Category Archives: Updates

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Tommy Van Zandt Presents – Wow! Leading From Anywhere / Leading Against Any Adversity – Video Link

Archie Schaffer, “If Tommy is not the most incredible person we know, he certainly is one of the most incredible people we know.” Archie introduced Tommy Van Zandt, who was the speaker at the Emerging Leader Forum II Recognition Ceremony.  Please find the link below to hear Tommy’s presentation.

Thank you Tommy!  His work and presentation speaks for itself; pretty amazing.  Thank you Robyn, for all you do to help Tommy be the human he is.  Thank you to the caregivers.  Thank you Lynn Blair, a caregiver from whom we get to learn, along with Tommy, inside of CEO Forum I, as they are both valued members.

When we learn from Tommy, we are inspired by what is possible.

Stan Beecham, who helps people reach their potential (and will be speaking on August 27 to members and guests) at as a Sports Psychologist and Leadership Consultant, shares “when fear dies, you begin to live. Fear is keeping you from reaching your potential. Conquering fear should be your primary goal in life.” Tommy is quite an example of this.

Finally, thank you to the members of Emerging Leader Forum II, a very special group of individuals.  Thank you, Todd Wood, Super Mentor & a Difference Maker in consistently contributing with wisdom, guidance and great questions for EL II, to Priscila Aguirre,  an A Plus Co-worker and to Josh Aldridge of Overland Films.

To learn more about Tommy visit Facebook, Sage Partners, or Vimeo for a video about Tommy’s Nite Out.


Over 70 Podcasts, Any One of Which Can Help Our Individual Performance / Thank You Vistage!

As you have heard us state, we have so much respect and admiration for Vistage, the world’s largest Chief Executive Organization with over 18,000 members.

A resource that we have found valuable when we are on the go or have some time to invest in our leadership knowledge, is the podcasts learning from formidable subject matter experts that Vistage brings to it’s members and has been kind enough to share with the public at the below links.

Topics include:

- Employee Engagement
- How to approach Debt and Equity Financing
- Three Essential Tips to Improve Business Culture
- Identifying and Defining Your Ideal Customer
- How to Overcome Execution Barriers
- How to Proactively Protect Your Financial Future

You will find over 70 podcasts that are most informative.

Click on the links below which relate to 3 pages of podcasts and determine what topic is best for you:

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3


Thank you Vistage!

What is Our “Why” for What We Do?

We strive, in all we do, to help leaders elevate your performance.

What we know is that every leader will have a series of challenges, issues and opportunities about which they are confronted. And many of them are foreign and about areas where we have yet to develop knowledge or experience. Where do we go for answers to these foreign and complex challenges?

If a leader could process these items with a group of diverse non-competing peers who have a wide range of experience, almost always others have experience around that issue. Their collective input can be amazing. Result: the leader is in a much better position to formulate a solid action plan to deal successfully with the issue; less hesitancy; less ambiguity; return more quickly to the building of the business. Performance? Elevated.

A risk when their seems to be no solutions and no peer advisory group with whom to approach is for a leader to get stuck. We have experienced being stuck. We don’t want others to get stuck. We want leaders to have resources and be able to tap into other peers’ experiences and knowledge and be able to diligently respond, move forward and build a great organization / have a great career!

Obviously, we believe our firm and its services can assist leaders and emerging leaders in many ways beyond those described above. Yet around these circumstances, finding a solution is often the most complex. Our business model and the outstanding and considerate members of our forums excel in delivering value at these points in time. The value can sometimes be extraordinary. Grateful!

What is Our “Why” for the Six Pillars?

What is our “why” for the Six Pillars?  Why have the Six Pillars Essential For Leading Your Enterprise been chosen?

1.  Leading Oneself  - like emotional intelligence, leading oneself is catalytic for our other skills and talents to be valued.  Emotional intelligence, asking more and better questions, not talking behind people’s backs, not getting angry, having the people we lead in our heart, not allowing our ego to get ahead of our increased responsibilities and effective power and more, are key so that we can be an effective leader.

2.  Driving the Value Proposition of Our Enterprise – most experts believe that every industry will encounter new disruptive business models.  Old business models are becoming obsolete and great new ones are being born every day.  If we are proactive at driving our own value proposition and leaning in to new and better ways to serve our clients, our business model will be more competitive against that new and innovative disruptive competitor that will eventually present itself.  This fearce competitor equiped with a creative and unique business model may disrupt the industry but it will be less disruptive to your enterprise.  As an example, study how Walmart is evolving and the respect it is giving to the most formidable retail disruptor Amazon.

