Impact Filters, The Largest Check, Experience Transformers

Last updated: April 22, 2022

My notes from Strategic Coach Signature Program session taught by Gary Klaben on 18 May 2017 in Chicago. This is typically a Year 1, Quarter 3 curriculum.

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”
John Wooden

Gary pointing to handwritten notes
I liked how Gary used notes on the poster and not just the slides.

Random Notes: Firing an Assistant, Workshop Focus, Focus Days

  • COOL TOOL // Lead Forensics: An owner of a construction supply company mentioned that this was a very helpful piece of software that he added to his website.
  • “Refocus and Reenergize” // Someone said this was their goal for today.
  • From the audience: “You absolutely cannot do focus days at the office. I’ve found that I need to leave in order to minimize distractions.”
  • FIRED ASSISTANT // “My biggest accomplishment from the quarter was that I fired my assistant.” Round of applause and a little bit of laughter after this. Why? Because this is so hard to do! The person who spoke has only five employees, and firing someone with a key role in a small business is particularly difficult. But his assistant was incredibly negative and not empowering his business to grow. We congratulated the business owner on his courage.
  • EMAIL AND TIME MANAGEMENT // Gary spent a fair amount of time talking about email and phone call best practices, including how he personally manages his email In Box. All tactics were around the idea of: Let your staff do it, stop being a slave to all of your incoming calls and emails. The audience had lots of questions and enjoyed the discussion.

See all of my past collected notes from The Strategic Coach here.

Workshop Agenda

  1. Workshop Focus
    Get on the right track
  2. Experience Transformer
    Helps you get the lesson out of events
  3. Largest Cheque
    Intentionally thinking about client value/size
  4. Delegation Filter (aka Impact Filter)
    Most important tool in all of Strategic Coach!
  5. One-year Planner
    Vision breakthrough
  6. Planning + Wrap-Up
Agenda for the workshop today at Strategic Coach’s Chicago office

Great Workshop Facilitation Tactic: Nominate Someone

Our facilitator, Gary Klaben, did something fantastic to warm up the audience and encourage participation.

Early in the morning, when the crowd was not forthcoming with answers, he said:

“Who wants to nominate someone to share a great accomplishment?”

This was after we had split into groups of two or three people to share our “Big Wins” from the past 90 days. Someone would nominate their partner, and Gary would follow-up and ask: “What and why do you want to nominate them for?”

In this way, people did not seem self-promotional or like they were bragging. It encouraged more audience participation than if he had asked for direct self-promotion. I liked this!

Impact Filters

Also known as: Delegation Filters

Impact Filters are one of the most important tools that an entrepreneur can learn to use within Strategic Coach.

The Impact Filter asks entrepreneurs to outline an activity or project which will free up their time and leverage their resources.

Delegation as represented in two comic book characters
Even Batman had Robin (but did he have Impact Filters??)

Even Batman had Robin (but did he have Impact Filters??)[/caption]

In its simplest form, it is a single sheet of paper that includes the following elements:

  1. Project title
  2. Purpose (What do you want to accomplish?)
  3. Importance
  4. Ideal Outcome
  5. Success Criteria
  6. Best / Worst Results

Five Steps to Effective Delegation

  1. Delegate to the right person.
  2. Specify the result you want.
  3. Establish the time frame.
  4. Determine the team’s level of authority.
  5. Track progress and be available.

For more information about Impact Filters, you should visit a Strategic Coach information session. Held in many major cities around the world including: New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Philadelphia, etc.

If you’re already a customer of Strategic Coach, here’s a HOT TIP: email your coordinator and ask for a PDF of the Fast Filter. This is an abbreviated version of the Impact Filter that I absolutely love.

See all of my notes from The Strategic Coach here

The Largest Check

Holding a check for a museum
This is a big check. I want this check.

Action: Write down your five or ten biggest customer sales in the past 12 months.

The facilitator led us through a series of calculations to average and increase our future sales.


  1. What’s working?
  2. What’s not?
  3. Five biggest changes to help get to your next largest check

I enjoyed this exercise, and I was able to apply elements of it to my business and to my personal life.

  • For my business: What are the largest corporate groups that we have worked with in our partner museums?
  • For my personal life: Who are my most inspiring friends that are producing the greatest things?

Experience Transformers

I’ve heard that this is one of the Top 5 tools within Strategic Coach! I am working to use it more myself.

The Experience Transformer is a structured method to review positive or negative experiences and take learning lessons from them.


Lifetime Experience as part of Experience Transformer in Strategic Coach
Our Lifetime of Experience allows us many lessons to learn
Diagram from a workshop module
We can use negative experiences to have positive reflection

Critical Workshop Notes

Afternoon Slump

The post-lunch energy and attention slump continues to be a problem in courses that I’ve attended with Strategic Coach.

Getting tired or sleepy in the afternoon is not unique to the Strategic Coach workshops. This happens everywhere.

Person sleeping in office at desk
Unless a facilitator works to engage, audiences will fall asleep.

There are some activities that facilitators could do to remedy this (see: Tony Robbins techniques). Things I have seen others do that help: Stretching (as mentioned in this 10X Workshop review), physical activity, hydration, upbeat music, etc.

This class was the worst I have seen in Strategic Coach regarding low energy in the afternoon.

It was clear to see the negative impact that poor energy management can have on an executive learning environment.

Why does this matter?

  1. It is embarrassing for the coach. After not getting any responses to a question, Gary asked, “Is anyone awake? Someone just say something so that I know you are alive out there.” There were a few times that he expressed this sentiment and frustration regarding a lack of participation.
  2. Retention and memory is diminished among attendees .
  3. Some of the most important lessons come at the end of the day. When energy is low, or staff runs over on time, we as customers lose.

Sleepy Work Music

The background music is the easiest thing to fix. The choices at this session were offensively sleepy and boring. I would guess they were pulled from a playlist someone found called “Funeral Home Classics.”

At 4:15pm, the audience of CEOs and business owners was openly mocking the playlist.

“This music is killing me!”
“We need some AC/DC in here!”

Friends at Strategic Coach: please don’t torture us with boring work music in the afternoon!

If Strategic Coach insists on classical music, may I suggest something more upbeat such as:

End of Day Wrap-ups

These are some things people said were most helpful:
  • Biggest check exercise
  • “I’m going home to delegate my email immediately”
  • Impact Filter
  • Delete distractions
  • The value of speaking up, and adding to the conversation “I met new people”
  • The year planner
  • “Impact Filter, gave me clarity on something I’ve been kicking around for 18 months, I’m just going to do it”
  • Biggest check: phasing out projects that are low ROI, or delegating them
  • Impact Filter “Especially using the Strategy Circle and Impact Filters to write my next book”
  • Delegating things to my assistant, and reassess how we do things together
  • Stepping back, and learning from my mistakes

The audience today included dentists, several financial planners, insurance salespersons, construction and real estate owners, etc. I shared a ride to the airport with a nice gentleman who had a mortgage company. “I started making $90k a year selling mortgages in college. I quit school as soon as possible.”


I’m a happy customer of The Strategic Coach 10x program. Attending these sessions on a “Golden Ticket” is a benefit of being a 10X member. I always enjoy the classes and being in the room with other CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders.

It was great to review Impact Filters, The Largest Check, and Experience Transformers.

Today’s class was helpful for me. I thought about my goals within Museum Hack, the team building and renegade museum tour company that I founded in 2013. I appreciated the Vision Breakthrough exercise to write about where I envisioned Museum Hack will be in the year 2025.

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