Deeper Weekend 2014

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  • Greg Kyte
    Greg Kyte
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    Jason Blumer
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    Jon Lokhorst
  • Melinda Guillemette
    Melinda Guillemette
  • Toni Cameron


This is a two part series on conversations, and I mentioned in the other video that we can help you in Thriveal with knowing how to have better conversations in your firm. We do that in Thriveal. So, [email protected] if you want to email us. We have a lot of programs and coaching and just ways in our community to support firm owners that are growing. So what I talked about in the first video in this two part series is how to define your conversation with a number, like an alert system is kind of what we’re building in our firm. Well, another thing we’re building in our firm is a context and directional chart about our conversation. Basically, what we mean is there is context to all conversations and we’re breaking that into two different types of contexts. There’s organizational strategy context and service strategy context. And so the owners have most of the contexts or all of the contexts. They have all of the contexts about the strategy of the organization and how it’s going to grow into the future.

Then you move down from that and you may have a leadership team. A leadership team has a more limited level of context of strategy. Now, the leadership team is being taught the organizational strategy from the owners, but they’re not deciding that. Now, they would influence it. What the leadership team is doing is really building the service strategy. That is how this firm is going to pull off service and deliverables to their clients. That’s a big deal. And so then the leadership team takes the context of the service strategy and jumps down another level and shares that with the team. The team has less of the service strategy. And what are they focused on as the team? They’re focused on boots on the ground work, their executionary work. And so the leadership team we’re teaching to not share all the context with the team because that context gets confusing. The team just needs to go, “All right, here’s the service strategy. Let’s go knock it out.”

Then that conversation direction of that context goes all the way down to the clients. Of course, the clients don’t care at all about the context of our organizational or service strategy, right? That’s internal stuff. All they care about is the outcome, the external outcome that they’re purchasing, they’re paying for. And so we share even less context with the clients about our strategy for growth or our service strategy to fulfill our service to them. Now, we do tell them some of those things as clients, but it’s only towards the goal of serving them and producing the deliverables and justifying the revenue that they’re paying us.

So in the first video, we talked about a conversation alert system to know what system we’re on, what number we’re on. This one, we’re talking about how much context you pass down to different levels of groups of people in your company and the direction of that context, and how it goes, and how you limit the context of things you share in conversations. This all gets very, very complicated, but this is something we would love for you to come to, join us as a member, and we’ll be able to help you understand how these things work, and you can start to learn more about these things. So I hope that helps. Let us know, [email protected] Take care.


We have been learning so much about conversations, how to construct those, how to have those. So this is a two-part series I want to do on conversations in service-based companies. If you need help with this, you can email us at [email protected] We have a lot of programs and coaching we do to help people understand these things.

But in this first part, I want to talk about a numbered alert system. Just knowing where you are in a conversation is really helpful, so what we’re building right now is a one, two, three, four, five-numbered alert system about our conversation. The conversations in service-based companies are so murky, and you don’t often know where the other person is or where you are, or you’re making assumptions all the time based upon our past or experience that you just don’t know where you stand.

We’re trying to come up with a system that allows somebody to go, “Hey, we’re at a level-three conversation,” and that means a certain thing. As a firm, we’re creating and publishing what this alert system is. What does one mean and two, three, four? What does five mean as far as the conversation alert system? Five would be the worst. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, we’re blowing up. It’s emotional and everybody’s off at each other.” If people go, “Hey, I’m walking into a conversation number five,” everybody can know what that means, and we can come and support that person. So just a numbered system. We’re trying to come up with better ways to make our conversations more defined, more understanding.

What it’s going to do is just help us all stay on the same page. When we do that, we’re more clear and we can do our work better to serve our clients and make more money efficiently. This is part one about a conversation alert system, just defining what would it mean if you could tell somebody you were at a level-three conversation or four or five. We’re using a range between one and five, and we want to teach this to our team to help them understand. They could call out a number. We can all agree what number we’re on.
It sounds like an odd thing to try to define what conversation number you’re on, but conversations get off the rails so often, or people misunderstand each other asynchronously or over email or Slack or speaking. We just want a way to define our conversation so we can move forward and be successful.
Let us know if you need help, [email protected] We’ll see you.

As professionals we are renowned for the things we know. In fact, that’s what we sell – our expertise and experience. Professionals get smarter over time, and they eventually get to claim expertise status! And the clients are better off for it too. They get the wealth of information from our brains, can ask us anything, and we’ll help them. We as professional entrepreneurs truly can help our clients. Read more


Okay, we’ve done all the heavy lifting in the first three videos in Strategic Planning Season. And as we’ve been mentioning, November, December is strategic planning season, this is the season. The holiday season? No. This is the season where entrepreneurs plan their future. And go back to video one, to find out what planning and what strategic means. Why did we put those words, strategic planning together, they’re real important.

So, what have we been doing up to this point? We’ve really been just dumping all the things out, prioritizing, listing core initiatives. Really just getting more and more granular as to what we’re going to accomplish next year. Now boots on the ground happens in phase four. This is when now we take our core initiatives, go see what that means in video three, we get our core initiatives and we put them into what we call eight to 10 calendar containers. And calendar containers, a lot of our the people who follow us and we teach entrepreneurs, there’s a process we go through called strategic calendar work blocking.

This methodology about owning your future and how to operate and create some sense of strategy, moving forward in your business has to do with owning the future of your calendar. And so now we define all the initiatives and the things we want to do in eight to 10 calendar containers. Now these calendar containers are going to be, these are the eight to 10 hats that my partner and I are going to decide to wear in our business, right? I mean, that is so strategic, right? To limit everything to eight to 10 types of work. Now, those calendar containers are pretty big. They’re big rhythms. So what you’re going to find, you’re going to find those on a calendar that recur week after week.

