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Elevate Speaker Series Kicks Off With Moncrief and Maio – Save these Dates – April 10 and 25

Now that our harsh winter is over, it’s time to launch the 2014 Elevate Speaker Series.  In April, you have two opportunities to learn from two high performing individuals – 1). Sidney Moncrief, world class NBA Athlete & Coach & 2). Keith Maio, world class banker and leader of one of the largest and strongest financial institutions in the U.S.

Sidney Moncrief – April 10 at 8 A.M.  

As great of an ambassador to Arkansas Sidney Moncrief has been over the years, as awesome of a great teammate and team player Sidney was both for the Arkansas Razorback and the NBA, as great of an individual high performing athlete as Sidney was, as great of an NBA Assistant Coach as Sidney has been, in our opinion, we have yet to see the best of Sidney Moncrief.  Join us on April 10 at 8 a.m. and learn why we feel this way.  Sidney will speak at the Central Balcony of East Square Plaza on Team-driven Leadership.

Sidney is an NBA TV Milwaukee Buck’s color commentator and his organization, Moncrief TeamOne executes a series of workshops to help individuals perform better in the workplace.

To learn more about Sidney, click these links:

Moncrief One Team

Earlier in Sidney’s life, one could have found him doing this:

Sidney Moncrief Pro Basketball Highlight Video  – Coach Sidney Moncrief Interviewed

Sidney Moncrief with Joe Thomas, the day it was announced that Sidney’s retired jersey will soon hang in Bud Walton Arena.

Sidney Moncrief & Joe Thomas



Keith Maio – April 25 Conference Call at 9:30 a.m.

Please join us for a conference call with Keith Maio, on April 25 at 9:30 a.m. Keith is an executive with Zions Bancorp, a $55 Billion bank holding company. Keith has led financial institutions during two major economic downturns and is known to us as one of the most positive, inspiring, thoughtful and intelligent leaders with which we have ever worked or met.

Keith’s presentation will include:

  • Leadership Perspectives – Starting with Why
  • Our nation’s economy – present and future – Keith’s views
  • Key trends within the financial services sector and how leaders of enterprises can optimize your commercial banking relationship

Call-in instructions is toll free at 866-210-1669, pass code 3475591.

Zions Bancorporation,, is one of the nation’s premier financial services companies, consisting of a collection of great banks in select western U.S. markets with combined total assets exceeding $55 billion. Zions operates its banking businesses under local management teams and community identities in 10 western and southwestern states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. The company is a national leader in Small Business Administration lending and public finance advisory services and is a consistent recipient of numerous Greenwich Excellence awards in banking. In addition, Zions is included in the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Financial 100 indices.

About Our Firm 

Elevate Performance L.L.C. operates peer advisory groups including CEO Forums, Elevate Forums and Emerging Leader Forums.  We deliver  Advisory Services, Leader/Emerging Leader One-on-One’s, the Elevate Speaker Series, Tools and Content.

To learn more about whether one of our forums is a fit for you or how our services can deliver value to you, please contact Tim McFarland at or by calling 479-310-5570.

In all we do, our firm is dedicated to helping you Elevate your Performance.

CEO Forums-9729 2

High Ranking Attributes – Six Pillars Essential for Leading Your Enterprise

Please find below high ranking attributes of the Six Pillars Essential for Leading Your Enterprise.


Am I aware of the value of Emotional Intelligence for career success? 

Emotional Intelligence is catalytic for whatever other abilities we have; it allows us to make best use of them,” Daniel Goleman speaking at Google.  “Whatever Emotional Intelligence contributes to success, it matters more per unit than IQ.”

Learn from Daniel Goleman speaking at Google Headquarters


Do I genuinely know what our customers value and am I improving how we deliver value in these areas?  


Do I understand what financially successful enterprises look like? Am I helping drive our organization toward these frameworks?

A Key Ratio – After-tax profit margins for Leading Publicly Held Companies currently considered successful:

Walmart – 3.6%

Tyson Foods – 2.3%

J.B. Hunt Transport – 16.3%

Apple – 21.6%

Google – 21.5%

Cerner – 13.7%

Amazon – 0.36%


Do I lead my organization so that we can bring the very best out in our co-workers?   

