Austin Business Owners – Is it time for a personal CPR Audit?

(Communication —- Priorities—-Roles)

When I say personal, I’m not referring to your annual personal health check up, yet when was your last one? I am referencing to your personal behavior as a business owner. Bob Dabic, Vistage Master Chair and Speaker, flew in from Orange County the 3rd week in January and conducted 5 (3 hour) workshops in 3 days on Aligned Leadership. This is the 1st of 5 blogs and my expectation is that after you scan this article, find a nugget or two, save it for you and your leadership team to take a deeper dive. If compelling, forward it to a business owner colleague, friend or family member you care deeply about.


CPR – Communication, Priorities and Roles – Thoughts and words worth considering and several Questions you could/should be asking as the owner?
Is it your belief that supervisors and managers are hired and compensated to give answers to their direct reports, while leaders ask questions.


Communication – Are you crystal clear with your company Vision, Mission, Values, Goals and Objectives for 2016, 2017 and EOY 2018? Shouldn’t you be? Phrases like:

Priorities – First things 1st and second things never or “Less is More”.

Roles – Do each of your direct reports know what is expected of them each month, by end of each quarter, for EOY 2016?

If you are still with me,- let me attempt to build a case that the above audit description is the foundation for a healthy, robust and profitable company and the gateway to establishing and setting measurable business metrics that will increase your employee retention and reduce your turnover.


Communication starts with creating your VISION, which to me is a “shared” statement or a Big/Hairy/Audacious/Goal (BHAG) that each of your employees are striving towards over the next three to five years. Think of what your future destination will look like and the internal transformational benefits once you arrive. Your MISSION focuses on the people you serve and products or services you currently provide. One could see this as a “heart warming purpose” on why you exist. Example: We help bring people and commerce together?


Priorities start with your company VALUES which are the principles/ideals/guidelines to which your employees can refer and that guide all decisions and behaviors in order to do what is right for each other and your customers. Examples: Respect, Integrity, Safety, Trust, Caring, Challenge, Quality, and Growth. In essence, this is your playground so think how you could put a fence around it because if you don’t your employees will create their own set of values. Dabic shared GOALS are numerical targets that are “Reachable” and “Stretched” (bigger than Reachable). Crystal clear objectives for all to see: 1 to 3 numerical and measurable plus 1 to 2 goals for personal growth and development.


Roles-During During Bob’s 3-hour workshop, he built a case for “no B or C players”. Poor performers have to choose to either step up or step out. During your regularly scheduled one-to-one’s, what if you focused on a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP) for your C players to become B players and your B players to become A players? What would it mean to you if the majority of your employees were A players? Self managed department, teams and individuals might be an outcome.

Which would improve or create complete alignment throughout your organization. Increased deliverables of your brand promise, increased revenue and profits and imagine you working 20% less hours a week to improve your work/life balance. If your roles are kind of “fuzzy”, what you tolerate will become policy.


In closing, don’t you pay 100% of what you owe; you make every payroll, don’t you? Let this CPR (Communication, Priorities and Roles) focus assist you in auditing you and your leadership team on what you are currently getting in return.


Ed Stillman

Austin CEO Group Chairman



Ed Stillman is a 9 year Vistage Chair with 2 CEO Advisory groups who is assisting his members to become good to better and even great leaders running great companies. If you live in Austin and want to take a deeper dive into aligning your leadership team and growing your top and bottom lines, let’s have a cup of coffee and see if we are a good fit for you, and you for my members.


If you live anywhere else in the United States or the world, connect with me and I’ll personally see that a client representative will reach out to you. We are in 18 countries, with 20,000 plus members creating a better balance between business commitments, personal relationships and their spiritual walk. We will make a difference.


Published by edstillman

I grew up in Carlsbad, north San Diego County, lost my dad as a teenager, went into the USAF for four years and hired on with 3M in 1969. Received my AA from Santa Barbara City College, BA and Masters from Redlands University and after 33 plus years, I retired from 3M in 2002. As I look back on my life, I have been creating myself and developing my skill sets to be a business coach and a Vistage Chair. I am president of SEOT, a "personal improvement" consulting firm spending most of my time working with Central Texas executives running small to medium size for-profit companies who are focusing on improving their profitability greater than their competition. My area of interest is assisting senior executives in creating a better balance between business commitments and personal relationships. I also facilatate three leadership labs each consisting of a dozen owners, presidents and CEOs. We meet monthly both in a group setting as well as in a 1-to-1 coaching session. Our focus is to sharpen each others' skills in becoming better leaders, making better decisions and taking ourselves and companies to that next level. Who are we? My members are experienced top executives who recognize that they don’t have all the answers and who actively seek the company of successful peers—both to give and receive insights and ideas. My members mine the 200 plus years of chief executive experience that comes together in our monthly meetings and members are eager to offer their own experience and insights in the process. As a group, we spend our time exploring topics members can't discuss anywhere else. My members have many other places where they can engage in idle, "cocktail party" chatter. Our mission is to provide the setting for discussing the "undiscussable." Where or who can you go to for confidential, honest feedback to assist you in minimizing your personal "Worry List"?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.