"As my business coach, Jim holds me accountable. This forces me out of the “deer in the headlights” syndrome, and requires me to take immediate action on a short-term basis to achieve my goals, not procrastinating and putting things off to later. I’ve hired Jim to be that other face I stare at across the desk, and say “yes I did this” or “no I didn’t”. This spurs me to that next level of action, because I know I’ll have to answer to him"
Accountability is one of the main reasons I hired Jim Palzewicz as my business coach. I’ve asked Jim to hold me accountable, and he’s been very good at that. I’ve noticed him ratchet that up, as we work for better results in the business… in order for that to happen, I need to be held more accountable, and I need to be holding my employees more accountable as well. As a result of all this, I start seeing things in a different light. I’m also holding Jim accountable to help me get the results I want out of my business.
"The greatest gifts I have received as I work with Tom and ActionCOACH of Elm Grove are in the areas of personal development, motivation and attitude. After going through some rough times, my business coach has helped keep the right perspective and get things back in alignment. He was very helpful in viewing where we were at in a positive perspective and keeping the right attitude when looking at defeat. He has helped us grow to be better business owners in the knowledge he delivers. Keeping us fed with great knowledge in books, suggestions and a different perspective is what I have found to be the most value in coaching this year. Helping me learn what a great business owner is and then focusing on an action plan to become it has also been very valuable.
Tom helps us keep our focus. Keeping an eye on the big picture and the present and learning how to balance the two. Knowing our KPI’s daily has been one of the most helpful systems and habit’s that he has helped us to develop.
Motivating us to get some unfinished business back on the plate has been a key. Our partnership agreement was at a standstill and was dragging us down. Helping us to realize this and getting it back on the priority list has been a huge step that needed to be taken. Tom and the ActionCOACH of Elm Grove team have pushed us by helping us to see the benefits of getting it done. He has also played a great 3rd party role in this when needed."
Like any good turnaround story, the astounding progress made in 2011 by Innovative Systems must be understood in the context of 2010. In September of 2010, co-owners Rich Jankowski and Jeff Steier were tired of the long hours with no financial reward and no light at the end of the tunnel. The sluggish economy coupled with the negative attitude of the owners had caused them to come to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to quit running the business and sell it off to someone else. As a last ditch effort, they teamed up with ActionCOACH Business Coach Tom Palzewicz and discovered that they had been spending far too much time working in the business rather than on the business.
Working with their business coach, Rich and Jeff began testing and measuring every facet of the organization and learned that by focusing on running the business rather than operating it the passion, vision, and belief that caused them to start the company 23 years ago returned. According to Rich, “We now believe that we can overcome any obstacles and take advantage of opportunities that may come our way, and we felt nothing like that in 2010.”
In fact, the attitude of the owners has changed so dramatically that rather than focusing simply on finding a way to sell the business profitably, Rich and Jeff have reorganized 85% of the business, systematized the processes of the business, and perhaps most tellingly have started a new product line from vision to deployment.
Coupled with the improved and enthusiastic attitude of the business owners, the new product offering has Innovative Systems poised for an impressive year in 2012. But the most important shift happened this past year as Rich and Jeff made the decision to take ownership and responsibility for the success of their business thanks to Coach Tom Palzewicz!
"Jim, thank you for introducing SWICKtech to the EOS® Process. Using EOS®, we have a management team that’s working together better than anything we have tried in the past. I personally have been able to take additional time away from the office doing those things needed to grow the SWICKtech brand. Each department is using the process to run their meetings and to keep everyone on track to meet our company goals. When we started in May of 2014 with the first 90-minute meeting, I could see a couple of managers symbolically roll their eyes at yet another attempt to get us ‘organized’. By the end of the year, everyone on the team has embraced the positive change in the organization. We actually accomplish real decision making in our Level 10 meeting and continue to grow the company with the methods we have learned. Thanks again for helping us implement EOS® and for helping me become a better leader through your coaching and insight."
“We have been using the EOS® method of leadership now for over 2 years. Our leadership team was a little clumsy with it at first, however Jim Palzewicz of ActionCOACH was a great teacher and mentor and helped us implement it successfully. Being accountable and getting to the why of an issue is sometimes the hardest part of the process. Every Level 10 meeting we work at going deeper and getting to the root of our issues and ultimately solving them!
