Geared up for growth

Photo: Kelly Limpert
Photo: Kelly Limpert
Photo: Kelly Limpert
Summit attendees discuss their business goals during the Petra Coach-led workshop.

Entrepreneur, coach, author and speaker Andy Bailey kicked off his keynote session at the LM Growth Summit with a quote credited to legendary NFL coach Tom Landry: “A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so that you may become what you have always known you could be.”

Then, during his three-hour session, Bailey challenged attendees on their goals and pushed them to think bigger.

“We tend to set future targets based on past performance,” Bailey said. “The other thing we do is we think too darn small.”

Bailey, who operates Petra Coach, a Franklin, Tenn.-based consulting firm, was joined during the presentation by his colleagues JT Terrell and David Pierce and client Jeremy Durgan, owner of GreenEarth Landscape Services in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. The team shared strategies for creating core values and setting aggressive growth goals. The Petra Coach philosophy follows the tenets of the Verne Harnish book “Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t,” a revision of “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.”

Core values

Core values are guiding principles that should be behavioral, be unique to the company and use “real” words.

“Don’t say ‘integrity,’” Bailey said.

Describe what you mean by a word like “integrity,” he said, and have that description be your core value.
Terrell said owners must be willing to stand by their core values. You must hire, reward for and reprimand by them or they’ll quickly become meaningless.

Durgan added that he wasn’t a believer in core values until his company went through the process and he saw them become embedded into the company culture. He notes the culture shift has helped mitigate people leaving for $1 an hour more.

Setting goals/creating focus

Bailey showed attendees the “Monkey Business Illusion” video. In the video, two teams, one in black shirts and one in white shirts, pass a ball. Bailey asked attendees to count how many times the players in white shirts pass the ball. Midway through the video, a gorilla walks through the game, stands in the middle, pounds his chest, then exits. After the video, Bailey asked how many attendees saw the gorilla. Most missed it, showing people’s ability to ignore distractions when they are intently focused on a task.

“We want you to do the exact same thing in your business,” Bailey said. “Get so clear about what you want to do that you don’t see anything else.”

Bailey advocates for multiple goals, including a “big, hairy audacious goal,” three to five annual targets and three to five quarterly priorities.

The quarterly priorities, when met, will make a significant contribution to achieving the annual goals and move you closer to your long-term goals. They should be measurable; someone must own their outcome; they should be big enough to cause you to stretch, but attainable in a quarter; they can be part of a longer-term project; you should invest time on them daily; at least one should be focused on revenue and/or profits.

Common mistakes include getting too granular, setting too many initiatives, not being fully committed to them and not sharing them with your team.

Photo: Kelly Limpert

Marisa Palmieri

Marisa Palmieri

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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