Today, leadership and management are more important than ever. Management generates competent and productive team members, whereas leadership creates passionate and focused team members. Unfortunately, this is the factor that several organizations fail to realize and perceive both as the same. This is where employee engagement strategies fall short.
Monte Wyatt, one of the most awarded facilitators and coaches in the field of organizational development, delivers to executives, organizations and business owners over 25 years of extraordinary leadership, business, and personal development expertise. As the CEO of AddingZEROS, an executive development firm, Monte develops leadership and management clarity for CEOs and their executive teams through his process of Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning. He and his global facilitators assist mid-market companies in aligning and engaging their teams.
Monte believes that executive leadership must influence employee engagement. By instilling passion and enthusiasm in team members, a good leader stimulates and empowers people to open their minds to new views. He goes on to say that this promotes powerful transformation throughout a company. As a result, executive involvement is the most critical step toward staff engagement.
This is where AddingZEROS fits in. They bridge the gap between leadership and management in today’s workplace by assisting executives in personal and professional growth while also establishing organizational discipline. AddingZEROS aligns senior and frontline management teams with the organization’s goals and priorities, giving firms clarity on their future path and direction. The foundation of its teachings and work with clients is based on its definition of a successful business.
A successful business is one that is sustainable, predictable, stable, and consistent and has an emotional connection.
Here, Monte defines-
- Sustainable, meaning the business should outlast everyone that is in it.
- Predictable, meaning that you know what actions create what results, so you can predict the future.
- Stability is all about people; stability is created through high engagement and high retention of team members.
- As a consumer (and a team member), a business needs Consistency. Consumers want to know what to expect from a company or department no matter who they interact with.
- Emotional Connection means that people love who you are and why you do what you do, internally and externally.
An organization might make a lot of money and still not be deemed successful. This definition was developed to assist organizations of all sizes in being truly successful. Yes, in a business, revenue and profit are two of the key indicators of success. Revenue and profit will not persist without the elements of this definition of a successful business.
Taking the Initiative
“I am an Iowa farmboy. My dad and brother still farm raising corn, soybeans, and pigs. At Iowa State University, I studied Agri Business,” shares Monte. He began his professional career in global agricultural chemical manufacturing, where he worked in sales, sales training, sales management, and marketing management. He obtained expertise in all aspects of the business, particularly in the development of team members and their skill sets. With this in mind, he decided to start his own company and make a difference in a variety of sectors and executive teams. For the past 18 years, Monte has been bringing clarity to how executives lead and manage their organizations. He not only works with customers every day, but he also trains executive development facilitators all around the world.
All Different, All the Same
It is very interesting to hear how every business; industry, and team thinks they are unique. “We are different” is a common phrase. In reality, the challenges that most executives and organizations are facing are very similar. How do we get our team more engaged and aligned? How can we grow our business more efficiently? How do we serve our customers more consistently? How can we attract great employees? What can we do to get our employees to perform better? To address those concerns, AddingZEROS believes in organizational and executive development and discipline. There are five organizational disciplines that they help instill. They are Strategy, Business Development, People, Execution, and Mission. There are many decisions, ways of working, and actions to take to build organizational discipline. Without organizational discipline, everything is based solely on individuals. The team certainly doesn’t want to create robots but instills the context that an organization must follow to truly be consistent and successful. AddingZEROS teaches its clients how to be better executives and leaders in their communication, relationships, follow-through, planning, and implementation. When executives grow, the team grows. When the team grows, the business grows.
The Process of Organizational Development
AddingZEROS calls their client-facing methodology “Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning.” An organization requires discipline to achieve the concept of a great business (see above). Individual and organizational discipline are the two forms of discipline. The AddingZEROS Facilitators assists their clients with both. Executive development aims to assist executives in becoming the greatest leaders and managers they can be by teaching them new skills and incorporating them into their everyday activities. Organizational development aids in the establishment of discipline and uniformity among the organization’s departments and teams.
The first action is “Strategic Thinking.” We must think big picture with abundance. What is our true opportunity in the market? What are our strategic points of leverage? What actions will give us the biggest benefit to move closer to our long-term objectives? Are we structured and have the ability to grow and scale? How are we attracting and retaining the best talent? These are tough questions and tough discussions every executive team must have today. Strategic thinking is powerful and very important. Great leaders see more than others, before others, and farther than others.
The next phase is “Execution Planning.” Strategic planning is great, but Strategic Thinking with Execution Planning gets the work done and helps us achieve our goals. The Execution Planning process helps identify priorities, critical time frames, and owners for activities. Monte describes that during this entire process, AddingZEROS plays a facilitator role. They facilitate and guide the conversations to ensure that all executives are participating, aligned and thinking about the organization holistically. This gives the CEO the opportunity to be in the discussion rather than just driving the discussion. Great management sets benchmarks, timeframes and has clear accountabilities.
Enabling Growth while Keeping Balance
Monte loves seeing how small adjustments or changes in an organization can have a huge impact. Hearing and seeing growth happen in people and their teams is his favorite activity each day. He says, “Every day we should celebrate wins. There are wins happening, we just may not be noticing.”
Monte believes it is hard to balance work and personal life because they are so intertwined. He does believe in having goals, both personally and professionally. He shares, “When we have goals, they create focus and energy. Our energy is so important. To enjoy life, there must be energy. I have fitness goals, vacation goals, experience goals, social goals, relationship goals, and personal growth goals.” He further says, “In order to achieve any of these goals, I must learn, improve skillsets, improve behaviors, and celebrate when goals are achieved. This is how work and personal life are intertwined.” He finds they both support each other and, in many cases, one cannot be achieved without the impact of the other. Executives need to share organizational goals and model how to live appropriately.
Be Consistent and Committed to New Learning
Monte’s advice for current and future leaders is to learn every single day; read, ask questions, listen to others’ viewpoints. He finds it very easy to fall into the trap of believing our own story. He says, “Our own story of ‘our ideas are best’ or ‘I’m the one in charge, I have to have all the answers’ will always bite us. When we open our minds to hearing others’ ideas and we add their ideas to our own, we come up with amazing results. Let your team give input, share their thoughts and opinions. This is how we learn and gain new perspectives. This is where the best ideas and actions come from.” He further adds that another great benefit asking and listening, is that you will build trust and rapport with your team much faster and it will be more sustainable.
Future vision for AddingZEROS
Monte’s objective for AddingZEROS is to impact 1 million executives in ten years. AddingZEROS is always on the lookout for exceptional facilitators and thought leaders to assist them in serving their increasing international customer base. So many companies are rethinking their strategy, direction, and employee engagement. The innovative approach of “Strategic Thinking, Execution Planning” is having a tremendous impact, and seeing the customer results is really fulfilling.
A Client Success Story
AddingZEROS has clients ranging from 50 employees to thousands of employees. One of its clients, who has 85 retail locations—was looking to better align its executives with its organizational goals. The organization faced challenges in unifying and aligning its executives with future business objectives. The misalignment was primarily due to siloed departments and a lack of communication and engagement between the executives and employees. By implementing AddingZEROS’ process called Strategic Thinking and Execution Planning, the team helped the executives see and understand that their actions, behaviors, decisions, and disciplines will shape the organization’s future. Because of AddingZEROS’ proven practices and processes, it successfully helped this client implement new messaging, new direction and improved their executives’ actions to bridge all 85 retail locations together, allowing the entire organization to follow their roadmap efficiently.