Example: I do all I can do to create an open, trusting, non-defensive &  non-political environment.  (Taught to all of us by the founder of the CEO Forum, Sir Jim Myers!) 


Has our organization defined the three to eight principles or beliefs that others can depend every person in our organization to follow?

“Culture trumps strategy every time,” Jeffrey K. Schomburger, President, Global WalMart Team, Procter & Gamble.


Does every team member in my organization know our goals and know precisely his or her role in achieving these goals?

“Winning companies have simple goals with clear targets and strong follow-through.  All team members know what to do about the goals and they execute precisely,” learned from Donnie Smith during presentation at The Summit who learned from Stephen Covey and Bob Whitman, Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times.  

Learn from Donnie via this Summit Presentation

About Our Firm 

Elevate Performance LLC operates peer advisory groups including CEO Forums, Elevate Forums and Emerging Leader Forums.  We deliver  Advisory Services, Executive One-on-One’s, the Elevate Speaker Series, Tools and Content.

To learn more about whether one of our forums is a fit for you or how our services can deliver value to you, please contact Tim McFarland at or by calling 479-310-5570.

In all we do, our firm is dedicated to helping you Elevate your Performance.


2013 Diversity Report – CEO Forums and Emerging Leader Forums

CEO Forums & Emerging Leader Forums

2013 Diversity Report

Everyone learns from everyone; the more diverse our membership, the richer the experience for everyone.

In 2013, we established as a Key Objective to improve the diversity of our membership. We are pleased to report an update on the progress being made to drive a more diverse membership.

Our 2013 Report on Diversity reflects the following:

Members Representing Diversity

CEO Forums                   Of the 33 members, 10 members represent diversity (a group in the minority)

More specifically…..

-  8 female

- 1 physically handicapped

- 1 born & raised in Venezuela

Emerging Leader Forum II     of the 13 members, 7 represent diversity

More specifically……..

  • 5 female
  • 1 born & raised in Colombia
  • 1 Irish-German-African-American-Indian

In addition to working harder approaching prospects that represent diversity, we also found that reducing the cost to join for some of these prospects would remove an important barrier.  Fees to prospects that represent diversity and seem to be a good fit for membership and vice versa have been reduced on a case by case basis by 20 to 35%.

Investment in Diversity expressed as Annual Reduction in Fees

Program Sponsors / Supporters

Hanna Oil & Gas                                                              $2,000 Contribution

Neal Pendergraft                                                           $2,000 Contribution

Todd Wood                                                                      $2,000 Contribution

Elevate’s Contribution via Reduced Fees           $19,400 Contribution

Total                                                                                  $25,400 Contribution


Organizations that have invested directly in diversity via membership into these forums include:

  • Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
  • Rockline Industries
  • Sage Partners
  • Northwest Arkansas Council
  • Scribe Marketing
  • Restore Humanity
  • Lola Boutique
  • Creative Awards 
  • Mercy Northwest Arkansas
  • Fayetteville Public Schools
  • Community Clinic
  • Groundserv
  • Nicole Shipley
  • Amy Robinson Reeves

Thank you to each of these organizations and people for helping make our forums more rich and more diverse enabling our members to have well round perspectives of issues and opportunities.


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Ray Dalio – A Leader Worthy of Study, On Achieving Personal Success, Enterprise Success & Learning How the Economic Machine Works

The title to this article does seem to be much too diverse and wide ranging!  Right?  How can one person be looked to as a valuable resource for each topic? Please stay engaged.

Ray Dalio is the only Forbes 400 Member who has developed a set of principles that guide him and his firm that are also published and available to the public via his firm’s website.  We understand that every human is coming to this place with your own set of experiences, knowledge and needs as compared to myself or the next person.  Yet we share this 123 page document with you because we believe that any person hungry to learn new and better ways to become more effective individually or as an organizational leader, will find great value here.

Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates.

