Last week I received an email titled, “Can we talk real quick?” from a former client I had not spoken with in years. We scheduled a video conference toward the end of the week and I greeted them in customary fashion: “Wonderful to see your name come across my desk. How’s business?”

A quick backstory: The COO, CMO and business owner were all on the call. The three of them have been together since Day One, when they hung their shingle in 2008. They grew the business to a team of nine and exceeded their “dare to dream” goal back in 2010 when we served as their weekly accountability cop. They were cutting costs to open their third office when they stopped using us as their weekly general manager in 2013.

During the conversation they started talking over one another as they did often when we started working with them reflecting back on the past four years. I just listened and took copious notes.

It was crystal clear in minute 4 of their 16 minute “quick update” what had occurred. And sadly, it is very common. When you “get it,” it’s fascinating how quickly you can “forget it.”

They were calling me because their team needed “empowerment.” They “don’t care anymore.” They are “sloppy” and “inefficient.”

They finally stopped talking … all at the same time. It was dead silent, except for the COO huffing and puffing like a triathlete after crossing the finish line of a 26.2.

I reflected back what I heard: “Business was great, we were so busy that we really didn’t have time for the stuff that got us to where we are today. It worked so great, we stopped.”

What did they stop?

  • Conducting entire company weekly stakeholder meetings;
  • Having department meetings with KPIs;
  • Company 60-day strategy days (last one was December 2014);
  • Quarterly employee reviews, last conducted 18 months ago;
  • The weekly team empowerment program: leaders leading leaders;
  • Taking new employees through the 90-day empowerment program we set up, without which they’ve been through four directors of first impressions;
  • Weekly huddles are no longer;
  • Having a business coach on monthly retainer; you thought you graduated from the need to have unrelenting, unwavering accountability in all areas of your business.

I added, “Am I hearing this right? Good news: You don’t have a team empowerment problem. You don’t have to leave this meeting and fire your entire team and start all over like you thought you needed to. The good news is that you have all the tools and people in place. The ONLY thing you are lacking is accountability. The good news is we have a Team Empowerment Academy that will give you everything you need right at your fingertips.  Just click here to find out what it’s all about.

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