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“West Michigan Nice” Strikes Again

“West Michigan Nice is this strange cultural loophole around issues where you can’t seem to get full honesty from your closest neighbor, your coworker, and sometimes even your family.”

Our culture of wanting to please people and avoid disruption is spilling into the workplace, which makes understanding the true condition of our companies nearly impossible.

How can we move forward on issues when our colleagues won’t convey the problem? How can we improve when someone is skirting the truth instead of sharing it? How can we expect our employees to share how they really feel, when leadership lacks transparency themselves?

“West Michigan Nice” Can Cost You

I can speak to “West Michigan Nice” as I have lived here most of my life, and I must say, there is something “Nice” about West Michigan. I can say this because I have also lived in other areas, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Northern Indiana, and comparably, they are not as “Nice.”

What do I mean by this? What is the fuss behind this article? Being nice is civil, relatively peaceful, and most importantly, it’s not disruptive. However, where I have seen West Michigan Nice hurt our community most is in the workplace, specifically with leadership teams. And here is my major concern: it can cost your company thousands if not millions.

To Beat a Bad Culture, Implement a New One

Prior to becoming my client, a leadership team member of a manufacturing company asked me, “Ken, what is the most difficult thing to implement into companies?”

I replied without hesitation: “An open and honest culture.”

This is true across the spectrum. Without a doubt, the most difficult and essential piece to implement into companies is getting leadership teams to be open and honest with each other.

Handpicked related content: 3 Ways to Build Trust In Your Organization

“West Michigan Nice” Hard at Work

I was working with a leadership team to implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System into their organization. In the beginning, things seemed cordial, but as sessions progressed the West Michigan Nice toxicity reared its ugly head.

During a break, the Head of Finance told me that the owner strongly disliked accountability and would do anything to sabotage this process. I said, “Great, let’s put this on the issues list.” His response, “Oh no! I would be out of a job if that happened.”

One week after our Vision Building session, the Head of Operations told me that the Head of Sales didn’t really care about executing on the goals she agreed to. I said, “Great, let’s put this on the issues list.” His reply, “We could, but it’s not really an issue.”

Shortly after our 2nd Vision Building session, the owner was worried about the Head of Marketing’s ability to interact with other team members with respect. Before I could say, let’s put it on the issues list, the owner proceeded to share that it’s something that he intends to avoid because it’s useless to talk about.

In my mind, I was counting the dollars of wasted time this leadership team must have spent talking about shallow irrelevant topics. I was imagining the rest of their employees acting the same way their leaders were. I was afraid for this company’s future if no one was willing to enter the danger zone. Who was going to talk about the lack of accountability to profitability? Who was going to ask the owner to step up and lead? Who was going to push for what was right?

Using Honesty to Solve the Problem

After all this toxicity took place, the team came together for another session. I began the session by saying, “Today we need to evolve as an open and honest team. We need to expose the true condition of this company because only then can we really create progress.”

And this time would be different, someone decided to expose the truth. In one brief moment of courage, the Head of Finance added the issue about the owner’s lack of buy-in. A few moments of truth later, Operations confronted Sales and the owner called out Marketing. The conversation was riddled with conflict, sparking emotions, and debate.

The result was a team entering the danger zone, a team willing to discuss the tough subjects, and ultimately, a team ready to start spending time on truth. The team had resolved a majority of its dysfunction in just a few short hours. At the end of the session, they rated themselves, but this time the ratings were the highest they had ever been. The common thread in the positive feedback for the session was the team’s appreciation for the truth.

This is us. This is “West Michigan Nice” in the workplace. Although it feels civil and safe, it’s costing us time, money, and frustration. So, my plea to West Michigan professionals: let’s quit deceiving each other, step up and own our roles, expose the truth, and get some real earth-shattering progress.

A big thank you to Grace VanDenBrink for all your help with this article!

Next Steps

Are You The Leader Your Company Deserves

Do you know how many people are directly affected by the work you do? It may surprise you, but it’s not just your immediate staff. You may not realize the impact you have as the leader in your organization.

It’s important to ask yourself if you are the leadership team this company deserves. You need to step it up and have the hard conversations in order to prove your worth as a leader. While it may not be fun, you can’t be a leader without having the tough talks. EOS can help you get there, contact us today!


Become Obsessed

You might care about your business, but are you obsessed? The best businesses are the ones that truly obsess about what sets them apart from the competition.

If you are obsessed there are three questions you might want to ask yourself. You must decide whether you are better, faster, or less expensive than everyone else. Generally speaking, the best shot us small and mid-sized companies have is to be better than the big guys. Want to learn the ways of becoming better? Contact Nexus Business Solutions today.


