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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.

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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Why Failure Can be Good

How do you view failure? Do you see it as something negative that you do not want to be associated with or do you see it as something positive? Most people in the world do not like a failure. Fear of failure is the main reason why more than 80% of people in the world are not prepared to change their circumstances. Why do people fear failure so much? The reason for this is that people do not understand the dynamics involved in success and failure. Everything we do in life has a right way of doing it and a wrong way of doing it. When we do it the right way we meet with success. Needless to say, that when we do it the wrong way we are unsuccessful. Understanding this is important because it puts failure in its proper perspective and removes the fear around it. When someone...
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What Are YOU Doing To Grow, Professionally and Personally?

Stop and ask yourself: Do you feel successful, but not quite fully satisfied? Are you determining your goals and what’s important to you? Have you ever struggled with work and life balance? Do you wish there was someone to talk to? If you answered yes, now is the time to take control of your destiny. Some people don’t know what they want but they know it’s more than what they have. I help them dream and create the life they want. Others have dreams, but can’t seem to get past certain roadblocks that are keeping them from realizing them. I help them push through those obstacles and achieve reachable and measurable goals in their life. You’re familiar with what a coach does for a professional athlete, right? Then, you know it is the athlete who has the ability to make the goal or win the medal, but without the coach...
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Do You Know Your Leadership Blind Spots?

No matter how hard we try to be self-aware, everyone—including the best leaders—has unproductive behaviors that are invisible to us but glaring to everyone else. A blind spot is a performance-hindering mindset or behavior of which you’re unaware or have chosen to overlook. A recent Business Week article cites some important research: A Hay Group study shows that an organization’s senior leaders are more likely to overrate themselves and develop blind spots that can hinder their effectiveness. A study by Development Dimensions International, Inc., found that 89 percent of front-line leaders have at least one skills-related blind spot. The Hay research suggests that, as executives rise within an organization, the less likely they are to see themselves as others perceive them. They often lose touch with those they lead—not surprising, given their increased isolation and the executive suite’s “rarified” atmosphere. As they reach the pinnacle of their profession, they have...
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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