3.  People and Leadership Development – leadership is the area with which humans struggle the most.  It is a difficult art yet it can have such a positive effect on so many if we can embrace the life-long journey of becoming a more and more effective leader of others.  How do we better serve our team members?  How do we bring the best out in others?  How do we create an open, trusting, non-defensive and non-political environment?  How do we help on-board talented individuals and prepare them in the first nine weeks for a great career for the nine years to follow?  How do we continuously give more meaning to the work every team member performs?  Do we invest 30 minutes weekly one-on-one / structured agenda with every direct report? How do we make sure we are communicating with clarity to our organization where we are going, how we are going to get there, what is expected of each team member and how much we appreciate the great work our team performs?  “Ambiguity breads mediocrity; clarity breads excellence,” Steven Covey taught to us by Donnie Smith.

4. Corporate Finance – to grow, we must have the right understanding and drive our organization financially toward healthy relationships (often defined as a set of ratios)?  If we are not growing, in many ways it means we are going backwards.  If the quality of our services or products are  unable to help us grow, it often means that our competitors are getting stronger while we are relatively getting weaker.  To attract the best people to help us drive our organization forward, we need growth which is the key indicator that these “A Players” will have the opportunity to have meaningful and dynamic career paths.

Financially, to grow, we will need the financial support of third parties, such as banks or investors.  Part of our responsibility to lead others and be responsible to others is to understand what it takes and (as an example) at what levels as a percent of revenues must profits or surplus must be generated so that our organization remains in financial balance and creditors and investors can fund the new capital required to support the future growth that is matched with the internally generated capital (profits). Nothing is more dangerous than a go-go leader who has not invested the time to understand key financial relationships and the discipline for how to apply sound corporate finance principles.   Yes, we may have an area that is financially weak from time to time and the key is to clearly understand this weakness and drive the organization in a way that it is strengthened so that is does not effect other areas and be disruptive to the organization as a whole.

5.  Strategic thinking and planning – one can learn from seasoned market participants at Harvard i Lab presentations (YouTube) relating to business models to learn that strategically driving an enterprise toward the optimal business model can create an enterprise value that will turn out to be five fold more valuable compared to those who do not get there.  This requires strategic thinking as well as consistent iterations to strengthen the enterprise and its strategic direction.  What is the most impactful need that we can fulfill that customers will greatly appreciate (and pay for)?  Every industry is large; what is the part of that market that is best for us to pursue and withwhom to do business?  What are the three most important defining attributes of our best customers / prospects? Which ones have the ability to grow?  Which ones are too risky?  How do we serve our target market in ways that deliver the most value yet requires the least capital outlays?  How will this be executed?  What are the three to five goals of our organization and what is the specific roll of every co-worker in order to achieve those goals?  How often are these goals visited?  These are examples of “strategic thinking” and and planning questions and processes.

6.  Culture – how do we define what is most important to us in the way we execute our business?  What are the four to eight guidelines or values that we can define that we believe in so strongly we can put them in writing and agree that everyone can and should apply them as we execute our business every day.  What can we stand for that is compelling and value added that will differentiate us from our competitors and make our organization more compelling for whom to come to work and with whom to do business?  These values and the way we execute will be used by every co-worker to guide us in how we serve our customers, our co-workers, our suppliers and our investors.  If  we don’t lead our team to define what is most important in how we will execute our business activities and for what we stand, a culture or set of cultures will come forth and it or they will be inconsistent with how we prefer or expect how our activities will be executed.


So this is our “why” for choosing these Six Pillars Essential for Leading Your Enterprise.  Yet, please know, we do not feel we are experts in any one of them.  We are students of them.  We are not to a point where we can execute each one of them at a high level.  We are working toward this.   What we are saying is, together, we can consider the importance of each pillar and should we agree they are, we can process how to better execute around them and as we improve how we execute around them, we believe that our results will always get better and our performance will have been elevated.

What are your thoughts?  How would you define your pillars essential for leading your enterprise?

It isn’t as important that we agree on how to define each pillar; it is important that you consider for yourself how to define your pillars and to consistently work to improve on how you are executing around each of them.

Our Economy: 2014 – Featuring Keith Maio

Keith Maio has been “wowing” members of the CEO Forums with his insights since 2007.
We know of no one more impressive, thoughtful, knowledgeable, common-sensical, macro-economic & finance executive/leader than Keith. The discussion with Keith Maio offers a perspective on what is going on in U.S. financial markets and corporate, real estate and financing markets.
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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.


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.