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What Do You Need To Change To Be More Successful?

WHAT I DO: I help credit union executives, small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve professional growth, career advancement, increased earnings and work-life balancer by providing a customized developmental process based upon their unique needs.

WHO I WORK WITH: I partner with executives, business owners and senior-level managers including:

• Credit Unions
• CPA firms
• Auto Repair
• Publishing
• Hospital CEO’s.
• Chambers of Commerce
• Non-profits

WHY IT WORKS: When you partner with me, you get the most efficient, effective and affordable executive coaching and strategic planning processes that leaders like you are looking for right now.

WHAT MAKES ME DIFFERENT? I have run a business and faced many of the challenges you now face. I was for 29 years a credit union CEO, and prior to that in in consumer finance. I am a Vietnam Vet. My knowledge has been acquired over a long haul. I do not offer cookie-cutter solutions. In fact, I do not even suggest a solution until I understand you, your organization and your needs. No prescriptions without a diagnosis.

HOW IT WORKS: We begin by talking by telephone about your organization, your vision, and what does success look like. I start with a blank page and simply listen. I request 30-minutes initially, and then schedule a follow-up call to share what I feel is the best solution for you.

READY TO TALK? Reach out to me here on LinkedIn, e-mail me at tom@kesgroupllc.com, visit online at www.kesgroupllc.com or call me direct at 941-650-9027.

You Should Be Saying No More Often

I have written on this subject, and with all that is transpiring in today’s environment, news and our personal lives, it seems appropriate to stress again. When I work with clients on time strategies, we talk about rule #1, which is, “Say no, shut up and don’t apologize”. Allowing others to impose their urgency on your schedule is a sure fire way to derail productivity and purpose. As a caring person, it is difficult to say no to someone in response to a request to volunteer your time, for a donation, or any of a myriad of requests that you receive each week. Yet, each time you allow others to commandeer your time, you negate your own goals. Most of us generally want to help others. We don’t like rejection or criticism so that influences how and what we communicate to others, even if that request feels wrong or the...
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How to Make More Money and Get More Personal Satisfaction from Your Career

The words "perfect career" means different things to different professionals. A few common threads exist among various professionals. Maximizing monetary compensation certainly ranks high on people's lists when they seek throughout a career. Making money, however, is not everything. Many wish to feel a sense of personal satisfaction from their work. Is it possible to combine increased personal satisfaction with more income on the job? Well, anything is possible. You must work at trying to achieve what you want. Think about these three points when seeking both satisfaction and more money. Come Up with Projects Near to Your Heart Depending upon your particular job, you may be in a position to pitch projects and tasks to those in management. Your job is not your hobby. You cannot become too whimsical with the work you choose to perform. However, finding a project that appeals to your likings can be a good...
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Indigenous Culture

“We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you are willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.” – Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos Let us go deeper into this conversation about company culture… When you observe an organization’s culture and their employees’ behavior, I would guess that the word indigenous is not at the top of your mind. My pastor used that word in a message one Sunday and it gave me pause that it is applicable to organizational structures and cultures. For example, I served as a credit union executive for almost thirty years. I witnessed behaviors, good and bad, in the people and organizations within...
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4 Areas to Pay Attention to if You Want to Be a Better Leader

If you're a leader in a large or small business, you should constantly be looking for ways to improve your skills. In order for businesses to stay ahead, their leaders need to be continually improving. Otherwise, customers and clients find better products and services, and employees look for greener pastures in other companies that give them opportunities to develop. If you want to hone your leadership skills, sharpen your abilities and enhance your productivity, here are a few tips to get you started. Wake up Early For many people, the early morning is the most productive time of the day. It's when most people feel refreshed and motivated. It's also the time when you can plan the rest of your agenda so that you'll be ready to help your employees succeed. If you want to make the most of this time, see if you can get to the workplace at...
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3 Ways to Reach Your Goal of Paying Off Your Debt

Many people have debt for a variety of reasons. You might have student loans, hospital bills, a car payment, or credit card debt. The debt that you incur can weigh you down until you pay it off. It might affect your ability to get another loan for something important, such as for a house. It can also affect your peace of mind because it forces you to live paycheck to paycheck, or it impedes on your ability to make more contributions to your retirement plan. While many people have debt, there are strategies that you can use to get out, and they might not be what you imagined. Here are a few ways that you can lower the amount of money that you owe. Work Smarter, Not Harder Some people take on a second job to pay down their bills. This strategy, however, can be problematic. When you work too...
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Strategic Planning For Optimum Business Management

Strategic Planning is an organizational tool that is used by groups and corporations globally to refine their goals and maximize their resources. Drawing from the concepts of strategic military planning, the strategic planning process is one way in which businesses strive to attain a competitive edge. Strategic planning involves defining goals, creating an adaptable business plan and measuring core competencies of staff to increase productivity and results. The understanding and implementation of strategic planning can significantly affect a company's ability to maximize revenue and growth. The process has been used effectively in many fields of business, education, and government to formulate productive business systems and resource management solutions.   While there are several different approaches to implementing a strategic planning process, most models use the following definitions: Mission definition: The mission definition stage of strategic planning encourages an organization to develop a brief description of the purpose to inform potential...
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Combat Stress – Seven Practical Methods