Recently, we have implemented the process to the whole company by creating departmental vision traction plans. This is where everyone has a number and trying to help us get to the next step in our growth. They are becoming invested in our company. I would highly recommend the EOS® process and especially utilizing Action Coach as the implementer. It has definitely helped us experience a 23% revenue growth over these last two years.”
"Over the years, I've read plenty of different business books, many of which profess a unique management philosophy or a new approach to strategic planning. What I found with the EOS® method that ActionCOACH advocates is nothing fancy or even new. In fact, one could say its rather basic, but that is indeed the beauty of it. The EOS® method is readily understandable, highly actionable, and focuses on clarity and communication. It starts with strategy and then drills into the operational level that too often leaders find themselves mired in. This methodology has proven very understandable to all levels within our company and is the first methodology that has staying power for us. The process has now been ingrained enough within our company that I’m convinced it's not going to be a fad or shelf-ware, but rather a concrete way of moving our business forward. Though this process, we've set our Ten Year BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of being a fundamentally different and much, much larger company and thanks to the EOS® process, we now have an excellent chance of achieving our vision.
"Thank you Jim Palzewicz and the entire ActionCOACH team for introducing Liturgical Publications to the EOS® methodology and elevating our business."
"My company attained a certain level and was having a difficult time trying to break through the ceiling and get to the next level. EOS® helped me develop a leadership team that shares in the responsibilities and has allowed the company to get to the next level. By implementing EOS® I was able to get my leadership team involved in the decision-making process in the daily, weekly, quarterly and annual planning meetings. They are accepting more tasks and are holding each other accountable. This makes them all feel like they are more a part of the growing business and are more driven to continue to grow and improve the business. This has also provided individual growth with their professional careers."
It’s valuable to have Jim hold me accountable. I have set goals for myself, and I know he’s going to ask me how I’m doing towards achieving them. In the past on my own, I set goals that got lost, because other things always came up. Jim forces me to be more strategic and focused on what’s really important to grow my business by constantly bringing me back to that place I need to be focused to get the results I really want. It’s uncomfortable to be held accountable, but it’s good. It’s also hard for me to hold my team accountable, and Jim helps me to do that as well.
I have had the honor of knowing Todd Ruedt for many years as a business owner and friend. It was only in the past year that I began working with him as my business coach. During this time, Todd has been coaching me through some very big transitions in my business and if it wasn't for his help and insight, I would not have been able to navigate through these challenges with so much honesty and courage. His coaching skills helped me to identify and focus on the most important aspects of my business and to face the fears that have hindered me in the past. Through his positivity, patience, compassion and empathy, Todd provided me with the strength to look past my vulnerabilities and stay on course through the tough times, and also taught me to celebrate the good times. His desire and passion to help others is contagious! I am beyond grateful to Todd for what he has done for me and would highly recommend him to any business owner that is looking for the strength and support to help grow their business.
TBG Networks has been a client of ActionCOACH of Elm Grove for less than a year. Our coach is Todd Ruedt. Since we started working with Todd, our total number of clients has quadrupled and our gross revenues have just about doubled. We have been able to move into an office in Wauwatosa - prior to this we all worked out of our homes. We have also been able to hire a full-time technician to help us, using the ActionCOACH Recruitment Process.
There is literally nothing I can say about ActionCOACH that is not a rave review. Todd is a force of nature all by himself, but he is one of a group of staff and coaches, all who are focused on doing whatever they can to help TBG Networks grow and succeed.
I heartily recommend ActionCOACH for any business that wants to grow. And who doesn't want that?
Since bringing Jim on as my business coach, I set goals - Jim and I review them, and he holds me accountable to getting them done. What I value is that Jim can give me that “kick in the pants” when I really need it; he’s not being nice saying “that’s OK, you can do it next time”… no one else is going to do that for me. Jim has a stake in seeing Tobin Solutions succeed, and acts as the true strategic partner that he is for me. When I’ve tried holding myself accountable, it didn’t work. The result I’m seeing from working with Jim and ActionCOACH is that I’m getting things done that have been on my to-do list for literally 10 years. Now I’m regularly implementing new ideas I read and learn about, rather than letting them pile up on a to-do list.