Ray is an amazing study.  The firm he founded in his two bedroom apartment in 1972 has since become the largest and highest performing hedge fund in the U.S. at $150 Billion.  While the fact that Ray has built such a firm is very impressive and the fact that Ray is on the Forbes 400 List at around $12 Billion, neither are the attributes that impresses us most about Ray.

We find the culture and the manner in which Ray operates the firm and “leads oneself” is most impressive.  Ray strongly encourages differences in opinion at the firm and he leads / operates in a non-egotistical way.  He believes that we each have to get beyond our ego barrier before we can then go about consistently discovering what is true.

Please think for a minute about any time that you might have thought you knew what was true only to learn later that the truth was elsewhere.  Take yourself back to that time and consider your frame of mind around that topic.  Might you find that you operated with a strong ego?  When we lead with ego, might we block our opportunity to learn differing views and hold the risk of holding onto something that is not true?  Our ego can be a barrier for learning from others and what really is true.  Getting beyond our ego barrier can also be the gateway for us to take our effectiveness as a leader to a much higher level and to be able to pursue and determine with much greater consistency, what is, in fact, true.

If we can get beyond our ego barrier while at the same time lead and help create an organization that is open, trusting, non-defensive and non-political, then we position ourselves to be able to grow, to enrich our learning opportunities and to be able to process information such that we can more consistently discover what is true.  Applying this key guidance and some or all of Ray’s principles gives each one of us the opportunity to become much more effective and achieve what we desire to achieve.

So let’s learn from Ray Dalio.  This morning Charlie Rose interviewed Ray.  Here is the link:

Ray Dalio operates the world’s largest Hedge Fund.  He also leads in a non-egotistical way and encourages difference in opinions.  He asks “can you get over your ego barrier?  Can you find out what is true?”  He refers to working at Bridgewater Associates, the $150 Billion Hedge Fund as going into the Intellectual Navy Seals.  He speaks of being able to live and operate without fear.

Members of our Peer Advisory Groups have also discussed the work of Book Author and Sports and Leadership Psychologist Stan Beecham.  Stan has visited our CEO Forums.  The name of his new book, which is #1 on our recommended reading list is Elite Minds.  Stan puts forth thatwhen fear dies, you begin to live.  Fear is keeping you from reaching your potential.  Conquering fear should be your primary goal in life.”    

Ray recently released a YouTube video on How the Economic Machine Works. You can find this video here:

Ray is the only person on the Forbes 400 list that publishes his Life & Management Principles.

You can find Ray’s Life and Management Principles here:

Our first introduction to Ray was while watching a Charlie Rose interview on October 25, 2011.  Acclaimed Interviewer and Broadcast Journalist Charlie Rose engages America’s best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers and business leaders.* We also recommend studying Ray and his way of thinking in this interview, the first with Charlie Rose:

Thank you Ray Dalio for sharing and enlightening us.  We are most grateful!

How Elevate Can Help You

Elevate Performance, LLC delivers services to help leaders elevate performance including but not limited to CEO Forums, Elevate Forums, advisory services and One-on-Ones.

Please find below information about one of our programs, a special program for C- Suite Leaders, the CEO Forum.

One Board Room | Up to Fifteen CEO’s or Leaders of Organizations | Representing Up to Fifteen Separate Industries | One Morning a Month | Trust and Confidentiality is Established by Every Member Including Signed Confidentiality Agreements | Each Month, One Member Formally Presents His or Her Largest Opportunity or Issue for Greater Success | Every Member, During the “Go Around” is Afforded the Opportunity to Tap into the Peer Group for Insights & Experience Relative to a Specific Opportunity or Challenge | Every Member Learns About the Challenges, Issues and Uniqueness of Several Industries | Differences in Opinion are Welcome & the Hunger to Find Out What is True is Strongly Encouraged | Perspective, Knowledge and Wisdom One Cannot Access Any Other Way

