’t think we need this. It’s a great place to work. We all love the owner, you know, we’re doing okay, do we need something like this? And in the next session, I think she wrote it our first day together, maybe a seven or eight out of channels, kind of like, you know, it’s sort of in that seven, it’s which is kind of okay. And in our next session, she, maybe 10 minutes into the session, she said, Oh, Jenny, Jenny, can I write the day now it’s a 10. Because you know how much I think we needed this, which has become an ongoing joke. She’s always like, I was the number one fan, I thought that we absolutely needed to do this, which is just this ongoing, sort of in joke. And her. One of her expectations for the day was that she would learn something and within the first 10 minutes, she had learned something so she was by you know, we’d started at nine and by 9:15. She rated at a 10. And, and it’s really nice to have sort of been part of that turnaround and it is a great business. They’re doing really great things and made a few, as you said, Nick made a few changes on the leadership team that have been for, you know, absolutely what the business needed. But she’s now one of my biggest sort of fans and always referring people to me. And, you know, but but that ongoing joke of, you know, I was the one who thought we needed this I was all in, it’s just become sort of our, our private choke if you like, excellent.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:23

And you’ve got a really valid point there. I think the fact that every single meeting we run in EOS is actually rated is really, it was a bit of an eye opener for me, because, you know, I’ve worked in council for 18 months on my sins. And we’d have meetings for meetings for meetings for meetings sake, and, and nothing and nothing ever got done. And we all just kind of had nice little cat sandwiches and little little mince pies. It was all beautiful. But the fact that we write every single meeting, including the weekly meetings, the quarterly meetings, all of those, it’s all about actually recognizing what’s working, what’s not working, and looking to improve each time. So even when you get your statements, it’s like, what can we do better. And I really enjoy that not only for my clients weddings, but when we actually meet with our clients, the fact they write how we work together on that day is great feedback for us all the time.

Jeni Clift  16:06

Absolutely. Yeah. Nick, any questions?

Nick Clift  16:09

Yeah, I’ve got a couple one, one that comes up a lot. And it’s kind of at the start of the journeys, who should come to the focus day, which is our first major day. And traditionally, it’s about building the leadership team. But the challenge is, you don’t have too many people there. But you also don’t want to leave people out that contributed. So that’s kind of questions I’ve had. So I’d be interested to hear how you guys have handled that question.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  16:37

So I’m gonna be really honest, in the beginning, not so well. So one, my first two focus days, I actually had 10 and 11 people in the room, because they were some one was there was a whole bunch of shareholders. And the other one was, they were actually all part of the senior leadership team in the existing company. And so I thought they actually had to be there because their shareholders they need to be involved in the setting of the strategy for the business, etc. And when the second one, it’s like, well, we’ve got 11 People who think they’re on the leadership team. So we probably should work out whether they should or shouldn’t be, my recommendation now is to say, hey, look, this is going to be really, really confronting, I would much rather that you think about the people you expect to be on the leadership team, usually four to eight at most in the leadership team that could be in that room. If there’s anybody you think might not be, I’d much rather not have them come to that session. And maybe somebody who didn’t come to that session come into the leadership team later, than have them in there sort of disrupting the day, but feeling bad about what’s going on. So you know, redefine what leadership team actually means. It’s not senior management. And this is not the senior leadership team from a title perspective. But it’s who are the people who will absolutely need to be involved in taking this business forward, or that lead the main functions of the business and just bring those people in? Look, my lesson? Yeah, had some big fights and those focus day sessions, which I did not want to repeat.

Nick Clift  17:58

Password, I haven’t had any interesting ones. But

Debra Chantry-Taylor  18:03

Yeah, I just there’s not much I haven’t seen a focus on I’m not I’ve lived we’ve had people and I say this, sharing this just because I think people need to understand it is a bit confronting, I have we have had tears, we’ve had one person who completely refused to engage at all. We’ve had people who’ve got almost into sort of fisticuff fights and things and, and as you said, it, that’s the first part of the day. And then by the end of the day, it’s all turned around every kind of is on the same page on the same what’s happening. But I think it’s important to note that, you know, we it’s always like you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. And so the focus day is really about breaking those eggs.