Confidentiality – Culture Killer

Today we’re talking about the type of confidentiality that tends to result in people unloading on each other. You need to remember that important issues need to be talked about in the open, not in a stealthy manner.

While confidentiality can be important in some cases, it can destroy the culture and the organization in others. It is up to the leadership team to be open, honest and transparent in order to set an example for the rest of the organization. By creating an atmosphere of trust and accountability, you can create a healthy environment in the workplace.


Your Bad Meetings Could Be User Error

For years we have been dreading that weekly meeting and blaming it on those meetings not being useful. In reality, it is not the meetings fault, you are ultimately the user error.

If you have great meetings you can do amazing things like increasing communication, accountability and team health throughout your organization to get more results. EOS focuses on 2 simple rules for your weekly meetings to help eliminate error and increase business productivity. Are you ready to start holding amazing meetings? EOS can help.


How Gratitude Can Transform Your Business

Did you know that the act of gratitude increases your ability to make wealth, increases your immunity system, decreases your likelihood to get sick and ups your happiness? If you aren’t bringing gratitude into your business, you are really missing out on the transformational properties. The practice of gratitude is necessary not only in life but also in business. By bringing in a culture of gratitude into your business, you can start living the EOS life.

Living the EOS life means that you are doing what you love with the people you love, and making a difference in the world while being fairly compensated with time to pursue other passions. Gratitude is the main way to accomplish this, and the team at Nexus business solutions can help you get there.


When Nice Isn’t Nice

We have a tendency to not talk about the deeper issues and avoid conflict just to be nice. In business, being ‘West Michigan Nice’ just doesn’t cut it.

There is a time when being nice can really do some damage, and in business is one of them. The truth is, when you cover up your issues, you can’t resolve them, and therefore you can’t run your business successfully. It is important not to dance around the truth, and instead confront it head-on.

With EOS it is possible to get past the nice a little bit and get more towards the honesty to help get your company moving smoother and more efficiently.


Having Tough Conversations

Having the tough conversations ensures that you have the right people in the right seats. We all love to do what we are good at, and getting people in those right seats to help your team be great is your job. Sometimes, you just have to have those tough conversations in order to give your employees the opportunity to move up and shine.

You can make things go smoother and easier in your company by having those tough conversations. While conflict may not be your favorite thing, it’s important to follow through, set deadlines and be tough to get the most out of your team. EOS can help you with these tough conversations, find out how on this episode!


Putting The dream Team Together

Whether its baseball or business, it all comes down to putting the right team together. So it is your job as a business owner to find yourself your perfect dream team. You are never going to get the gold medal until you have the right people in the right roles, and EOS can help.

One way to achieve this is by testing yourself, and making sure your team cares about what you care about, gets behind your vision, and are rockstars at what they do. In order to put yourself in a position to be superior in your area of expertise, you need the push, knowledge, and expertise that EOS can give you to get your dream team together.


Culture, The Foundation Of Strategy

At a certain point, everyone realizes that to run a business you need some help. Nothing can help streamline and clearly identify your company like the Entrepreneurial Operating System. EOS can help you develop a culture that leads into the foundation for an integrated business strategy.

There is a misconception that the culture of your company is more important than your strategy. This completely misses the mark, as it is not an ‘either/or’ situation. Instead, focus on embracing who your ideal employees are, building a culture of people who identify with that mentality, and create a strategy that helps prove your tribal perspective to the market. EOS can help you define these roles intentionally to help you better build your business around you.


When Pressure Can Be Postive

When we think about stress and pressure we usually associate it with something negative, our doctors or peers telling us to reduce our stress and the pressure we allow to be put on ourselves. However, when you are applying the Entrepreneurial Operating System to your business, sometimes stress can be a good thing!

If you want to perform you need to have some pressure, the secret is finding the exact right amount of pressure to not lead to boredom or anxiety. By finding the happy medium or pressure through EOS you can become a better manager and in turn have more engaged employees.

Are you ready to learn the secret formula to creating diamonds under pressure?


Reams of Data or Fly By The Seat Of Your Pants

Some companies prefer to have loads of data behind their decisions, while others sort of make it up as they go along. So what tactic makes for a stronger business? Jim Coyle from Nexus Business Solutions is here to let us know that it is actually a combination of the two theories that can give you the most success.

Your gut instincts can be incredibly important in business, so it’s important to know when you should listen to your gut and when you should go with the data. When you have both gut intuition and hard facts, you can go into a situation knowing you’ve analyzed it from both angles. When you combine this with the essence of clear expectations from your team, your business is sure to rise out of the fog and head straight for success.


Boo! People Issues Are Scary, But They Don’t Have To Be

There are many types of potential issues that can arise in business. However, when it comes to issues involving people, it gets a little sticky. Everybody tends to take these issues to a personal level, when that just doesn’t need to be done.