A stress-free lifestyle could very well do wonders in eliminating depression. Here are seven practical methods to combat stress: Express Amusement and Be Happy. Laugh hard and loud. If you do not have a sense of humor, find someone else who does. Laughter releases endorphins (happy chemicals) from the body, and it helps boost your immune system. Take Control Over Your Time and Schedule. You will be much more able to deal with stress if you have a good handle on your job, relationships, and other activities. When you are in control, you are more inclined to stay focused and calm. Plan your time wisely. Remember to leave room for unexpected events, both negative and positive. Be adaptable in rearranging your agenda. Get up 15 minutes early in the morning. Allow an extra 15 minutes to get to all appointments. Avoid procrastinating on important or urgent tasks. Whatever needs doing,...
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How do you strive to build consensus and relationships?

If you believe that we as a nation more dysfunctional and unwilling to collaborate, compromise and cooperate, then I agree. Refusing to appreciate an opposing viwe is the hallmark of an insecure person and unworthy of any leadership poisition or authority. As we gain knowledge and skills, it generally follows that our careers and levels of authority increase. Some leaders may first hold a position as a follower and then are elevated to a position of management for which they are not prepared. I often observe that when a CFO becomes a CEO or a long-term employee is promoted based on seniority versus merit. The skills and knowledge that made them a great follower are not the same competencies they need to be a leader. Leadership is learned… they are not born. Attitude and behavior are more important at the top. Technical skills are 10% of what a leader needs;...
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Why Being a Compassionate Leader Pays Dividends

The word recently paid homage to George H.W. Bush. The testimonials were almost universally respectful, kind, thoughtful and emphasized how President Bush’s life was one of service and compassion. There seems to be an acceptance that he was a great leader and man. He was authentic, cared deeply about others and used his considerable wealth and influence to make the world a better place. Politics aside, there is a lesson in leadership not to be ignored. All of us has either worked for or known a leader that was/is the total opposite of Mr. Bush. They may enjoy success in the short term. Some have achieved acclaim and great wealth. When they pass away or are fired by their Board of Directors, we do not celebrate their life or career. It's not a Christian response, it is a human reaction. The person was a jerk, ran over people, showed a...
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Building a Successful Business Is the Objective for Credit Unions, or Any Organization

25 years as a credit union CEO and I realized my dream of living in a small town, with no traffic, on a mountain and as far away as I could get from an ncua (nobody cares or appreciates credit unions) examiner. Having the time and flexibility to reflect on a career in financial services that spanned 39 years, and the freedom to do what I please allows me a level of introspection not possible while running a large credit union. Having a passion for succeeding can be dampened by onerous regulators and meddlesome board members. It’s understandable that as the CEO of the credit union you can be side-tracked and forget to ask, “What is the primary purpose of your business”? I have taken the disciplines of strategic planning, my years in credit unions and empathy for your role as CEO to add value to executive strategic planning. The...
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SHOULDERING THE COST: One Credit Union CEO’s Take on the Great Banking Collapse of 2008

PROLOGUE From my book SHOULDERING THE COST: One Credit Union CEO’s Take on the Great Banking Collapse of 2008 . Available on Amazon in KOndle or paperback. “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” --- Vicki Harrison Love and laughter used to live in this home. Now, it’s empty. I remember thinking this on Father’s Day 2010 when my wife and I felt forced to sell our home in Sarasota, Florida and were moving to rural NE Georgia facing an uncertain future. My heart no longer resided in my chest. It resided in my shoes taking a crushing blow with each step I took toward what would no longer be my front door. The last three years had been bad, really bad. The Great Recession, which started...
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Purpose-Driven Leadership: The Bridge to What Truly Matters

Far from being touchy-feely concepts touted by motivational speakers, purpose and values have been identified as key drivers of high-performing organizations. In Built to Last, James Collins and Jerry Porras reveal that purpose- and values-driven organizations outperformed the general market and comparison companies by 15:1 and 6:1, respectively. In Corporate Culture and Performance, Harvard professors John Kotter and James Heskett found that firms with shared-values–based cultures enjoyed 400% higher revenues, 700% greater job growth, 1,200% higher stock prices and significantly faster profit performance, as compared to companies in similar industries. In Firms of Endearment , marketing professor Rajendra Sisodia and his coauthors explain how companies that put employees’ and customers’ needs ahead of shareholders’ desires outperform conventional competitors in stock-market performance by 8:1. Leaders who have a clearly articulated purpose and are driven to make a difference can inspire people to overcome insurmountable odds, writes Roy M. Spence Jr. in...
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Making Positive Behavioral Changes

“It’s a long journey, with lots of twists and turns. But it’s all about the ride, not the destination. Enjoy the ride!” That is the dedication to me in Executive Crumple Zone, a novel by Michael A. Sisti. Mike is an expert in branding, marketing, and creative thinking. His words resonate with me as I contemplate the value and joys of coaching as a profession. Our personal and professional lives are indeed a journey, with detours, accidents, and challenges. A coach has a responsibility to respect the journey that the client is on, and not redirect that path in a way that is counterproductive, nor disruptive. That places a burden on me as a coach in as much as I find most clients asking for advice, versus them discovering the answers via my facilitation. In my coaching experiences, I have encountered three types of individuals. The first is the executive...
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Set Aside 20 Minutes Each Day to Do This