Jeni Clift  18:37

Absolutely. Yeah, and I very much along the line of what you said, Debra, I haven’t had I’ve had those conversations, where should we bring everybody? No, you either. Don’t invite them. If you think that they’re not going to be on the leadership team. Or if you do and they’re not, then you’re going to be the one to have that conversation to say, you’re not on the leadership team, often that will sort of stop people from putting out the you know, open invitation everybody come in. So it’s I always sort of do the less is more, you know, the ideal number of that four to eight. Closer to four is better. And really the people that you think will end up being part of that sort of key leadership team are the ones that need to be there because your people can be brought up to speed. If you have a new member of the team join we can bring them up to speed far more efficiently than having a big room of people who are really just don’t need to be there in the first place.

Nick Clift  19:44

Cool. My next question would be who who should be or what role should be the integrator and is that a dedicated role or is that a is that a existing person on the team? You That’s that’s a question that comes up a lot, generally prior to the session, but that question quite a few times interested to see how you’ve handled.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  20:09

This is actually a really interesting one for me, because people often say, oh, you know, EOS is just a framework, it’s a cookie cutter, it’s the same for everybody. And yet, in my experience of all the clients I’ve worked with, it’s so is not. So even though the framework is the same, there was so many different variations within those organizations. And so I’ve got some companies who have, you know, chosen to bring in an outside integrator, and often it’s not necessarily a full time role. So we have this kind of vision of a GM or a CEO or being a full time role as therefore the integrators be a full time role. But I had one company where they had 140 staff based around New Zealand. And they had a part time integrator who literally did one day a week, managing the leadership team and the special projects. And so it wasn’t a full time role. It doesn’t have to be, I had another company who actually employed somebody externally, to come in and do the integrator and the operations role, because the the two combined kind of made up a full time role. And it sort of made sense to do that. And then I’ve got other companies that actually just employ external fractional integrators, which is somebody who just comes in for a portion one or two days to actually do it. So I’ve had everything from people being, you know, elevated up into that role, once they prove their GW see it to people existing kind of wearing two hats to having fractional integrators

Nick Clift  21:25

Jeni, how about you?

Jeni Clift  21:28

Yeah, I sat in the integrator role in our business effectively for about 10 years prior to EOS. And then probably the first two years were running under EOS, I sat in that role. And, for me, I don’t think it was ever a full time role as integrator, but I sort of took on the sort of the admin side of the business as well, not so much finance, we had a fractional CFO. And my clients now, probably sort of sitting in that the integrator, one client is visionary integrator, and the others more sort of integrator and operations. So, not full time roles. To me, you need to be a decent size business to have a full time dedicated integrator, most of them sort of have a secondary role as well.

Nick Clift  22:23

Yeah, and that’s what I’ve experienced on the typically, if the company still exists of the originating founders, one of those ends up kind of in the visionary seat and one kind of ends up in the integrated seat because that’s how business starts. You gotta have someone with the ideas and someone who can execute makes perfect sense. But as the team’s grow and move it can be can be a sales manager, who has the integrator seat as well it can be done typically say finance managers having the integrator seek to be honest, or more operational, or project based SEO type roles. Yeah, but it’s just an interesting question that does pop up. And, and we kind of the thing I love about the EOS process is the team decides themselves in that session about the accountability chart. And if no one jumps out as the obvious choice, then that’s when it becomes a vacancy. And we’d get one recruit, we either get a fraction with to go to the command or some of the command teach someone to bring them up to speed. So yeah, I totally agree with what you got to say.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:32