In truth, if there is a person in your business who doesn’t fit, you are helping everybody, including them, by having that tough conversation. Making sure you have the right people in the right seats is always best in the long run. Luckily, this is built into the EOS formula, and can help prepare you to have those difficult conversations.

If you aren’t willing to make hard decisions and have difficult conversations you probably shouldn’t be a leader. Learn how to think through it, have the conversation and build a plan to better equip your team with EOS today.

Kind Of Right Is Totally Wrong

Can you guess the two words that can kill your company? It might surprise you, but the words you need to eliminate from your vocabulary are ‘kind of’. The words ‘kind of’ promote uncertainty and a lack of clarity, which can destroy your company’s communication. You need to find ways to be straightforward in order to get your vision across.

Luckily, operating systems like EOS can do this for you. When you have the right tools in place you will find you don’t have these issues because everything operates in clarity. Let us show you how EOS can get rid of ambiguity and promote clear communication. Because when something is ‘kind of’ right, it’s not right at all.

What Millennials Need

Business managers have to handle a lot of different personalities and different generations in their positions. One of these groups that is having many scratch their heads is trying to figure out what’s up with those millennials?

While some argue they are getting a bad reputation for no reason, it’s really very simple to motivate them. If you can connect a millennial employees ‘why’ with the ‘why’ or purpose of your business, you will be able to easily motivate them. What an employee is great at can ultimately be connected to what your business is great at, and lead to more engaged and connected employees.

Close The Complaints Department

Uncertainty around how to diffuse issues in the workplace is a common issue for most companies. Usually, the complaint department ends up becoming a space where employees can vent about their problems, but nothing actually ever gets solved.

By eliminating your complaint department and actually getting to the root of an issue, you can truly solve the problems in your company and move forward, instead of just prolonging the conversation. By solving your issues with a specifically designed EOS issue solving track, you can help your company and employees run a smoother ship.

Is Duct Tape A Part of Your Problem Solving Arsenal?

You might not think that duct tape would be applicable to business solutions, but it really is. Many companies try to take on the role of MacGyver and use duct tape and band-aids to patch up their issues, without ever fixing the core problem underneath. Today, Jim shares the 5 easy steps to fixing your problems with no need for duct tape.

If you are ready to use a systematic approach to identifying and solving your issues, you need to hear what Jim has to say. Instead of using duct tape and temporarily fixing your problem, take a step back and find a permanent solution with Nexus Business Solutions.


Go Slow To Go Fast

Today we’re adding another piece of the puzzle of growing a thriving business that you might not be familiar with, that being that you have got to go slow if you want to go fast. This idea can be implemented everywhere from cycling to running your business, but ultimately means that by doing the same correct steps over and over again you can increase your momentum and your businesses success.

By focusing on regaining muscle memory and bringing quality not quantity to your portfolio, you will set your business apart from the competition. In business it is all about execution, and the EOS system can help make sure that your company is executing things properly time and time again.


Entrepreneurs Would Make Horrible Fish

Entrepreneurs often get caught up with the shiny stuff which can distract them from the main focus of what makes their company great. The key is, you have to figure out what your core focus is and stay there.

More companies die of indigestion and not staying focused than they do of starvation or not having enough opportunities. You have to fight your ‘Entrepreneurial ADD’ and stay concentrated on what makes your company special and different.

The beauty of EOS is keeping it simple, and it’s never too late to streamline your business. Don’t get caught on the hook, contact Jim Coyle today.


Elevate Your Whole Company

As a CEO or President of a company, you probably have a goal in mind about what you want to accomplish within your company. But, to accomplish this, you have to have your whole team behind you to help lift you up. If you are a high growth organization you personally need to be growing and ultimately maturing to handle the growth of your company.

By using the EOS Strategy we like to call Delegate & Elevate, you can begin to delegate your responsibilities to the right people in the right seats which can pull up the whole organization. Change comes from the top and starts with you, so see how the EOS System could be the present that you and your company deserve.

Want to chat about how EOS can help your company?

The Monkey House

If you are in business, work for a business, are a manager or deal with a manager, you are going to want to hear this conversation. Many managers will end up taking on the problems and issues of their team, thinking they are helping out. But in reality, taking on your employees’ ‘monkey’s’ can actually debilitate the company.

It is important to let your employees solve their own problems, and being too compassionate and putting their monkey on your back, you could be hiding the real problem. The EOS System can help you avoid monkeying up the works, find out how on this episode.

Beware The Seagull

What is a seagull in business? A seagull manager is usually someone from above, who comes into another person’s department and focuses only on the issues. In plain words, they poop all over everything and then fly out without sticking around to actually help fix the problem.