When I starting working with my business coach in 2006, I had a business that owned me. Now I am an actual a business owner! Thanks Tom, and the rest of the ActionCOACH of Elm Grove team for helping me to "GROW" my business, leadership skills and most of all, myself!
Tom Palzewicz and the team at the ActionCOACH of Elm Grove office have helped GMS with this success and many more ventures that impact both the company, as well as the community. Tom has provided GMS with the guidance and support needed to increase sales, lower expenses, set goals, manage team members, and so much more. He has also provided GMS with the encouragement to develop two new passions of owner, Todd Ruedt.
2011 was also the year that Todd created the C.A.R.I.N.G Group, which stands for Companies Actively Reinvesting In Neighborhood Growth. This is a team of local business owners who are focused on giving back to the school district. GMS is grateful for the help that Tom and the ActionCOACH team have provided, as they feel empowered to continue to grow their business, as well as give back to the Milwaukee community.
I want to thank Cortney for being my coach. In the past three months she has provided me with some of the business basics that I should have been utilizing. Time management, cash flow, financials, pricing, social media, projections, and many others, I will continue to improve on all the mentioned.
I will definitely recommend ActionCOACH to any new business that I run across. Plus, I will highly recommend Cortney as the person to work with. Thank you again, and I will never forget how you helped me.
When I first walked into Rick Appleby's office in the end of February of 2014, it was because I had just had a business explosion and I was seeking more. I told him the offerings I could bring to him, but before I left that meeting, I was the one wanting something from him.
While my business of creating written and spoken content for books, educators, professionals, and others was doing very well, I was overwhelmed in the new success and on the well-paved road to a quick burnout. I had been working approximately 70 hours per week and hadn't had a day off, with the exception of two days over which I was ill, since Christmas. I'm one of those blessed people who is living that first childhood dream I ever had. Not many people can say that and I don't take it for granted. I always enjoyed writing and I managed to make a career out of it, creating stories for children, writing inspirational non-fiction with sporting legends, developing life-changing content with professional leaders, and back to my love of imaginative tales for pre-k to young adult readers. By all definitions, I had "made it" in an art field! Despite this, I never celebrated. I had this constant nagging realization that, 'this is not what I thought "dream-come-true" would feel like.'
I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and at a point where I saw two roads. One was filled with pain . . . go all in! I may end up in debt and a sleepless wreck, but if I don't pay somebody to do (take your pick: admin, marketing, sales, prospecting, pitching, etc.), then I can't keep going because I'm losing my mind. (Or, just up the hours even more, go even longer without a break, and accept the loss of my mind!) The second road was to take my career and turn it BACK into a hobby! In other words, take all of this momentum (fifteen plus years' worth) I had taken to make it up to the cusp of enjoyable, fulfilling success and throw it away because it was a whole lot easier on the bottom of the hill.
Rick showed me a third road. He asked me, "Where do you want to be in your life (not just my business) ten years from now?" I hadn't even thought about that in ages . . . I couldn't remember the last time my dream-job allowed any possibility for dreaming . . . for excitement . . . for celebration . . . for hope. I was just always trying to land the next publishing contract, write the next book or program. I was a hamster on a wheel and I could really go nowhere further than the amount of pain I was willing to put myself through to get there. Plus, the focus was on money, alone, or each project as a step closer to a "big enough" project, and not on the purposes for which I had originally even begun writing.
Not only did Rick help me to define what I really wanted to accomplish through my career—financially, with regard to freedom and quality of life, as a reflection of my values, and for my family—but he began to share the steps of how I could get there. He taught me how to recapture the energy I once had for my creative endeavors while applying business logic and tools that, for once in this artist's life, I could understand and implement. I joined ActionCOACH right away.
Through bi-monthly and quarterly meetings, plus additional offered trainings that I choose, my calendar is balanced, my business is growing both quickly AND strongly, (and my sanity is still intact.) In fact, my "work" has never been easier and my brand never more powerful. Five months later, I've had a break; I've had many. In fact, I work a healthy work-week, now. I've just made my first hire. I have more capital coming in than ever before and the pipeline is FULL. I have strategically planned how I get off the hamster wheel and out of the cage. Heck, I'm on my way to owning the whole hamster store chain! Every time I get excited about growing part of my business, Rick shows me other parts I can also grow! Coaching with Rick Appleby of ActionCOACH has been TRANSFORMATIONAL to my business, career, and LIFE! I am truly grateful for coaching and Rick as they have put the dream back in dream job.
