Today I attended a Strategic Coach CEO workshop in Philadelphia taught by Teresa Easler. These are some of my notes!
- There are 10 people in the workshop today: 9 men and 1 woman.
- Professions: 2x software consultancy owners, Dentist, 2x financial services, Business partners with a credit repair agency (80+ employees), renegade museum tours and company team building (me!), and more.
- 3 facilitators from Strategic Coach — Teresa Easler, the lead, and two other women — all helpful and sharp.
The workshop chime
One key element that seems to be a part of all the Strategic Coach workshops are the bells or chimes that are played at the end of breaks. It is very soothing and a nice sound. One day I would like the honor to play it.
The space and location
I arrived around 8:35am to what appeared at first to be a co-working space. Extremely modern and very nice interior. Strategic Coach always has great locations for their workshops.
There was a decent breakfast with many caffeine options, including the Coach standard of deviled eggs and salmon as well as some muffins and fruit.
- Workshop Notes
- The Workshop Focus
- The Frustration Breakthrough
- The Fundamental Relationship’
- The D.O.S. Conversation
- The D.O.S. Gameplan
- Strategic Planning
- The Workshop Wrap-Up
Start with Positive Focus
Another key part of Strategic Coach is to start with the Positive Focus exercise.
The Positive Focus is where you think about the best things that have happened during the last 90 days that you are proud of or excited about. You write down what has happened and why this is important, and then you talk about what will happen next to keep it moving forward.
We split into pairs to share this out. There’s always great energy in the room during this section.
The “Hamish Breaks His Wrists” Story
Next, we were told the hilarious story of Hamish getting hurt, which is actually not hilarious, but there was a very funny part that I’ll tell you about.
This is the story about the the cartoonist for Dan Sullivan’s books, Hamish McD.
He draws cartoons like this: (source)
The story is not so much about how he broke his wrists (in a bicycle accident) …
But what we can learn from it (don’t have a single point of failure for 25 year company-wide goals? or be able to recognize new competencies in the face of change).
The hilarious part was that as soon as we were told this “Hamish Breaks His Wrists” story, all of the entrepreneurs in the room got very excited and started blurting out questions, such as:
- Did Hamish have disability insurance?
- Was Hamish an independent contractor or an employee?
- Was Hamish able to get disability benefits while he was incapacitated?
- What’s the deal with the Canadian healthcare system, and is it worse or better than the American healthcare system in situations like this?
This was very funny because we as entrepreneurs were quick to fact-find and give analysis in this discussion. We had to be brought back in by the moderator to focus on the moral of this story.
We talked about strategic byproducts such as when a bee pollinates flowers, and when Velcro was invented for a space trip to the moon. Sometimes when you go through the Four C’s, you have to be ready for the strategic byproducts that you don’t anticipate.
Meeting D. and R.
I enjoyed meeting some of the other CEOs in the room, like this guy D. who has a credit repair agency, and R. who sells software for corporate real estate.
(I’m using their initials to give them privacy, since I didn’t ask if they wanted to be included in this post. Something I’m thinking more about as my blog is read more widely.)
This has been one of my favorite parts of using my Golden Ticket: to meet and hear from other CEOs who are focused on improving their organizations. I love surrounding myself with other people who are dealing with similar growth situations like I am in. Strategic Coach has been great about that.
The Four Cs Of Success
The four Cs include:
We spent a little bit of time reviewing the four Cs. This was extremely helpful for me to remember about these and how I should use this mental model.
Observation: The Huge Promise
I think that the huge promise of The Strategic Coach Signature Program is that it promises entrepreneurs the idea of a self-managing company.
For many entrepreneurs and CEO’s that are drowning in responsibility and day to day tasks, this is an incredible promise. A very sexy, attractive promise.
Strategic Coach has marketing copy all over the place using that phrase “self managing company.” I have even heard several Coach clients mention this phrase. I believe the attainment of this goal is one of the key reasons CEOs and entrepreneurs sign up for Strategic Coach.