And I think something I’d like to add to that as well, I think people see this integrator role as being so when I get a little bit of an ego thing, like, oh, look, I’m running the whole company. But they’ve got to understand it’s also one of the most challenging roles because they’ve got to have the tough conversations with all of the leadership team. They’ve got to keep that visionary in the visionary box and make sure they’re not, you know, messing around meddling in the day to day business operations, they’ve got to have the tough conversation with the visionary as well, and sometimes challenge them for these ideas that the visionary is absolutely hooked on and thinks is the best thing since sliced bread. Nobody mentioned robots here and actually had the conversation to kind of go, you know, is this really a good idea and be quite sort of staunch and quite firm with that, while not cutting things off? And not, you know, not sort of subduing the the enthusiasm of that team. So it’s not actually an easy job. I don’t think I’m keeping meetings running on time and that sort of stuff. It’s it’s a pretty challenging job

Nick Clift  24:24

and one of my clients. We’ve been working together for 12 months and I think we’re on the third person in the integrator seat. And yeah, initially a couple of goes was out of obligation. I’ve been here for a long time. I I can see that if I don’t be the integrator I won’t have a seat on the leadership team. So kind of the hat they put their hand up and we also know Okay, yeah, there was no other better option. But, but you have to trust the system it pans out. And over the next two quarters. That person rang me as the Arab Listen, I can’t do this anymore, I’m not the right person for the job. So when we do our next quarterly, let’s put that as an issue, we need to we need to resolve as a leadership team, that that’s perfectly fine. It’s quite common to happen as well.

Jeni Clift  25:15

I think the integrator, it’s more about the, you know, the capacity or the sort of natural tendencies of the person in that seat. You know, it needs to be somebody who’s quite organized, who is willing to have those conversations, difficult conversations, somebody who can sort of multitask, take on different projects and keep everybody, you know, on track. And traditionally, a a true visionary doesn’t perform in that role, because none of those things come easily to a visionary. So it can actually be more detrimental. I, I was, as I mentioned earlier, I was integrator in our business for a long time. And when we started the EOS process, I put my hand up for the role of integrator and said, you know, yes, I get it. Yes, I want it. Yes, I had the capacity. And one of our team called me out and said, bullshit, you don’t want that role. And I had to admit that he was right. Probably a little bit of sort of fear of, you know, will, you know, if I don’t do this, what do I do? A bit of obligation. And you know, that I, you know, everybody will expect me to do that. So that person actually stepped into that role in that meeting. But it became really clear very quickly, that he just wasn’t quite there yet. He just didn’t have some of the skills. So I actually stepped back into that role with a plan, I think a one year plan to upskill him and fill those gaps. Until and then hand that roll back over to him. And he, you know, the Monday, next Monday was the day that he was stepping into that role. And on the Friday he came to me, and he was in an absolute state, he could barely string words together to form a sentence and finally figured out that he was having a bit of a panic attack, because Monday was the day that he was stepping into that role. And he was just like, Oh, my God, you know, what have I signed up for here? So we pulled out the checklist. And we went through and said, you know, how have we done this? Yes, we have. Have we done this? Yes. So we went through the list. All of it was yes. As any said, Ah, okay, good. Oh, well, I’ll see you Monday then. And off you went. So sort of it just again, that EOS that, that process that checklist, the plan, just allowed for that transition, you know, I finished up on the Friday as integrator and he came in on Monday as the integrator and it was all handed over. And it just just worked. So, you know, but for me, stepping into the role as integrator. For me, it was absolutely obligation. I felt like that was the role that I was meant to be in. But, you know, whether it was fear, whether it was ego, I don’t know. But it, it worked itself out.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  28:13

It’s just one of the things I actually love about that whole accountability, chart building as well, because it’s the, it’s the only methodology that I have seen where we design the structure. And then we actually ask people what role they want. And you know that because they’ve always been in XYZ role that’s like, well, that’s the one I’ve always been in, we’re gonna know which one do you really, really want, and they get to put their hands up. And sometimes it doesn’t work out, they’re not the best person for the role, they don’t really realize it. But you’ve now got an understanding of where people’s, you know where their passions lie where they want to go. And it means you can actually do that whole development plan, like you just talked about, you can go okay, so you’re not quite ready to be an integrator yet, or not quite ready to be the the sales division leader yet. But we can now work on that, knowing that’s what you want to do. Let’s find out what the gaps are, help you fill them. And then that can be your future career pathway.

