What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur today? Members of the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) buying group recently found out when they got a crash course during an intensive, two-day Masterclass program using the highly touted Entrepreneurial Operation System (EOS).
HTSA members and their top managers came together last week at the Sheraton O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill., for the EOS training, which is an execution effectiveness program developed by entrepreneur and author Gino Wickman.
The program was led by EOS implementer Todd Smart, who showed HTSA members how entrepreneurial organizations are unique and how they can benefit from systems that address that uniqueness to help them be more effective. Unlike some other business coaching systems which can be heavy on theory and light on actionable next steps, EOS was created by an entrepreneur specifically for entrepreneurs.
The six keys to leading a successful organization are:
- People (having the right people in the right positions)
- Data (that must be measurable)
- Processes (that must be documented)
- Traction (holding regular meetings to reinforce the message)
- Issues (creating a list of concerns and addressing them)
In each of these six key areas, EOS has developed tools to help entrepreneurs keep momentum on execution of specific tasks and goals.
5 Best Practices
Here are 5 key best practices gleaned from the session:
Hold Level 10 Meetings — One of the biggest takeaways for HTSA members was something called the Level 10 Meetings. This is a key element in which a 90-minute meeting is held weekly with a prescribed agenda that focuses on what EOS calls “Rocks” or stepping stones (with accountability) towards achieving a bigger goal.
Develop Accountability Charts — Much of EOS includes developing the entrepreneur’s vision, creating goals with accountability that are literally assigned to someone with an organization and kept track of with an Accountability Chart, making sure you have the right people in the right seats (employee and management assessments), create a 10-year target, and a 3-year picture, and a 1-year plan.
Separating “Visionary” vs. “Integrator” — EOS is a business execution system that is crafted around entrepreneurial organizations. So the system’s charts and tools all take that reality into account. For example, when you do your Accountability Chart, often the entrepreneur is a “visionary.” Visionaries can be critical to organizations (the idea person, more on emotion) but typically, they are not great at day-to-day operations. So EOS talks about the need for an “integrator” (more a logical, get-things-done individual) who is accountable for that part of the business.
Cultivate 5 Leadership Abilities — Much of EOS is common sense, but EOS has developed a set of tools that take concepts and makes them easier to develop, execute, and track. Some other concepts that were discussed during the HTSA Masterclass include “The Five Leadership Abilities”: simplify, delegate, predict, systemize, and structure.
Create Your Vision — One of the most important sessions during the day-and-a-half agenda was when HTSA members worked on their vision, their goals, their accountability, their next steps. The system helped dealers take these “philosophies” and convert them into tangible, actionable steps. And where the reality of the entrepreneur – often a complicating element – is factored into the actual management and leadership steps required for business success.
HTSA Members React
“This has been a real eye-opener,” says Mark Bolduc, president of Wicked Smart Homes of Sarasota, Fla. “It has definitely pointed out some deficiencies in our business, and now we have the system to address that. I’m going to meet with my partner and discuss to what level, but we’re definitely incorporating EOS into our business.”
“I loved it,” says David Young, founder of Chesterfield, Mo.-based The Sound Room said enthusiastically. “I’m a big believer in constant education – you know, ‘sharpening the saw.’ We’ve been doing a lot of this [EOS] already [since the Spring Members Conference] – making sure we have the right people in the right slots, implemented the scorecard, conducting weekly Level 10 leader meetings, and more.”
“Time tremendously well spent,” exclaims Roy Feldstein of Audio Den of Lake Grove, N.Y. “Within two days, we’re going to implement Level 10 meetings at Audio Den.”
“Todd Smart was amazing…best class I have attended ever! I would highly recommend this [EOS Masterclass]…it is a no-brainer and every minute we spent in the class was priceless,” says Shane Bala, president of Stellar Home Theater and Beyond, with multiple Texas locations. “As entrepreneurs, we all have a vision but putting structure behind that vision to make it a success is what this class has taught me. Now, on I go to execute EOS and launch the Level 10s which seems like a great step towards achieving our vision.”
HTSA Masterclass Program
Launched about 18 months ago, HTSA’s Masterclass Program is a new concept in member education that utilizes outside subject matter experts on topics the group management deems critically important. These outside experts then work in conjunction with the group to custom-tailor content in their area of expertise, such that it better meets the pragmatic needs of HTSA members.
The very first Masterclass created for members was the Sell More Audio Masterclass held over two days in Kennesaw, Georgia. Since then, the group has produced Masterclass programs on several other topics, on technologies, vendors, and business education.
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