I almost called this episode, How Do You CEO Your Business When You Wanna Burn the Whole F-ing Thing Down? Because, let’s be honest, sometimes it seems like it would just be easier to wash your hands of the whole thing, right?
If you resonate with this feeling even a little bit, you’re in the right place. In this episode, I discuss the three biggest gaps I see over and over again that either cause massive change or are the result of it. I also tackle the underlying psychological components you’ll need to sit with, such as getting clean and clear, as well as preparing for people to take change personally. Finally, if after listening to this episode you realize you’re ready for more specific advice, I would love to work with you.
“Every visionary confronts moments where they don’t believe in their own vision.” – Kris Plachy
What You’ll Learn
- Clean and clear
- Gaps for change
- Stop self-flogging
- People make it personal
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Connect with Kris Plachy
- The All-In Coterie for 2023: Helping women identify what they really want to achieve and really getting over their own hangups about it.
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Well, hey, hey, hey. How are you? I’m so glad that you guys are all here and super fun to try this. We’ve never done this before. But I’m gonna do a live podcast. So what does that mean? What that means is I actually have people here while I’m recording my podcast. And what I wanna invite, those of you who are here, you can ask me questions in the chat for the q and a. I don’t think we’re gonna have a huge group cuz we just decided to do this. But please feel free to just post questions as I’m talking and then once I’ve gotten through certain segments, I will look and see if you have any questions and I’m gonna answer those.
I know if you’re anything like me, you listen to a podcast and as you’re listening you might have more questions. So that’s what I thought would be kind of fun to try here is, if there’s something that I say and you’re like, “Wait, no”. Or if there’s something related to this topic that we’re gonna talk about today, which is how to CEO your business during massive change, or what I’ve been saying out of the side of my mouth is, how do you CEO your business when you wanna burn the whole effing thing down?
Because there’s that too, right? So if you have other questions or you have other circumstances that you think are relevant, again, pop ’em into the q and a so that I can see those and I can address them. And if you just wanna be here and tune in, I’m just thrilled that you’re here. So I’m gonna go ahead and get started and talk to you about the key areas that I wanna talk about and thought through as it relates to how to CEO your business during massive change.
For those of you who I haven’t met, or this is the first time tuning in, I’m Kris Plachy. This is The Leadership Is Feminine Podcast, and I work exclusively with female entrepreneurs who really wanna learn how to find their voice as a leader of this business that they’ve created. How do you lead and manage people to deliver on the results of your business and the promise of your business.
And at the end of this podcast, I’m going to talk about the How to CEO program, which starts next Thursday, a week from today, which is our signature program. That’s 12 weeks live with me and my compadre in arms, Michelle Arant, and we teach you and advise you and mentor you and work you through your SOS’s as it relates to dealing with team and figuring out how to make that all work. So if that’s something you’re interested in, you can stay after the recording and I will be happy to answer your questions and talk a little bit more about how we do that.
So let’s talk about how to CEO your business during massive change. So the reason that this is on my mind is, well, a lot of reasons, but the primary thing is that I’m noticing a lot of shifts happening. I work with women in all industries, right? Technology, service, professional services, retail businesses, coaching businesses, and there’s a lot shifting. Even just this morning, I was listening to the radio and heard that Disney is gonna lay off 4% of their staff. We have a lot of movement in larger companies.
Most of my clients are smaller businesses, you know, under 500 employees, under 50 million, but still, layoffs in the industries that you work in affect even a small business. They affect buying power, consumer confidence, availability of products. All the things. So nobody really gets insulated from massive movement in an economy. We all have – and in some cases people flourish, right? During Covid is a perfect example. So many of my clients actually flourished with their businesses. So it’s not to say that change is not bad. How to CEO your business during massive change, through massive change, doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
But for as much evidence as we have as human beings, that things change, we still argue with it. We still get mad at change. We still fear change. We still feel uncomfortable with change, even though like, we’re built for it. Yeah. As a species, like we’re totally built to change. Y’all recognize that, right? But people lose their mind if you move their desk in building. So we have to remember that the psyche of the human species has this love-hate relationship with change, including you, as the owner, as the business CEO here.
So when it comes to instigating change in your business, that’s either because of an external experience, an external circumstance, or it’s something going on in the company – it could be that a product that you’ve been selling forever, just nobody wants anymore, people have changed, the business has changed a key asset, a key in team member of the business left, and that you really realize that parts of your business were completely dependent on their unique skill, their unique ability. So you have to compensate for that. You have to change that.