Jeni Clift  29:02

One of my early clients was three brothers in a business, and then another natural leadership team and another two on the leadership team. And in our first session, first off, maybe the second session, one of them said, you know, I actually don’t want to do this. I don’t like leading people. I don’t like having to come into the office, do all of these meetings. I just want to go and sell stuff. So he went from Sales Manager leadership team, and he was not performing. But he’d been in that role for, for memory seven or eight years, and cause no indifference or frustration to himself and everybody else. So he left at the end of that day, not on the leadership team, and everybody was so much happier, including him. But nobody had ever actually asked him. Did he want to do it which was a no and I I don’t think he’d even really asked himself, it was just sort of, you know, it had just kind of happened and evolved into him being in that role. And everybody thrived.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:11

He must have some stories to Nick.

Nick Clift  30:15

I had the perfect integrator in our business. Cecily made the transition between, from Jenny to our other general manager was was one of the AHA moments for us. And one of the the key things that we were on leave somewhere, we said to each other, this has actually worked, we’ve now we have actually achieved our number one goal, which was to build a leadership team, employee led company and where we can go on a holiday and not have to worry about the business because we’ve got all that stuff in place. We know the processes are happening. We know the level 10 meetings are happening. We’ve got people accountable for different roles. So that was, that was a really good process to go through. And like, like Jenny said, it took a couple of days to get it right. But we know that it’s probably the only other one I would add to that is one of our,

Jeni Clift  31:06

Nick, before you go on with that we were in a situation prior to EOS of not being able to take more than a week of leave. Because we’re both in that working in that business. And that was Wednesday to Wednesday. So we were there Monday, Tuesday, this week, we had a week off. And then next week, we’re back Thursday, Friday. And we’ve been doing that for years. And that holiday that Nick was talking about, we were away for five weeks, I think we got two phone calls. And when we came back to the office, everybody kind of went, Ah, you’re back. And I was like, Well, if you don’t need us, oh, actually, they don’t need us. So part of it was sort of like, oh my god, they don’t need us. But But yeah, all it was what we wanted, we’d finally been able to achieve it.

Nick Clift  31:55

So one example of of that kind of transition from roles to roles was I was the visionary plus, I was also the sales manager, you know, business development, and one of our sales team said that he wanted one of my job. interesting and nice. So just happened to be my son, and one of my sons. And it’s, that’s good to know. Thanks for your feedback. So we kind of did that. And then I think the next quarterly session bought it up again. What was his actual feedback? They were well, they initially wanted it. And then the next quarterly session, he said, I was doing a shit job as a sales manager. And we had an external sales coach at that time and see pretty much agreed. And then I think to other people in the meeting said, yeah, yeah, you’re right. So, so I the PwC. I didn’t, didn’t want it, you know, and I didn’t want I didn’t want to be the sales manager anymore. I did it out of obligation. A lot of people do.

Jeni Clift  32:54

And at that particular session, that second one, we had a new member of the sales team who’d been with the business, less than a month in May was your week three, maybe. And all of this is going on around him with this session. We’re running a sales team quarterly. And our son said to Nick, you know, you’re a shit sales manager doing a shit job. And there’s sort of this bit of sort of talk about, you know, that our sales coach agreed. And this new guy was literally slightly under the table, I think he he thinking, Oh, this is going this is going to get very ugly. There’s sort of this little face peering up over the desk. So I go, Okay, well, nobody’s, there’s no fisticuffs, everything’s okay. Jerry said to me afterwards, that was pretty wild.

Nick Clift  33:40

But once again, we all agreed that, yes, I didn’t want to, but at that particular time, the other guy didn’t have the capacity to do it. So we set a place in plan. And within six months, he got that role. And I stepped out of sales manager role, and just as an account manager, which is what I love doing on answering clients, so so it’s a real powerful tool.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:01

And just it’s a really interesting thing, that their whole capacity to do it. So when we do this, in the beginning, people think capacity means time capacity. But it’s a lot more than that, isn’t it? What would How would you how do you describe capacity,