With sincere appreciation,
Reji Laberje Author Programs
What was your business like before ActionCOACH?
“Being in business for the past 17 years, we’ve always been on a growth pattern as we’ve gotten more employees and multifaceted our business, but we were looking around for some more support and training – coaching, understanding cash flow and financials, just a little bit more help in developing a bigger business. We started with five employees and have developed to over 70, and ActionCOACH was a great choice for us in helping get a hold of our business and get it ready for the next level.”
Did you have any reservations before deciding to work with ActionCOACH?
“I did. About five years ago I was actually approached about the ActionCOACH system and what they could do for business, and I regretfully wish I would have signed up five years ago, versus being a client now for nine months; and what we’ve gained out of it in just nine months, I wish I would have had that head start five years ago. I have no reservations at all now. It’s a very easy approach being month-to-month with a hand shake deal, and if it works for your business – great, if it doesn’t, then there’s an easy parting.”
What results have you seen in your business since working with ActionCOACH?
“We’ve built our organizational chart for our company, redefined our mission statement and our culture points, re-tooled our entire management team, and we really have a better plan now going into the future on how to make a company that grows without the business owner being in it and pushing it every day.”
“In my personal life, I’ve been able to develop a better calendar that’s allowed me to achieve the work-life balance that I’m looking for, I’ve learned to get out of my employees way and just let them do their jobs, which I was not very good at doing before, and I’ve set up systems and procedures so that every day things are functioning at a very high level and I’m able to maintain that balance.”
What would you say to other business owners who are thinking of working with ActionCOACH?
“I’ve spoken with numerous other business owners about ActionCOACH and every time I highly recommend them as a great resource. As ActionCOACH puts it, they find their fees in your business. It’s a hand shake deal, there are no contracts, and as an old-school guy who just likes to shake a hand and move forward, I really enjoy that.”
“People always ask me, ‘When do you see yourself leaving ActionCOACH?’ My response is, ‘Just like so many other business owners have done, if I continue to see the benefits, then I hope to stay through the sale of my business – all the way to retirement.’”
Jackie has been instrumental for me. I came to her at a point in my professional career wondering what do I do next? What more can I expect of my business and/or myself? Not only did she ask the right questions to let me take the journey to discovering the answer for myself, but she coached me along the way ensuring I had the proper tools to do so.
I am thankful for ActionCOACH, for my Coach Jackie, and for each session with my peers where I am encouraged to learn, explore, grow, and pursue my dream.
"In an effort to improve my leadership and quite honestly, bounce me out of a rut at work, I sought out ActionCoach and was quickly connected with Rick Appleby. I was looking for somewhat of a ‘jumpstart’ at this point of my career. In a new position for about one year, with average results from my team, I was losing some confidence. Rick spent time getting me grounded and re-taught me the basics of goal-setting and action planning. Reading various self-improvement books over the years, the information wasn't necessarily earth shattering, but meeting with him every two weeks kept me accountable and helped me form a number of habits that will provide dividends going forward. The resources Rick shared with me were valuable because he didn’t tell me to read a book, but rather linked it to some of my goals and directed me to certain parts of books to make it all come together. I felt that Rick had the experience in industry to be able to back up his methodology and approach to leadership. Working in the ‘real world’ in a number of different capacities gives him a nice breadth of knowledge to draw from to help clients. He caught on to my industry very quickly. Both my confidence and results have improved. My team and my upper-management has expressed a number of very re-assuring positives over the past 6 months. Rick was very down to earth, and easy to learn from."
James Kirchen - Deltar Fasteners
Coach Mike Thompson has been beyond knowledgeable in every coaching session. After being in business for 15 years and feeling like my business operations were just on auto-pilot, Mike has ignited a new passion in me for running my business. From new marketing strategies to instituting systems to setting what seemed like unattainable goals that ended up being surpassed, Mike has been beyond knowledgeable in every coaching session. I go away from every discussion with an impressive list of things that I can do to make my business better.