When I think about when I wanna do massive change, there’s one thing that’s critical. The first step is you have to get your brain clean and clear. Because if you don’t, your decision making has the potential to become rooted in your desire to be comfortable, to get out of discomfort. And I know this is true for me and I have to really work on this because this is, as an entrepreneur, my business is what I do. It’s so much of who I am, that when I feel uncomfortable, I wanna change the business to address my discomfort. We have to be careful. That doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t change the business. Okay, but we need to get clean and clear, which means you absolutely have to have an advisor.
If you are running a company and you don’t have a mentor, advisor, coach outside of your business, you need to get one immediately. And here’s why. Because your brain can’t do this by itself, love. And you can’t do what we call down-thinking. You bring a problem to your team, sure, they’re gonna help you solve it, but everybody has a vested interest in the result. So it’s not objective. And that’s not because people are bad people. That’s just the truth. So you have to be able to go somewhere else where someone is just about you and whatever’s on your mind to help you clean it up. Step one, do not pass go. Because once we’re clear, we can establish and we can decide. Okay?
I think there’s three reasons why we might feel inspired to make a massive change in our business outside of circumstantial. The first one is a skill gap, which means I don’t know enough about what I’m doing. I don’t understand enough about what I’m trying to accomplish, and so I want to change my business so that I can get out of discomfort. So we have to ask ourselves, “Do I have a skill gap as the CEO here that’s driving me to wanna move my business in a direction that may not actually be the right one?” Or, “Do I have a skill gap that I’m missing, in order to take my business in a direction?”
The business can only travel as far as the CEO’s skillset in terms of understanding where the business is going. That doesn’t mean that you, as the business owner, have to do everything. It means that, let’s say you’ve been running an $800,000 business and you wanna get that business to $5 million. That’s a new level of skill. Do you know how to do that? I was leading an in-person session yesterday with several of my clients who are in my All-In program, and we were talking about that, if you’re running a million dollar business and you don’t have a fractional CFO, somebody who you’re working with who’s helping you think about your money differently than you thought about the business when it was at $500,000, you are limiting your ability to thrive and your business’s ability to thrive financially.
You have to get experts. But a lot of us don’t do that. We just keep repeating. And some people get lucky and they make a ton of revenue because they have great sales skill, they have great marketing, they have a great product, and they just hit the holy grail when it comes to the revenue part. But they can’t sustain it because they haven’t developed the skill to lead that. So we have to first really sit with that, like is there a skill gap here? And if there is, learn it. Go get it, get some training, get some access to people who understand, join some programs, do something that, whatever that is.
We were talking also yesterday about how do you create a holding company and then buy, or acquire subsidiaries. I’m like, “Well, listen, I don’t know. I’m your CEO advisor to help you think through that decision, but we need to probably go find some experts who can help you.” It’s a skill gap. It’s a knowledge gap.
The second gap that might be at play when you’re feeling this desire for change, and that you have to factor in massive change is support. A lot of CEOs want to change their business because they feel unsupported, burnt out, overwhelmed, frustrated. Anybody with me? And so you just wanna burn the whole thing down because it’s too much. But this brings us to skill, right? If you don’t know how to build a team to support you, you’re gonna just think this is what it always looks like.
There’s gotta be this understanding that in order to move the business in a new direction, you have to develop the support for you and the company to do that. And there are years in our business where profit is bigger than others, and that’s exactly what this is about. There are some years where we have to invest more in support services – support to drive the results that we want, to drive the capacity for the business to deliver on what we want. But a lot of CEOs, especially small business owners, they don’t wanna spend that money, they’re worried about that. “What if I spend this money and I, what if I…”, all those things are at play.
And I can hear you like, “Well, I don’t have extra money right now. I can’t just go buy another person on my team.” And I really, really, really, really need you to think about the people that you invest in are exactly that, right? We say all the time, you either have more money than you have time or more time than you have money. So if you’re just wildling the day away, you could probably do a lot more. If you are strapped and there’s more that needs to be done in order to take the business in this direction, you have to get support, or it won’t happen. So support is the other gap that I see very commonly.
I just got an email yesterday from someone who’s like, “I just don’t know. Do I just sell the damn thing? Do I walk away?” She’s underwater in her own business. She’s exhausted. So we don’t even know if the business can thrive because she hasn’t actually built a system to support the business.