Nick Clift  34:12

The capacity is you have the skills and knowledge to do the job in a reasonable timeframe. So there’s obviously going to be people that are faster and quicker, and people are slower, but there’s nothing external, you need to be able to fulfill that role in the business. That means you have the capacity, can you get better at it? 100% you can get better. And you might have more capacity, and you can take on some other things. But yeah, you’re generally getting it means that when you wake up in the morning, man, I love doing this. This is what I know what the job is. I really get it and I want it this is going to help me to achieve my goals where I want to get in life and where the company is going. And our capacity is I know what I know how to do the job. I’ve got all the technical skills and I got the ability. Yeah, I might struggle at some times to get it done faster than the other guy but Jim Only that’s okay. And from my perspective, the capacity is the only thing we negotiate on. If you don’t have a ticket and get it and taking one, there’s no no chance you can have that job. It just won’t work for the company. Yeah.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:13

Yeah, great.

Jeni Clift  35:14

And I, I guess I start with the get it and to me get it is you were born with a natural affinity for this role. So if it’s finance, you have a natural affinity for numbers, you you just, you know, you wake up in the morning excited about going and doing number II stuff. And capacity is your forte. It’s definitely my theory,

Nick Clift  35:41

You need to watch the show called 8 out of 10 Cats does countdown. If you want me I naturally get the numbers game, I get that numbers game, right. Probably more often than I get it wrong. The word one I’m loud, completely useless. So you can tell pretty quickly there’s some things you can do to tell Well, are you naturally affinity, affinity naturally aligned with numbers or with letters? So I’m definitely a numbers guy

Jeni Clift  36:08

With letters as mine.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  36:10

Mine too. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Jeni Clift  36:13

To me, so get it is natural affinity you were born with you know that in your DNA. And capacity is everything that you’ve done since then it’s your education. It’s your qualifications, it’s your experience to add to that natural affinity.

Nick Clift  36:28

That’s a good way to put it.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  36:29

I completely agree. The same with Nick. Nick said, you know, it is about that knowledge, skills, experience, but it is about being in a reasonable timeframe. So it doesn’t mean you have to be an absolute genius, or you have to be an absolute expert at it. There’s always room for improvement. But you have to better do it in a reasonable timeframe, we would expect not spend, you know, 10 hours doing a very basic invoice in accounting, for example,

Nick Clift  36:51

The main thing that PwC for me is that I don’t want to see a team of people where a role is assigned to an individual who doesn’t, it doesn’t really want it, they’re doing it out of obligation. Oh, well, I’ve been the sales guy for the last 10 years. So I should be the sales leader, your great friend Jack Dailey mean, he’d be between the eyes with a fruit get that last session I went to these big number one thing is a sales manager should never ever have a sales target. And that was my failure is throughout my entire history. As a sales manager, I always had the biggest sales target, as well. So naturally, I’m going to do my deals, and close those ones before I have time to help the other team members close their deals. And that’s not what I’m that’s a that’s a manager, not a leader. Like if you want to lead a sales team, and they did not have a sales target at all. And you’ve totally focused on helping the people in that team achieve their targets. And that was a real well, a really good consolidation of what I’ve learned in practical experience. But you haven’t told me that 10 years ago, I would have had a completely different resolver.

Jeni Clift  37:57

Yeah, and I loved what he said to about, you know, don’t take your best salesperson and make them the sales manager, because you want them in the team selling stuff. And it’s funny, yeah, when I think back through our journey, that’s exactly what we did. And at the time, I kind of knew, like, why are we doing this? But never kind of had took the time to think about why are we actually doing this because, you know, it’s just it’s sort of a natural thing. This person is really great at sales. So we’ll make them the sales manager, so they can lead the team. Know. So true,

Nick Clift  38:31

I’ve got another question that comes up a bit for me, love to get your insights on this one. And it’s to do with the to dues versus the issues and where the things sit, when they’re in between a rock and a to do. And, you know, because my experience with the clients and my clients myself, we end up with this massive, long to do list. And then the issues list, there seems to be some, for some reason, some desire to close all the issues at every meeting in generator, big loaded to dues. And what I’m trying to find out is how how have you helped people understand that it’s kind of the reverse that in my theory, that the issues list should be the big list of all the problems, and then the to dues what you’ve committed to do in the next seven days to solve those problems. So how have you guys found that and what’s what’s worked to get them on the right track?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  39:29