So you probably know if you watch a lot of my videos that I have a huge content blog. That’s one of my calendar containers. Well, my partner and I have a strategy and planning calendar container. That’s a required part of our strategic calendar work blocking. And then we make other calendar containers that relate to other things we’re going to do. Like there’s a big team care calendar container, because we spend a lot of time with our team, leading our leadership team. And so there’s a big block for that.

And what we do is we roll our eight to 10 calendar containers throughout our whole calendar. So we’ll go to January, the first week of January, we’ll lay out all of those calendar containers and they fill up the whole week, right? Eight to six, Monday through Friday, we filled the whole week up and then we just hit the recurring button. We recur it every week and it zips all the way through our calendar, all the way through 12/31. Now we have these big buckets that we go stick stuff in, right? We have this team care bucket that might have four hours on a Wednesday. And we’ll go put different meetings in there, meeting with a team member, a weekly team meeting, weekly leadership team meeting. So the container holds all the things we’re going to do. And of course I have a huge content calendar container. And so I’ll go fill it up. The content I’m working on, these videos are in a calendar container that I’m making.

So the calendar container now becomes our future. It is a depiction of our future as seen on a calendar. So now when us and our team roll into our future, we’re rolling into these containers and we’re operating in the way that we’ve already planned by going through a very methodical, strategic planning type phased system. So our calendar now depicts, this is what we should be doing to actually fulfill our strategy.

And so that’s video four of four videos on strategic planning. So I hope you will try to fall into strategic planning this year. Just give it a shot. I think last year it took my partner and I four days to complete all of our strategic planning. This year, it’s going to take us five to six days. So it’s expanding because we have a lot of things we want to do. And it’s taking a lot of time to call through them and say no to a lot of them. So it’s just taking a lot more time. And also as we grow, strategic planning will take more and more time.

So I hope these videos are helpful, so you guys know what we’re doing during this really important strategic planning season. So let us know if you like these videos and, you know what? Reach out to us. You can hit us. You can go to or you can go to and you can find out more about how we help entrepreneurs do things like strategic planning and how we help them be successful. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you.


Part three, this is part three of four of how to do strategic planning. If you’ve been watching our videos, you know by now November and December, at the end of the year, are strategic planning season. All entrepreneurs should be doing strategic planning, if you’re an owner of a business, this is the time you do it. And so, we’ve been talking about what we did in part one and part two in the strategic planning process. Now in this phase three, what we’re getting to is listing core initiatives. So part one was we did a brain dump, part two was we prioritized that brain dump, which was strategic. That was the strategic choices of what to do and what not to do. Here we are in part three, we’re like, “Oh, we can look at all of our paper and go, Oh, I see what we’re going to do. I see our core initiatives.”

Then what we do is we start listing out, this is a big thing I’m seeing in the strategy of all we want to do. This is a big thing, we start listing these huge, big bucketed subject areas. And we’re really starting to understand what are the huge initiatives that are going to really eat up our time, our capacity? What do we want our team to do more of? We’re really seeing through listing out on just one other piece of paper, our core initiatives. We’re like, “These are our biggies for the year.” If we move these big boulders and rocks forward, these are going to be the things that move our companies forward. So, this listing, the core initiatives, just starts to really make it aware to you how big your year is going to be coming up.

And even in this third phase, this is another strategy phase where you may drop off things and go, “I’m looking at all of these core initiatives now.” After looking at 30 pieces of paper, sticky pad paper, I’m looking now at one piece of paper with our core initiatives, you may further cut those core initiatives and go, “We still can’t do all this. Those are bigger than we thought when we were looking at all the paper.” Now that we’re looking at one piece of paper in this third video of four on strategic planning, we’re seeing we’re going to have to cut more out. So that’s when we start cutting again, or we further, deeply commit to those. So come back and find out what we do in phase four of strategic planning to wrap it up.


Here we are in part two of four videos on strategic planning season. November and December are strategic planning seasons for entrepreneurs. So you should be planning, you should be doing strategic planning. Go see video one about what the heck strategic planning even means.
So here we are in part two. In part one, I shared that we did a brain dump of our ideas, my partner and I. Here we are in part two, and in part two, this is the strategic part. What we do is we go through the whole brain dump, all the sticky note papers all over our conference room walls, and we assign priorities of when we want to get these things done, by a month and a year, of course.

Now, sometimes the year for us pushed out into 2022. Now, here’s the cool thing about strategic planning. When you have a brain dump of all the papers you’re working with and you start prioritizing things, right, you’re thinking you’re going to be prioritizing 2021. Well, as you do it, and as you have conversations, either with yourself, your coach or your partner, you find out, you’re like, “Wait, we can’t do this. We can’t do all this.” And what you do is you start eliminating, and on the fly. Now you’re into a huge part of the strategy of strategic planning. You can do this for your business, for your family. You can do it, really, for anything where you’re trying to be more efficient and more successful.

So as my partner and I were talking, we started labeling some of these things 2022. We were pushing them out two years, which was really cool, right? What it’s doing is it’s really helping us focus, and so now we’re saying, “No”, or we’re saying, “Later”, to a lot of things. Then, as we’re assigning months and year, like January 2021, July 2021, we’re starting to prioritize our strategy. Now it’s starting to come alive.

And again, we’re still working on this big list of sticky note paper all over our conference room. But in this second part video is when the strategy really gets serious. You should hear the conversations we’re having. They’re really strategic, sometimes we don’t agree, sometimes we’re fighting for a certain position of something we think is more of a priority. But since we care about each other, we come to a consensus as to what we think is the thing we can accomplish. I’m going to be more objective to the things she wants to do, she’s going to be more objective to the things I want to do, and we’re going to hear each other, and the best strategy comes out of that.

So keep watching for the other videos on how to do strategic planning.