 “We are all better when we can access the insights and experiences of our peers in a trusting setting.  Issues do not fester or Opportunities do not pass due to hesitation because we have yet to have experience around that issue or opportunity.  We help one another with new and different ways to achieve results, how to better attract, retain and lead high quality co-workers, strategic direction & implementation, market behavior & trends.  There is no topic or issue that is off the table as real life presents a wide range of topics or issues with which leaders are looked to for response,” Tim McFarland


  •  CEO Forum I is held on the first Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  CEO Forum II and III meet on the second and third Friday’s from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Currently working to launch a forth forum based in Benton County; will be based at  Arvest Bank, Bentonville; founding member of this forum is Dennis Smiley, CEO of Arvest Bank, Benton County.
  • Everyone learns from everyone; the more diverse the membership, the richer the experience
  • Cost – $1,300 per quarter payable in advance of each quarter; to encourage diversity in leadership, those representing diversity receive a reduced rate of $1,000 per quarter
  • Forums are currently “chaired” by Tim McFarland, who has lead organizations through growth and restructuring periods in healthy and challenging economic times in three states including financial institutions and private enterprises. Expansion plans call for additional “chairs” for new forums.

Membership to the CEO Forums is being expanded & is by invitation.  If you would like to learn more about becoming a member or about becoming a chair of future forums, please contact Tim McFarland at or 479-310-5570.




Emerging Leader Forum Launches With High Level of Diversity in Members – Rich!

We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with the recently enrolled Emerging Leader Forum ‘Fall 2013.’  Fourteen emerging leaders enrolled and are now members of the Emerging Leader Forum ‘Fall 2013.’  The group represents a degree of diversity that we have not previously seen in leadership / emerging leader groups.  As we are all learning, and we strongly believe, the greater the diversity of any group, the richer the opportunity is to learn from one another.

How the Program Works

Members will invest three hours a month in a confidential setting learning from one another and from the facilitators of the program.  Members are asked to invest another three hours during the month learning from “best in class” materials. These materials were derived from:

  • contributions made by every CEO Forum member relating to each member’s successes and failures and resources that he or she has brought to the CEO Forums considered valuable and actionable to leaders of small to midsize organizations.
  • the Six Pillars Essential for Leading Your Enterprise.  The Six Pillars were derived from the experience and learning of Elevate’s founder while serving in his career, over 500 CEO’s along with what he has learned from his successes and failures.

At each forum, two of the fourteen members will formally present an Issue / Opportunity using our disciplined process.

As a result, we believe that members will gain insights and perspectives that one just cannot get any other way.

Please congratulate the members of the Emerging Leader Forum ‘Fall 2013′ for “leaning in.”

We offer these two notables about this group:

  • the quality of organizations investing in their emerging leaders.
  • how diverse the group is.  As can be found in the statistics to follow relating to how diverse the group is, members can look forward to an experience that will be further enriched due to it’s highly diverse make-up.


 Members of Emerging Leader Forum ‘Fall 2013′

Anna Cottrell                  Lola Boutique

Barbara Busiek               NWA Regional Airport

Carlos Giraldo                Rockline Industries

Jeff Gabbard                   Bowman Hospitality Group

Marshall Saviers           Sage Partners

Martine Pollard             Mercy Hospital NWA

MaryKathryn Floyd    Groundserv

Matt Dromy                    Modthink

Rob Gutteridge              NWA Business Journal

Stacey Sturner               Northwest Arkansas Council

Tomas Blodgett             Multi-Craft Contractors, Inc.

Tim Maddox                   deMx architecture

Boo Buchanan                Creative Awards

Nicole Shipley               Entrepreneur

Facilitating Team

Todd Wood                    Super Mentor

Michael Iseman           Elevate

Tim McFarland            Elevate


Diversity Stats

This group is represented, in terms of diversity, as follows:

Female – Six

Columbian born – One

German born – One

Irish-German-African-American-Indian – One

Caucasian Male – Five


Specific Deliverable of Program

During the eight month period, each member will identify two areas of leadership or of areas of expertise that he or she desires to improve upon and considered the two areas that if developed further, will position he or she to be increasingly valuable to the organization for whom he or she works.  With the assistance of Tim and Todd, we will develop a plan of action to develop each area.