Yeah, similar to what you were saying is that I actually think the issues list doesn’t matter who he is, as long it should be. It’s kind of a holding, it’s like a parking lot for the things that are going on. And so you might take an issue and you might discuss it and you might solve it and that would become a to do but it will not may not have solved the entire issue is just the first step in solving that issue. And so put that to do on the to do list. And the issue kind of stays on the list because there’s still a phase two or phase three or whatever it comes from it. And people get nervous up and we’ve got 72 wishes on issues list. That’s okay. And in fact, you know, it can be as long as we’re actually taking the time to go through them and go, What are the most important ones, and we’re discussing the most important ones. And every once in a while cleaning up that list to go actually is still relevant. It’s a great holding place for all of that stuff that needs to be held somewhere. No, thanks.

Jeni Clift  40:19

Sorry. Yeah, I did that we, we did the same thing in our business. And I guess, sort of teach the same thing with clients is leave it on the issues list. So if some, something’s an issue, and somebody is on leave, for example, just put a date on it. So that, you know, when that person’s back from leave the first of February, then we’ll tackle that one. But don’t put it to do for somebody and date it in February when they’re back or put it to do in the den, you know, just sits there and become stale. Leave it on the issues list.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  40:51

And it comes down to because you know, we expect him to do 90% of those to dues in the seven days. So the whole thing of less is more again, right? We actually want to have the major issues. Sometimes there might be one or two or three that gets you know, sold in a meeting. And then that should lead to one or two or three to dues so you can come back next week and go, yes, nailed it. Yeah. And I had the same question about rocks sometimes will say, Well, what happens if we finish all of our rocks that’s like, awesome, you can do some more work, it doesn’t mean you have to stop.

Nick Clift  41:23

Because we set a due date of the next quarterly doesn’t mean you can’t finish it early. Like in fact, it’s because as soon as you this is obviously one of the highest priority challenges for the business, we’ve all decided as a team. So getting it done quicker, is going to bring more benefit to the business. Don’t wait to last week. Don’t do what we used to do in high school. We had an exam or an assignment do leave it all to the last weekend to get it all done. No, we want to do it right now. Start at the beginning.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  41:52

To be fair, that worked for me throughout university, but probably not so much. Because you’re right, the sooner you get it done, the sooner you actually reward benefits of doing it.

Jeni Clift  42:05

Yeah, I love the the the the description, one of the other EOS implementers. I heard give recently that, you know you have your 12 weeks to or 13 weeks to get your rock done. So for the first 10 weeks in each leadership meeting, or L10. Meeting you say, you know it’s on track. It’s on track on track. And then week 11, you say while crying? Does anybody remember what this rock was? Because I haven’t actually started it yet. And now I can’t remember what it was. And by 12 week 12 You’re, you’re off on stress leave a week 13 you’re MIA. You’re so on track is not I haven’t started it yet. And I can’t remember what it was. So making sure as integrator that you’re actually really holding people accountable and getting those regular updates, where are you up to, and but also, one thing we learned early on in our journey, running our business on EOS is the wording around rocks is so critical and don’t bite off more than you can chew. So we would want things like research, implement a new tool for whatever. And everybody using the new tool in 13 weeks? Yeah, impossible. So we learned because we’d researched it, we’d decided which one we’re using, and we’d started the implementation process. But we certainly hadn’t finished the implementation. And nobody was using it yet. So rock not done. Where if we’d researched, made the rockets research and decide, you know what tool we’re going to use, and perhaps you know, implementation plan or something along those lines, you can achieve that. And if you you know, do your research and pick something really quickly and roll it out in the quarter, that’s even better. But make sure that you actually have those rocks worded in a way that is achievable in that three month timeframe. Because you still have your job to do.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  44:05