Having seagulls in your office, whether it is intentional or not, can really be detrimental to the mission of your company. Today we are diving into how to identify those problem seagulls and help change their perspective with the help of the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Find out how EOS can change the landscape of what is going on in your company and eliminate the seagull mentality on today’s episode.

The High Cost Of Losing Focus – Core Focus

If you are in business, you strive to succeed, be the best you can be, and let’s be honest, make some money. The bottom line is that if you are not doing things the way you should be, it could end up costing you more money down the road. There is a very high cost for losing your core focus, and EOS will help point out to you ways in which you could be doing things better than what you are currently doing.

It’s almost unbelievable what you can create when you just stay focused and have the right people in the right places. By having people who know what they are doing stay zeroed in on your company’s sweet spot, you can help your company be the most successful it can be.

Taking You Down To The Trash Dump

A great way to save money when you own your own business is by learning how to take your own trash to the dump. However, this can often jeopardize the value of what you are creating. If you don’t have the expertise to do a job effectively, you must look at your time being worth more than your money. You’ll never get your time back, so it’s often worth it to value what you need and pay an expert price.

Don’t be the company who does it on your own and fails, get the right advice by figuring out who does what best and letting them do it. The Entrepreneurial Operating System can help you get a jump on your competition by making the conscious decision to be the hunted instead of the hunter.

The Power Of No – Essentialism

Do you understand the power of no? Saying no allows you to prioritize what you and your team are focused on, which is a major factor in how successful your business can be.

Saying no can make or break how well you do in business. It is when we say no that we are also able to say yes to opportunities that may not have been possible unless you said no to something else. Jim Coyle discusses how saying no is a key factor of EOS, and how important it is to learn how to focus and make sure you ‘walk before you run’.

Follow Ed Callahan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/edcallahansprofile/

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown: https://www.amazon.ca/Essentialism-Disciplined-Pursuit-Greg-McKeown/dp/0804137382

Shoot For The Moon, But Give Yourself Time

Every business spends a lot of time setting goals, but do we really do an effective job of it? Today we discuss how by learning to take quarterly baby steps you can actually help your business progress even faster.

Listen in for tips on how to set goals that are challenging, but still achievable, by giving yourself a proper time frame, and how to maximize that success within your company. Because it is not about the goals you set, but how much time you give yourself to achieve your goals, which makes your goal realistic or not.

Follow Preston True on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prestontrue

Don’t Forget To Serve Your Secret Sauce

When it comes down to it, no one uses your company because of what you do. We live in a competitive marketplace and there are plenty other people out there doing what you do. The important thing to focus on is how you do what you do. This is your secret sauce, your process, the thing that keeps people coming back.

Jim Coyle shares a story with us of one of his first ever clients, Pete. Through this story we can understand the necessity of implementing your secret sauce, and the importance of communication and consistency. Listen in to today’s episode to learn how to avoid quality control issues and make your business the best it can be with your own unique secret sauce.

What Makes A Thriving Business Start to Wilt?

RPRS is much like growing a garden. When you have the right people sitting in the right positions at your company, they are more likely to thrive and create a cohesive workspace. You must continue to nourish them and transplant them if necessary to help them to continue to grow. As leaders, we must look around and see which seat will make each person the most successful, which will only better your business. Listen to find out how EOS implementation can help you tackle RPRS and make your business stronger.

With insight from Hank O’Donnell at: https://blog.eosworldwide.com/blog/what-makes-thriving-business-wilt

Why Culture Matters and How to Shape It

Company culture is something that you hear a lot about, but is hard to define exactly. Jim helps us break down the broad concept of culture and really understand the need for a positive culture. As Peter Drucker famously said, culture eats strategy for breakfast. It is an increasingly important aspect of any business, and it impacts the way people feel about interacting with your brand. Jim discuss the importance of surrounding yourself with people who share the same values as you, and making sure that your employees care about the same things. Listen in as we discuss the top 5 ways to ensure you have a great culture on today’s episode.

Check out Traction by Gino Wickman: https://www.amazon.ca/Traction-Get-Grip-Your-Business/dp/1936661837

4 Ways The Blame Game Can Kill Your Business

Is the blame game killing your business before you even know it? It is always difficult to own up to the fact that sometimes when you are the boss, you are also the problem. It is important to take ownership and not be afraid to ask for help. That’s where EOS – or the Entrepreneurial Operating System – comes in. Listen in for the 4 ways you can avoid the fallout from our culture of finger-pointing, and learn how an EOS specialist can help you get where you want your business to go in an positive and enlightening manner.

1)  Take responsibility for your business
2) Don’t shoot the messenger
3) Cherish the vulnerability based trust that is necessary for any leadership team
4) Don’t become more likely to make more knee-jerk emotional reactions

Want to chat about how EOS can help you take back control of your business or get you to the next level? Find out more at Nexusbusiness.com