What is The “Why” for What We Do? 

Our passion is to creating environments where CEO’s, leaders and aspiring leaders of small to midsize organizations can gain insights and knowledge around challenges and issues that can sometimes be daunting while also exposing you to valuable information and knowledge around leading your enterprise such that you can always be elevating your performance.  We desire to deliver a platform where you:

  • never have to “go it alone” and have a safe environment to process issues, challenges and opportunities important to your success.
  • can engage with your peers and with the leadership of Elevate in ways that you are able to return to your leadership position and make better decisions while also advancing your ability to bring the best out in others.

If we aren’t growing, are we not going backwards?  

Let’s discuss how you can join with us and be assured that you can increasingly contribute to the value you deliver to your organization.

Our Mission – Helping Leaders Elevate Performance.


Lean In with Jeannette Balleza Collins and Sheryl Sandberg

There is nothing more valuable in our organization than embracing diversity. What can we learn from Jeannette Balleza Collin’s recommended reading book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg? Lots! And what can we learn from Norah’s interview on 60 minutes last Sunday night? Lots! A “must read / must study” for every leader of every organization!

60 minutes interview:

To order the book:

Who is Jeannette Balleza Collins?

2012 Super Entrepreneur Developer Jeannette Balleza Recieves Award from CEO Forum Member, CEO of Creative Awards, Steve McBee.
2012 Super Entrepreneur Developer Jeannette Balleza Recieves Award from CEO Forum Member, CEO of Creative Awards, Steve McBee.

The CEO Forums Survey – Top 15 Best Practices for Recruiting and Hiring Great People

Members of the CEO Forums were asked to nominate Best Practices  for recruiting and hiring great people.  Then members were asked to rank those best practices.  Below are the results.

  1. Seek people that are first a cultural fit
  2. Hire people that are smarter than you
  3. Look for great talent and hire them; first who and then what
  4. Use trusted network / referrals
  5. Start with internships when possible
  6. You have to be recruiting all of the time
  7. Ask the question, “would I follow this person?”
  8. For managerial positions, utilize situational interviews
  9. Utilize pre-screening to make sure they are real candidates
  10. Use personality profile tools to assess the individual on many fronts; Caliper profile and Assess are two we have used; these are used to trigger red flags such as aggressive tendencies, high ego, low analytical ability, etc; used for who not to hire
  11. Strive to evaluate the “emotional quotient,” hard to discern in interview yet one can now purchase EQ tests at Barnes and Nobles or online
  12. Never hire someone when you need them/ work on great people long-term
  13. Always be observing and when one finds impressive people, seek them out
  14. Before process begins, first define what you believe is a “great person” or an “A Player”
  15. The best people we brought on were not looking when we recruited them

Elevate and CEO Forums strive to create the best learning environments for leaders through Peer Group Forums, the Elevate Speaker Series, Advisory Services & Toolboxes / Content important to your success.

12 Leaders | 1 Board Room | Peer Group Forums

Elevate is expanding its Peer Group Forums during 2013 from 3 to 6.

Each member gets the opportunity to:

  • invest three hours a month of “theta” time in a trusting setting with peers to process issues and opportunities and learn new and better ways to execute.
  • benefit from the collective wisdom of the experienced leaders whose combined value is estimated to be over $2,000 per hour, your alternative board of directors

Let us know if you or someone you know might benefit from joining a Peer Group Forum. Membership is by invitation.

Learning from Rockline Executive Nick Santoleri

Please enjoy learning from Nick Santoleri, executive of Rockline Industries.  Nick was a recent speaker at the Elevate Speaker Series by CEO Forums.  This post highlights the first three clips of Nick’s presentation via the “CEOForums” channel on YouTube.

Who is Rockline?

Rockline is a global, world class manufacturer of premium quality products for both branded and private label categories. From coffee filters to wet wipe products, Rockline offers a comprehensive line of products for your everyday lifestyle. Rockline is a recognized leader in innovation, product development, research, design, and manufacturing.  Learn more here:

What Can We Learn?