Yeah, and that’s the other thing, when we think about working on the business work versus working in the business. You know, they say that is the whole 8020 rule. Again, you should be spending 20% of time working on the business, which is the rocks, the important stuff. And the other stuff is sort of working in the business. So that’s actually one day a week that you should be working on those rocks. So that could be two half days, that could be a full day. But you actually did put time aside because otherwise, when he actually did do these rocks, you know, they’re just gonna get you’re gonna get consumed with the day to day stuff or not to actually get it done. I also think that it’s important that you in order to not lose sight of the rocks it’s okay to ask in a level 10 meeting, I just wanted the level meeting. It’s okay to kind of go Hey, Jeni, I know that you keep saying that that rock is on track. But I would like to get an update on that and you drop that down to the issues list that becomes one of the lists the issues on the issues list, and then you may get round to it if it’s one of the most important things and you may not do, but it is okay. You’re not saying I don’t trust you. But I would say I’d like to get an update just so we can have a bit of a sense as to how you’re going with that. I think that’s perfectly acceptable.

Jeni Clift  45:11

Absolutely. Well, I’m actually working with one of Nick’s EOS clients at the moment, you know, I guess, a fractional integrator sort of a role. And I was working with one of their leadership team yesterday, because she has a couple of rocks, and she just wasn’t sure, I guess, sort of how to start the ball rolling, because they’re things that fall into her team. And she has accountability to get them done. But she’s going to use team members to actually do them. And I guess, do the legwork. So we went through, this is the rock, what does dumb look like? And then work back from backwards from there? What are the major steps, so then she can start allocating creative project effectively out of that news, one of their other tools, you know, to have those project steps, so and then she’s got the major steps, you know, the chicken, tick off those milestones. And, you know, just really sort of dig down and say, Well, you know, how am I actually going to get this done? And, you know, bite sized chunks, rather than looking at it saying, oh, you know, overwhelmed, don’t know where to start? I’m gonna go and you know, I don’t know, get a massage? And I’ll look at it tomorrow. Yeah,

Nick Clift  46:34

That’s cool. So the only other kind of share, I’d like to hear from everyone is the, I get a lot of questions about, should we be preparing for the level 10 meetings before we get to them? Or do we just rock up and do all the work in the meeting? So that’s kind of a question I get sometimes. And yeah, just be interested. So if you’ve come across that one before and had any, any advice, or any suggestions on how to maximize the effectiveness of these little team meetings.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  47:13

So if this is EOS pure or not, but I actually think it is quite important to kind of prepare for those meetings I’ll never forget, and I won’t say what plan it was. But I sat through a client level 10 meeting as we do to, to help them on that journey. And this person who was in charge of finance. The first issue wanted to do with was a budgets for the year when we got to the issues. And he spent about 45 minutes walking us through this massive, great big long spreadsheet. And I just thought, wow, you know, we’ve just spent 45 minutes just even getting to the, you know, the, under some of this spreadsheet is what was the outcome you really needed from that. And of course, when we’re observing, we can’t jump in, we just sit back and we listen, we see what goes on. But I said something. Now, imagine if you’d actually circulated that report beforehand, as a report, I’m going to present at the meeting. And the outcome that I’m going to need from it is, you know, your approval or any concerns that you might have from it. And then you could actually raise that as an issue. Now, that means you’re pre empting, that issue will get discussed, but one would assume it was pretty important if it’s the financials for the year, so it’s pretty likely it will get discussed. And I just think that sometimes by thinking about, you know, what can I possibly circulate beforehand? Or what can I have thought about beforehand, so I’m not going in there just winging, it’s great when we’re really good at it, but it’s not necessarily the best result for the organization. And I take note of issues in the middle of the night when I wake up. And so for me, I’ve got my own personal issues list that I’m for the business that I will actually write down and bring into level 10 meetings when I come in as well.

