Dear Les – It is coming up on a year since we first met, and I wanted to share with you, and thank you for the impact that you’ve had on me and my company.
As you will likely recall, I was pretty skeptical about the whole coaching concept, ( and consultants in general for that matter), and I believe that my team was probably even more skeptical than I was.
Today was the 7th full day that we have spent with you. Tomorrow we will have completed our 4th consecutive quarterly strategy meeting.
This is significant because I believe it is the first time in the 9 year history of the company that we’ve been fully committed to a strategic process.
So for those 4 meetings, I’d like to point out 4 ways that we are all better off for the experience.
1. Rockefeller Habits. An alignment of purpose, promise, BHAG, Priorities, KPIs, etc… You introduced us to an amazing set of tools, and reinforced them in a way that we couldn’t get out of simply reading a book. Your insights in applying these concepts to our business saved us an untold amount of time and energy.
2. Personnel. Putting the right people in the right places seems like such an easy concept, but by working on not just our hiring process, but our redeployment process has helped us focus on keeping the #1 thing the #1 thing rather than getting bogged down in bad hiring decisions or having underutilized unhappy employees.
3. Alignment. Watching the functional group leaders progress from role confusion with orphaned projects to an aligned leadership team with defined accountabilities is simply beyond what could be a reality series of “Extreme Strategy Makeover”.
4. Results. Obviously we will never know what would have happened if we had never met and started this process. But I can state with certainty, that if we had not started the process when we did, we would not have been prepared, or even aware, of the challenges we faced this year that could have been “material” to the operations of the company.
Thank You, Les – Without a doubt, we’re a better company today than we were a year ago. I even went as far as determining the ROI on this whole process – when I got to the final calculation, all I could get the spreadsheet to tell me was “No Brainer”.
All the best to you,
Tim Storm, Founder & CEO, FatWallet, Inc.
50 Best Small & Medium Workplaces in America – Entrepreneur magazine
I am writing to thank you for all you have done for our organization. ASL Distribution Services Limited and our Precision Home and Office Deliveries division have just recently been recognized as a recipient of one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. This prestigious national award, sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC Commercial Banking, National Post, and Queen’s School of Business, has recognized the most innovative and best managed companies in Canada. I certainly believe that executive level development is a crucial aspect of building a successful organization and this is one of the areas you have been both strategic and instrumental to our growth and success.
I have learned much from you through our time together including priority setting; meeting structures and rhythms; talent management including Topgrading; and sales and marketing strategies to name a few. For all this I thank you. We are a stronger and better organization through our association with you and your organization and I have personally grown through my association with you. Thank you for everything you have done for the ASL team.
Cole Dolny, President, ASL Distribution
Deloitte – Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies
Our executive team has been working with Les for just over six months. Within that time period, Les’s impact has far exceeded our expectations. Les has helped us introduce new processes that have every employee focused on our top priorities on a daily basis. As a result, sales have increased by over 100% in one quarter.
5 years later…
We’ve been working with Les for about five years. Les has brought structure, discipline and accountability to our strategic planning process. Working with Les is not just about planning, it’s about execution as well. We’ve experienced rapid growth over the past several years and Les has played an important role in our success. I can’t say enough positive things about our experience working with Les.
Paul Genier, President, Veritaaq
Deloitte – Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies
Les has proven to be a key advisor to the business and to me personally. He is certainly a Rockefeller Habits pro, but his keen business sense and ability to dissect our team dynamic, strengths and opportunities have brought us to new levels of focus, accountability and results. We have moved from less than 40% A players in a company of ninety to close to 60% in a couple of quarters and expect to achieve our goal of > 80% in the next 3-6 months (with no Cs). Margins are improving and we are more committed than ever to achieving stretch revenue goals. Additionally, Les brought critical insights before, during and after an acquisition we completed recently. We certainly did a better job developing our criteria, finding potential acquisition targets and integrating than we would have without Les’ support. Les’ support has been a game changer.
Scot Lowry, President & CEO
Fathom Online Marketing
Thank you very much for facilitating last week’s offsite meeting.
I would like to repeat what I stated at the end of our initial 2 day introduction to the Gazelles program in December: my only regret was not finding the program and YOU a few years sooner! Thank you for your insight and guidance!
Larry Andrews, President/CEO Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. TSE:DND
We wish to express our gratitude to you and your company. Our company is doing well and we are having fun! It is nice to be able to say that.
Earlier this year Marie and Riyaz had a visioning session with you and the effect of the product they presented was profound. The “Les Sessions”, as we refer to them, have conditioned us to be more measured in our decision making and accountable for the results of our initiatives. This, in itself, is a great achievement but it is so good to be able to say that WE ARE HAVING FUN! The discipline you have taught us will continue to take us closer to our goals.
Thank you for what you do. We look forward to your involvement in our future. I believe every company should have a Les!
Barbara Dale and Eric Germain, Co-founders IS2
Since we started working with you and began implementing the Rockefeller Habits, We are enjoying record sales, are in a better cash position than ever before and have a team of employees with the highest morale and best attitudes.
The two day Rockefeller Habits Strategic Planning session was the first time we invested time and energy in discovering our Core Values, identifying our Purpose and setting a BHAG. Now, these are reference points that we all regularly rally around and are a part of our daily conversations.
Everyone in our company is now in a daily huddle and this has helped improve morale, eliminate the communication problems we were experiencing and enabled us to provide clarity around our short and long terms priorities.