´When you invest your time, you make a goal and a decision of something that you want to accomplish. Whether it's make good grades in school, be a good athlete, be a good person, go down and do some community service and help somebody who's in need, whatever it is you choose to do, you're investing your time in that.” Nick Saban Many of my executive coaching clients have shared that effective time management is an issue for them…they have too many meetings, too many interruptions and are always under a demand to get more done more quickly without enough hours in the day. Sound familiar? We all have the same amount of time each day. That’s it! It’s a false assumption that in order to succeed, you must get more things done more quickly. The correct statement is In order to succeed, you must get more things done more...
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Party of Reticence vs. Party of Exposure

Reticence: The greatest generation: takes no credit for achievements; you cannot drag a story out of them about their war experiences, versus Exposure: the millennials who crave attention; take selfies; post photos of their food and use social media to boast and wound others. To add a frame of reference and context, the following are the dates of birth for the generations: The Silent (Reticence) Generation, Born between 1928-1945 The Baby Boomers: Born between 1946-1964 Millennials: Born between 1981-1996 Gen Z: Born 1996 and later Each has unique markers, behaviors, values, consumption needs and poses different managerial challenges in the workplace. My mom was born in 1928 and has passed away. It is a fair bet that few of the silent generation are in the workforce in 2018. The baby boomers (that includes me), are still working, albeit the numbers are dwindling quickly. We were expected to inherit our parent's...
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Become More of Who You Are

Thomas Merton's idea that the best we can do is to be the best version of ourselves—in all our imperfect glory.  Here is one of my favorite quotes by him: "Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself." What I like about growing older is that I increasingly do not care what other people think, and I have less need to prove whom I am. I often think about some of the early, limiting influences that shaped my path, when I allowed them to. And what I mean by this is consider the frequently heard sayings in your family. They were well meaning when preached to you, however, the...
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Courage Isn’t Inherited, It’s Developed

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”  ―  J.K. Rowling ,  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone John Wayne was an actor and an American icon. Many will agree that he was a man’s man and symbolized the courage, integrity and charisma that are hallmarks of what we want to see in our leaders…and in ourselves. When we think of today’s leaders, however, courage isn’t often the term that is top of mind. We accept that persons of leadership have power and authority, but often, unfortunately, these attributes are used for harm more than good. As honor is a part of integrity, so then is courage a part of character. A person with great character, who performs an act of courage, doesn’t take that action with a conscious thought that his or her deeds...
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Become More of Who You Are

Thomas Merton's idea that the best we can do is to be the best version of ourselves—in all our imperfect glory.  Here is one of my favorite quotes by him: "Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself." What I like about growing older is that I increasingly do not care what other people think, and I have less need to prove whom I am. I often think about some of the early, limiting influences that shaped my path, when I allowed them to. And what I mean by this is consider the frequently heard sayings in your family. They were well meaning when preached to you, however, the...
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Are You Living With Integrity and Ethics?

“Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50 percent of your time in leading yourself--your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 20 percent leading those with authority over you and 15 percent leading your peers.” — Dee Hock , Founder and CEO Emeritus of VISA Over the course of my career of more than 40 years, 29 of those in the credit union industry, I cannot recall any speaker or any of my peers debating the differences between integrity and ethics. It may have been that we were all afraid of opening Pandora’s Box or perhaps, it hit too close to home. I was no angel. With the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, neither were many of my peers, especially in the regulatory agencies. Integrity is defined as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness...
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Shared Vision

The Donald stood and delivered a blistering rebuke of the past and outlined his vision for our country. Like him or not, he laid it out for public acceptance or rejection. My guess is, not many of us as a new CEO, on the first day in the position, has the courage to articulate our vision for the organization. Worse yet, many CEO’s never do! To tell all your employees and other stakeholders where you see the business in 5 to 15 years is tedious and requires a lot of repetition. Your employees are no different from your customers, and they both need to hear your vision 7 or more times before it sinks in. Strong self-direction and role-awareness are part of being a leader. In addition, you cannot lead a business if you do not have a long-term strategic plan and vision for yourself and your company. I see...
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Testimonial

“As a Senior Executive in the Credit Union industry - I have personally experienced along with my staff - what Tom brings to the table as a Coach. Tom is uniquely qualified from his experiences as CEO and President of a Credit Union and brings not only that experience but has a special way of identifying unique qualities that we all have but sometimes have not fully realized and utilized in the work place and in our personal lives. Tom delivers in such a way that exhibits high integrity and a genuine concern for his clients -- I strongly recommend Tom for your organization if you are looking for ways to inspire and motivate your staff to reach to the next level.”…Tim Smith

Contact Details

941.650.9027

KES Group LLC
P.O. Box 2025
Clayton, GA 30525

tom@kesgroupllc.com