Jeni Clift  48:43

And I use two things. One, I, I guess I teach as part of the implementation process, the leadership team meeting is your most expensive meeting, the 90 minutes that you have your whole leadership team, if you work it out on an hourly rate for those people in there over 90 minutes a week for you know, X amount of weeks per year. It’s a really expensive meeting. So you need to make the best use of that time, because you’re making a big investment in that in that 90 minutes. And the other thing I actually Nick, us your insistence from our time running on Eos, in that when we came to the issues list, Nick flatly refused to discuss an issue that had a heading some vague heading with no detail and in the sales manager. I don’t know, you know, issue with x is what the hell does that mean? And there’s no detail there’s no thought the person who’s raised it, who’s entered it in software can’t even remember what it was. Nick would just flatly refuse to discuss it. So making sure that people and also the other thing that we insisted on was you have to be able to articulate what the issue is. is in two sentences or less. So you had to actually know what the issue was have thought about it, and raise it in a way that it could be discussed at that leadership team and come up with a solution, rather than some vague thought, or nothing. You know, X and X person on the leadership team hasn’t raised an issue in months. So does that mean that your team is running? Absolutely. 100% perfectly with no issues? Yeah, I don’t think so. So again, integrator comes in and has a conversation with that person and says, What’s going on here. And because in our business, after a couple of years of running on Eos, we had everybody in the business ran a level 10. So our finance team, our service teams, everybody in the business was involved in a in an LTN, and some, only a couple of people. So there might have been 30 minutes through to 90 minutes. And we were using the one of the software tools that would push issues, from one meeting to another one. So the sales team had had a discussion about an issue, felt that they didn’t know the solution, or didn’t have the authority to make a decision about something so they could push it to the leadership team, we could have a discussion at our meeting, and then push that back to them with a solution or a way forward. And you’re just making really good use of the methodology and the system. And then everybody knew what’s going on. They had sort of that record documented record of yes, we’ve got approval to go ahead.

Nick Clift  51:39

And for me, it’s the way I’ve seen it, the most effective is is if people have updated their to dues before the meeting, they got all the issues that they want to discuss their scorecard cards will be updated, updated all their issues into the system, and they bring their top three issues in their head already. Because when I sit in the integrator seat, or I’m running one of those meetings, if no one’s got any ideas, I just pick mine through and what in a healthy team, what you’ll get his people will be competing to get their issue dealt with. And that’s what I want to see, I want to see people competing to get their issues dealt with because I know we got to level 10 Whether it’s a leadership one, or it’s a departmental meeting, you’ve got the people in that meeting that can make a decision. And if that issue is holding you back from achieving your raffle, a client issue or staff issue, you need to fight to get it done. So my only advice for anyone out there is just come to those meetings prepared. Make sure your to dues are up to date, your issues are in the system, and you know which issues you want to put on the table first. And don’t don’t hold back. I’ll be very quick at thing number number x x, y. Yeah, I want these three things dealt with first. Anyway, that’s good. That’s cool.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  52:48

Cool. As you can see, between the three of us, we have years of experience and lots of examples of working with clients so we can share them. And we’re very passionate about doing this because they know, we want to help people actually lead a better life through creating a better business. So really thrilled to have had the time to share some of these things with you. And thank you, Jeni and Nick, for joining us can’t wait to see you hosting some of these podcast episodes in the future. And yeah, we’ll look forward to running more sessions.

Jeni Clift  53:16

Are very excited to be here. Thank you. I’m absolutely looking forward to to bring you some other guests through and, and being part of it.

Nick Clift  53:24

Thanks, Debra. It’s been great and good start to 2023.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  53:28

So, thank you for joining us today on better business better life. We have really enjoyed answering these questions for you around EOS and what EOS is, we’re not going to do another another series where we get Jeni, Nick and myself back all together in the room. And we’re actually going to answer questions around the recession. What do we see coming in 2023? Will there be a recession if there is how do you prepare for it? And particularly lots of tips and tools around how we’ve seen businesses not only get through a recession, but come out of the other side thriving. So that will be our next series. If you’ve got any questions you’d like to have answered, just drop us a line. There’s plenty of ways to get in contact with us. Get us the questions to us and we’ll make sure we answer the next, next session. Thank you.






Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Professional EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand

Professional EOS Implementer  Australia

Professional EOS Implementer UK

Professional EOS Implementer NZ

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