We are so much more productive now that we have clearly identified our top priorities for each quarter. Instead of everyone having more things to do than they could handle, we all know what the top priorities are and what role each person can play in completing them. This clarity of purpose has helped us resolve some of our biggest challenges and we are well positioned to keep working through the remaining challenges and any new ones as they come up.
Another large area of focus for us was our people. We have many outstanding people, but they were not all in the right positions. In the last six months we have moved people to Canada from the UK, shifted contract people to full time employees, freed up the futures of some of the wrong employees and filled several critical seats. Our leadership team is now in place and we are ready to grow!
Les, our business is in better shape than it has ever been. We value your support as a critical element in our success and look forward to celebrating the attainment of our BHAG in 2012!
Roy Grant, Chairman, CEO CCi
With Les facilitating our annual executive strategic planning meeting, we accomplished more than we ever have before, and we have been doing these for a long time.
Rudy Karsan, Chief Executive Officer, Kenexa (Nasdaq: KNXA)
Since we met with Les, my whole company meets daily (each has a 10 minute huddle) – management first, then down to the teams. We do “what’s up, where are you stuck, metric update and good news.
It has completely realigned the company with clear communication and efficiency. Proof: we are having record sales and cash flow by far with minimal stress. Before we were very stressed and having the worst months ever (just six months ago!) We have a quarterly theme (CASH!) and will celebrate by going to Six Flags when we reach our cash goal.
David Mammano, Founder/CEO, Next Step Publishing, Inc.
The work you did with Kjell and Dan was fabulous. With Dan, I have seen significant growth in his understanding of what he needs to do in his role. Through his ownership and sense of empowerment, I think his career has considerable runway. It’s worth mentioning that we just returned from our company leadership retreat and Dan was awarded Top Sales Assist Award which is an award for explaining our technology and the operations behind the solutions we provide; although the award is not for security, it is an indication that he is leading in the area of security. The influence you have given Dan is to raise his level of thought and influence in strategic ways through a number of changes.
With Kjell, I have seen increased development. Over the last couple of quarters I have seen him mature in an understanding of what his role needs to evolve into. This understanding has been matched with an increase in his transparency and a focus on managing his various relationships effectively. Kjell was awarded Principal status in the company which is a general acknowledgement of his growth.
I’d very much like to thank you for the work you have done and you can be sure that I will call you again. Thanks Les.
Jim Restivo, Chief Knowledge Officer Kenexa (Nasdaq: KNXA)
Winters Instruments has greatly benefitted from your coaching and appreciate your involvement over the past couple of years. We were amazed how quickly you grasped the operations of our company and you always were very sharp when moderating our discussions.
Les, you taught us many useful tools. Thank you. We look forward to maintaining a long term relation with you.
Jeffrey Smith, President, Winters Instruments
Les brings exceptional experience and discipline to our strategic planning process. We were already practicing some of the Gazelle’s teachings, but he has really helped us to take it to the next level. and focus on the parts that matter most. He challenges us to find answers to the hard questions and brings out the best in the team. Above all else, we have seen an enormous improvement in the alignment of the company around our strategy, core values, and mission. We highly recommend Les as a coach for growing companies.
Mike Assad, Co-founder, CEO Agility Inc.
Having Les as a business coach has made a huge difference in life and in the life of my business. Being at the top of an organization, I find that I need someone who is like-minded to keep me accountable for my responsibilities when it comes to growing and expanding my business and achieving some aggressive corporate goals.
Les is a great sounding board helping me navigate through difficult situations when they arise. I would recommend his professional coaching and facilitating abilities to anyone seeking personal and business growth in their own company.
Andy Buyting, President, Green Village
Author of The Retailers Roadmap to Success
Our Strategic Planning session with Les was an eye opening revelation for us. We now feel focused and have a clear plan to re-energize the company.
Hugh Barit, Chairman, CEO, P.R.P. Performa
Bermuda based financial services company
We have made more progress today, than we have in two years.
After Day 1 of a 2 Day Strategic Planning Workshop…
Six months later…
We’re a completely different organization today; we have established and empowered our leadership and management teams.
Alex Campbell, Co-founder, CEO, Vibes Media
Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Firms
I had the opportunity to work with Les shortly following a large acquisition which caused my business unit to double in size to in excess of 500 employees. We had big dreams but very little structural organization in place and at times I felt like I was running the fastest sprint of my life and getting nowhere.
Following our sessions with Les we were able to create and cascade an in-depth Accountability and Responsibility grid that serves as our organizational chart today. We quickly grasped the value of the Daily Huddle Rhythm which has allowed us to communicate and stay focused on the key priorities we have as a business. Huddles have become a part of our culture and have allowed us a venue to share critical communication throughout the business which is vital when you are growing rapdily and constantly changing. Our company is now flourishing and those tools and structure are a big part of that success.
We still have our big dreams and I am often still running that sprint, but extremely happy to say I am now getting to where I want to go.
Becky Sterling, Talent Management, International General Manager,
Kenexa (Nasdaq: KNXA)
I have worked with Les Rubenovitch for over one year now as he has been a Coach to DMTI on implementing Gazelles and many other business topics. Les is the best meeting facilitator I have worked with, his knowledge of a broad range of business aspects is substantial, as his ongoing study of current best business books. Given his own personal background running companies he has an excellent feel for when he needs to step in and guide and when he should step back and watch. DMTI values Les’ ongoing contributions greatly!
Alex MacKay, CEO, DMTI Spatial Inc.