The Frustration Breakthrough
Right before lunch, the big section that we worked on was called the Frustration Breakthrough. In this part we were working on a goal to break through all of our current frustrations. We listed out all of our current frustrations and things that were bothering us in our work and personal lives.
In the next section, we listed out the ideal results for each of these frustrations. What is our ideal scenario?
In the third and final section, we listed out our strategy and our 30 day action plan to alleviate these frustrations.
On the back of this Frustration Breakthrough worksheet there was a 30 day calendar. They called this the 30 Day Sprint.
We tried to use this calendar to block out our Focus Days, Buffer Days, and Free Days. I enjoyed this and for the first time ever I attempted to block out my next 30 days including Buffer Days (17), Focus Days (6), and Free Days (7).
Strategic Coach gave us a listing of a lot of things we can do to boost our energy during the day, the week, and in the month of our 30 day sprint. Here are a few examples:
- Practice The Referability Habits
- Learn a new capability
- Exercise for 30 minutes, 10 days over the 30 day period
- Full nights sleep for 20 days of the 30 days
- Cut way back on starch and sugar
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day
There were many more including one that I loved that said “Read a great book.”
We ate lunch. I had salmon and steak over salad. It was tasty and healthy.
Observation: The Post-Lunch Doldrums
Almost every single Strategic Coach workshop I’ve been to struggles with the post-lunch energy doldrums.
This is the time immediately after lunch. It lasts for 60-90 minutes.
People are tired after lunch.
We have trouble listening, and we don’t answer prompts as readily.
Every facilitator has commented on it, including today.
Usually it is a throwaway comment along the lines of, “You guys are falling asleep on me”
or “Is anybody out there?” or “You all are really quiet.”
(I work in museums. I get it. I know how hard it can be to present and perform to a non-receptive audience.)
It is odd that Coach hasn’t tried to break this up and try something very non-traditional to help generate some energy in the room.
(Speaking of breaks: I continue to LOVE that Strategic Coach makes us take breaks every hour. Love it. Great chance to hydrate, caffeine, check in on emails, etc. And at the last 10X workshop, Dan did a stretching exercise after lunch – a great start.)
My suggestion for post-lunch is that we need to do some light exercise.
Crazy idea, I know, but maybe take the group outside and get fresh air and walk around the block.
Otherwise we’re wasting 90 minutes as everyone recovers from carbo-loading at the gnocchi buffet.
Look at how Tony Robbins handles his UPW seminars. Totally, totally different energy. I wish Strategic Coach would incorporate some of this in the post-lunch doldrum time.
The R-Factor Question
At around 3pm we started working on a section called The R-Factor Question. Here’s the question:
“If we were meeting here ____(time period) from today, looking back over those (time period) , what has to have happened during that period for you to feel happy about your progress?”
This is a question that is know as The R-Factor Question and has also been written about in a book by Dan Sullivan called The Dan Sullivan Question.
I got two copies of this book. I’ll read one, and plan to send the other to a new hire at Museum Hack who is working with our museum partners on museum consulting work.
Here’s the question:
We talked a lot about how powerful this question can be, when to use it (hint: as close to the beginning of the conversation as possible), and what people might say. Check out Dan’s book on Amazon for the full scoop.
The D.O.S. Conversation
After we learned about the R Factor Question, we started to learn about the D.O.S. Conversation.
We broke into pairs and split out and spent twenty minutes per person going through the areas to talk about dangers, opportunities, and strengths.
This is like a modern version of the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis is Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I really liked this modern version of it that Strategic Coach has invented.
These two things – The R-Factor Question, and the D.O.S. Conversation – are very powerful. We looked at a sample sales letter with copy used for soliciting new business based on the D.O.S. Conversation, but it seemed a little dated. Helpful, and great, and cool, but a little dated. For example: no call to action at the end.
After that D.O.S. exercise, we wrapped the day.
I’m really glad that I went.
I continue to enjoy The Strategic Coach.
I’m currently a member of the Strategic Coach 10X Program.
I’m writing about a lot of my Strategic Coach experiences in this category on my blog.
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