Nick’s topic is “Growing with Underdeveloped Resources.”  This is the challenge for all growth companies as at each stage the larger company needs new resources and desires to respect the talent and resources that got us to where we are today.

Part One, learn about:

  • How to think about Space
  • Growing with underdeveloped resources
  • Facilities around the globe
  • Unique Vision

Click here to watch:

Part Two, learn about:

  • Recruiting
  • Driving without a spare tire
  • Defining Stakeholders
  • How Can Companies Grow?

Click here to watch:

Part Three, learn about:

  • example comparing people and the train
  • clarity
  • how to work smarter – example starring Tom Porterfield
  • high performance organizational chart / high performance teams

Click here to watch:

We will highlight part’s four through six in a different post but they also are now available for your viewing and learning.  Thank you Nick for investing the time to prepare and present such valuable content for those leading organizations.   

Elevate strives to create the best learning environments for leaders through Peer Group Forums, the Elevate Speaker Series, Advisory Services & Toolboxes / Content important to your success.

12 Leaders | 1 Board Room | 6 Peer Group Forums

Elevate is expanding its Peer Group Forums.

Each member gets the opportunity to:

  • invest three hours a month of “theta” time in a trusting setting with peers to process issues and opportunities and learn new and better ways to execute.
  • benefit from the collective wisdom of the experienced leaders whose combined value is estimated to be over $2,000 per hour, your alternative board of directors

Let us know if you or someone you know might benefit from joining a Peer Group Forum. Membership is by invitation.

Learning from Donnie Smith, CEO of Tyson Foods

We recently had the opportunity to learn from Donnie Smith upon hearing him speak at The Summit a couple of weeks ago (

What inspired us is how, in our opinion, Donnie’s recommendations for leading can apply to any leader at any size organization.  Let’s see if you agree.  In this first post, we will include 10 things we learned from Donnie. While the descriptions are pretty exact, they are not exact quotes.   There are many more so look for future posts.

1. First, we must get real honest about where we are (find the truth).

2. Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.  What would it look like if done well?”

3. On the past:  Let’s not focus too much too much on how we got here (challenges that preceeded Donnie’s tenure as CEO).  There is a reason our rear view mirror is so small and our windshield is larger.  Let’s quit looking in the rear view mirror and focus on what is in front of us and especially what we can see out of our front windshield.

4. We want to get customers to fall in love with us.

5.  We set goals to be in the top quartile of performance in every major area in which we operate.

6.  Then we went to work on building the momentum to bridge the gap.

7.  MTMTTMT – Make the main thing the main thing; in our case the main things were focus and speed.

8.  On focus, what are the five or six things we need to do?  It is all about prioritization.  The most important thing we do at Tyson Foods is manage distractions.

9.  In order to execute better, we chose to focus on our team and our customers.  Which one did we focus on first?  Most people answer customers.  We actually began with our people.

10.  If we take care of our employees, they will take care of the customers and that will take care of our owners (shareholders).

Great leaders likely don’t want to be put on some pedestal but we sure think Donnie Smith is a worthy person for whom to study should we be leading a small company, a division, a charitable cause or even a large company.

As always, we hope you find this of value.

Never Stop Learning | Make Better Decisions | Join A Peer Advisory Group

Should you or someone you know have an interest in joining a Peer Advisory Group or a CEO Forum, please contact us at  Membership is by invitation and we are currently in an expansion mode.  Thank you.




How Much Does Leadership Matter? Steve McElhanon

How much does Leadership Matter?  Please consider listening to one of the best presentations we have heard on why leadership does matter.

As an example, Steve McElhanon shared the following with us,

“As a leader, a lot of things are entrusted to your stewardship

  • Trust that the customers place in you
  • Financials of the company
  • Investors
  • Most importantly, the careers of the people who work for you”
Listen to how Steve describes why “Leadership Matters” via his valuable presentation at the Elevate Speaker Series by CEO Forums via this link:
Thank you Steve for your great presentation and investing time to help our members and friends learn how to better lead our organizations.