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As seen in Smart Business Cleveland | January 2016

Want to make dreams come true?

Unleash the power of people (and extraordinary results will follow)
I’m reminded of the line at the end of the movie “Pretty Woman” — “What’s your dream?” The truth is everyone has dreams.


The poet T.E. Lawrence said it best: “All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

You have dreams and so do your people. The key to making these dreams come true is powerful partnerships and engagement with your people. This is stronger than any strategy you can create for your organization. My stand: I believe in the unlimited human potential for greatness.

From the work I do as a coach, here are five ways to start unleashing the power of people:

1. Purpose: Include your people in the discussion about purpose and vision for your company. Make sure they have a “line of sight” to this purpose and a connection with how they contribute. Create an environment for “straight talk.”
2. Entrepreneurship and innovation: Overused? Maybe, but, we need to encourage ideas and new solutions to challenges. I have always been amazed when I ask and listen how incredible people’s ideas are.
3. Fail fast: Again, overused? No, just not usually sincere. Encouraging and celebrating your people to try new things without fear of negative consequences will free their minds and imaginations to do incredible things. When we “fail,” we get that much closer to knowing what is missing for a breakthrough.
4. Invest: Provide a behavioral style assessment to your people — like DiSC Assessment Profiles. This will allow your people to know and understand themselves better and allow them to communicate better with teammates and clients. Bonus: Your investment shows you care about them as individuals.
5. Coach: Do you have a culture of coaching? I don’t mean an annual performance review — I mean a consistent, future-based process that has all leaders meet one-on-one with their people regularly to listen, give balanced feedback and provide personal and professional development. Every great athlete has a coach and everyone in your organization — including you — deserves a coach. I believe that there simply is no more powerful management tool than a culture committed to coaching.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Those who take seriously the art of coaching work to transform the lives of others around them.

When we unleash the power of people we make our dreams and their dreams come true — and extraordinary results will follow. ●
I’m reminded of the line at the end of the movie “Pretty Woman” — “What’s your dream?” The truth is everyone has dreams.

To view the full PDF please visit: Kurt Treu PDF


As seen in Smart Business Cleveland | July 2018

Change is not a four-letter word

The keys to your success today may not work tomorrow

A winning strategy is an essential part of leadership. It’s a result of your ability to create a vision and then build a team that can execute on your bold ideas. This is a unique gift, one that brings you power, prestige and, if you do it right, wealth. The problem for some leaders, however, is that they get too locked in to their tried-and-true formula for success.

Every decision that is made must match up with that winning strategy. If it doesn’t fit, the opportunity is cast aside in favor of a plan that is a better fit with their existing business model.

This is a dangerous place to be as a leader.
One need only look at the demise of once-iconic brand names like Polaroid, Sears, Blockbuster and, most recently, Toys R Us, to understand that in business, as in life, tomorrow is promised to no one. You must constantly be searching, exploring and strategizing for new opportunities that can extend the life cycle of your company.
This proactive approach to growth is something I’ve been working on with Kurt Treu, who counsels business leaders as the Growth Coach of Greater Cleveland. Treu has been licensed to deliver The Goss-Reid Winning Strategy™ Methodology, which is based on the best-selling book, “The Last Word on Power: Executive Re-Invention For Leaders

Who Must Make The Impossible Happen,” by Tracy Goss.
A key lesson of this book is that some leaders just don’t believe there is any other way to lead.
“There are things they want to achieve that they don’t think are possible,” Treu says. “It’s because their winning strategy has them trapped in a box.”

Netflix is one of the best examples of a company that deftly avoided this trap. Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph co-founded Netflix in 1997 after Hastings had been charged a $40 late fee for an overdue movie rental from Blockbuster. Their idea was to allow customers to rent movies through the mail. The company’s signature red envelopes quickly became a hit.

In 2000, Hastings offered to sell 49 percent of his company to Blockbuster and create a new online segment for the video rental company, which at its peak had more than 9,000 stores around the world. Blockbuster rejected the offer and Netflix continued to grow. As customers moved away from discs and streaming video services became more popular, Netflix was ready to capitalize on the emerging market. Today, it’s a $11.6 billion company that even produces its own original content. Blockbuster is down to one store in Bend, Oregon.

Hastings’ willingness to change course has given Netflix the ability to thrive in a constantly changing business environment. As business leaders, we need to be just as aggressive as we explore new ways to grow revenue. We can’t let the fear of change limit our options as we move forward.
As Jack Welch once said, “Control your own destiny or someone else will.”
Reach Kurt Treu at ktreu@thegrowthcoach.com or (440) 384-5088.

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Treu opened the The Growth Coach practice after a successful 32 year career in the banking industry, including 22 years with U.S.Bank where he held the positions of Market President and Executive Vice President.


We’re pleased to report that my wife Connie and I apply the Strategic Mindset® process to our Fireplace and Outdoor Kitchen business, and that it works. Very well.

Cleveland, OH


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