And the last one is the belief gap. Visionaries have good, good, big dreams. Visionaries, see what’s possible. My clients are all visionaries, successful dreamers, who take a dream and put it into a thing and then make money at it, and then actually hire other people and serve people as a result. But every visionary confronts moments where they don’t believe in their own vision, where they don’t believe that what they want most in the world could actually happen, where they don’t believe that the things that they know the world needs that they wanna do that they see, they just don’t believe other people will want it, possible it can make money. It’s too hard. And so if we don’t work on our belief gap, nothing else makes sense. Right.
So I always use this example. In How to CEO, we teach a module called Coaching Algebra, and in my experience, a result, any result that you ever get is a combination of your skill set and your mindset. So a skillset, plus a mindset, leads to an outcome or a result. So if we’re not getting a result that we want, then we have to evaluate is there a skillset gap or a mindset gap? And this is what I teach my clients in terms of how to really evaluate the results you’re getting from team members. But this is also what we have to look at for CEOs. How to CEO your business during massive change?
The one person who has to believe in what she’s building, the direction she wants to go, it’s you. You’re the one who has to believe harder than anybody else, that it’s possible. If you don’t, it’s not to say that’s bad, it’s just, we gotta work on it. Because massive change, you know, the idea, this is what happens to me, is the idea, I see it. Gosh, I see it so beautifully. But then there’s so much to do, right?
So that activates skill and support gaps for me. I can see that vision. I believe it. I feel it viscerally. It all happens, but then when the ball starts rolling, then all the little things crop up that need to be done , and that’s when support or skill gaps become very present. “Oh, I don’t know how to do that. Oh, who’s gonna do that? Oh, I don’t…” And so then the belief and the potential, the belief that that thing could happen, that can become quite elusive.
So much of what I do in the world is about teaching women how to become masters of what’s difficult. Signing up to be an entrepreneur and creating a company is not easy. So there alone you’ve set yourself up to engage in things that are a lot harder than the average person, and you make it even harder on yourself when you don’t invest in how to leverage skills and abilities of other people. It’s like self flogging. I don’t know why you do it. Like, you can totally master what you wanna achieve in the world if you would just spend a little more time investing in people to help you. But Q, all the other things that I just talked about.
So how to CEO your business when you want to implement or go through massive change, you have to first get clear. So, if you’re sitting here today and you are a business that supports Disney, and you just found out that they are laying off 4% of their workforce and they’re revising how they align their work, and you have this small group of 14 people, running a 5 million business that does this very special niche work for Disney. You have to confront that. But you have to do that clarity work first as the leader. If you bring the problem immediately to the team, you’re gonna freak everybody out because all people do during change is make it personal. “What does this mean to me? Am I gonna lose my job? Is this the end of it all? I’m gonna have to change my hours. Is she gonna change our schedule?” People just go into their own space.
So your ability to step aside and think it through with advisors that you trust that aren’t in your team and working for you, I believe is essential. I believe it’s kind. Then you can come and say, “All right, y’all, here’s what’s going on. Disney’s laid off these people. This is the impact it’s gonna have that I can anticipate in the business. And here’s where the gaps are. Here’s what we need to think about in order to address the gaps.” And that’s when we start to rally the team. If you don’t have the team, that’s when we start to think about building it.
So the truth is, all of us who’ve been in business for at least three years have been navigating massive change through covid and shutdowns and economy slowdowns and inventory problems and shipping issues. I mean, every single one of my clients has been affected in a different way. And I know that the women who are in How to CEO would tell you that coming to our calls has saved them from skidding off the rails, save their business.
So you’ve gotta have somewhere to go to work through your own crazy when it comes to wanting to burn the whole thing down. And I certainly do the same, have my own coach who I work with, and then we have to be honest about what’s my skill gap, what’s my support gap, and do I have a belief gap? So those are the three things to always run yourself back through.
Hey, are you ready to go all in on you as the gorgeous, powerful woman and CEO that you are? Whether you’re running a company that’s at $400,000 a year or $4 million a year, or more, I know that there are practices that you probably need to advance in order to get the results that you need in your business. And those practices that we tend to ignore the most are the practices that have to deal with the people.
So if you’re ready to step up and really claim the voice that you have as a woman who leads, and really lead that team as a feminine CEO, I would love to work with you in our program. Go to krisplachy.com/ceo and learn all about what’s going on with us right now and get started with us this year.
This is the year, love. Let’s do it.Download Transcript