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Implementing EOS and Achieving Your Vision with Dean Breyley

Gray MacKenzie
Gray MacKenzie is a true operations nerd who has spent the past decade helping hundreds of agencies build more productive, profitable, and healthy teams by solving the core issues plaguing their project management.

To chat with Gray and have ZenPilot lead your team through the last project management implementation you'll ever need, schedule a quick call here.
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Dean Breyley is an EOS Community Leader and a Certified EOS Implementer at Grow or Die, where he increases traction for businesses and teams. Through the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), Dean helps business owners and entrepreneurs clarify, simplify, and achieve their visions.

Before discovering EOS, Dean held a number of positions in the marketing industry. In 2014, he became a certified implementer, and he now offers coaching sessions, presentations, and workshops for leadership teams and business owners.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dean Breyley explains how he became an EOS Implementer and shares the ins and outs of the EOS tools
  • What makes some companies successful with EOS compared to other companies that struggle with it?
  • Dean’s strategies for measuring operational growth and achieving internal objectives
  • Dean talks about “rocks” and how to use them to clarify and execute your vision
  • How to hire the right people and create the best team for your agency
  • What are the key factors that drive successful companies?
  • Tips for fostering a healthy team culture — even over Zoom
  • How Dean helps companies and leadership teams implement EOS

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In this episode…

The Entrepreneurial Operating System, or EOS, is becoming increasingly popular in companies that want to clarify their vision, gain traction, and build a better team. But what exactly does the EOS process look like? And, how do you know if it’s a good fit for your agency?

Dean Breyley has helped over 50 leadership teams grow their companies and achieve their visions through EOS. According to Dean, the process can transform your company’s team health, communication, and results. However, like all tools, EOS requires active participation from all members. Today, Dean shares the best ways to effectively implement the process into your agency and reach your goals faster than you ever thought possible.    

In this episode of Agency Journey, Gray MacKenzie sits down with Dean Breyley, EOS Community Leader and Certified EOS Implementer, to talk about how EOS is transforming companies all over the world. Dean explains the process of EOS implementation, how it helps companies achieve their visions, and his strategies for getting the best results from the EOS tools. Stay tuned.

Sponsor for this episode…


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To start your free trial, visit Use the coupon code agencyjourney and get 20% off any plan.


And be sure to check out ZenPilot, where we help agencies optimize their operations using our proven systems and processes.

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Resources Mentioned in this episode

Episode Transcript:

Gray MacKenzie 0:13

Hey as we’re diving into today’s episode of Agency Journey, let me tell you real quickly about our sponsor Oribi. Oribi is a super cool one on one marketing analytics tool. They’ve got Google Analytics squarely in their sights right now. And I can remember setting up Google Analytics as a sophomore in college and thinking this was just the coolest platform. And as its matured, it’s still super powerful, but it’s become so complex to deal with. And Oribi has a value prop totally aside from this. But what I absolutely love about my experience plugging Oribi into ZenPilot is I didn’t have to mess around with setting up what events I wanted to capture and tracking all my changes. And if I missed the view, then it would, it would delete all the data that I had. just plugged it in a crawl that captured all our all of our events made it super easy to see our funnel. And it just works elevating. You’ll see, for example, how many people read the Definitive Guide to click up for agencies a blog post that I wrote, I don’t know six months ago, see where those folks come from how that influences the buying process, the funnel the way that it works out. So super excited to have Oribi as a sponsor, you check it out, go to, it’s all one word. If you spin up a free trial there, use the coupon code agencyjourney, same thing all one word that’ll give you 20% off any plan, which is super generous of them. Remember, they can track all of our conversions. So check them out. That’s We appreciate their sponsorship and let’s get on with the episode. All right, welcome into another week’s episode of Agency Journey. This is Gray MacKenzie, here from ZenPilot. And today I’ve got Dean Breyley from Grow or Die on the podcast. Dean, thanks for joining me. Hello, it’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me. Oh, great. Hey, let me give you 30 seconds here. We’re gonna dig deep into EOS. But tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

Dean Breyley 1:55

So, well, I’ll give you a little bit of background on the history really. So you know, I used to have my own marketing agency with a business partner. We weren’t a great cultural fit for running a business together. So after kind of four and a half years, our relationship just dissolved. And I ended up going back to work for the competition. So I went to work for a competing marketing agency, and it was like frying pan to fire. So that was where I was introduced to EOS through the book Traction, which most people come to us via Traction, fell in love with it, self implemented for eight and a half months and got the bug decided I wanted to be one of the kind of pioneers of bringing it to the UK helping establish it and then grow and scale the awareness of it. And that was back in 2014. Ever since then, I’ve been working with entrepreneurial leadership teams all across the UK and Ireland to help them implement EOS and get, you know, great results out of their business and help them get what they want. So, right it’s been one hell of a journey, and everything from startups to you know, private equity backed organizations, large, small and some crazy business models inside of all of that. And then I kind of have the position with our worldwide community as community leader for Europe, which is all about helping the other implementers and our community to get what they want from us as well.

Gray MacKenzie 3:11

And the phrase, if anyone’s been listening to podcasts for any length of time, the phrase EOS isn’t going to be a new phrase. But just real quickly, to recap, EOS stands for the Entrepreneurial Operating System. Do you want to give just a quick overview for anybody who’s new and is not familiar with EOS already?

Dean Breyley 3:29

Certainly. So it’s a very simple set of tools, very simple process that we help businesses implement to run a better business side a more more effective, more efficient or peaceful, more harmonious, ultimately more profitable, you know, real kind of proven time tested tools that have been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for 100 more. So they kind of work in compartmentalized and put together into the model as we know it today by the founder of EOS worldwide and author of Traction, Gino Wickman. After watching, you know, many, many, many talented leadership teams kind of get stuck with the same kind of issues. And that was kind of where EOS was born out of.

Gray MacKenzie 4:07

Do you remember your first time reading Traction? What was it like cuz I hear two different things from people one is like a light bulb moment for me. And I was just clicking. And the other one that I hear a lot is, is really simple stuff like this is it’s cool that they’ve packaged it all together. But none of this is like yeah, unique stuff, which is kind of the magic. Like that’s the whole reason for it. But what was your impression first time you read the book?

Dean Breyley 4:34

So it just epiphany after epiphany after epiphany. So I was I was annoyed when I read it because I wish someone had given it to me five years earlier, you know, kind of like, write all of the stuff that was going on in my business just Yeah, I would love to have had EOS back then. But yeah, it’s really simple stuff. And I think that’s the the thing is you end up kind of slapping yourself in the in the face of man. This is simple stuff. And there’s there’s a bit of a thing in our community that when you know When someone tells gene Oh, I’m sorry, I think this is simple. He’s like, thank you, right? Yeah. Like anybody can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make something simple, right, according to Einstein, and so Gino has, you know, spent years tirelessly removing stuff without losing value to get down to just the fewest things we can do that take the least amount of effort to create the biggest return the biggest results? And, you know, I on first impressions, it looks simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to do, otherwise, everybody would be doing it.

Gray MacKenzie 5:32

Sure. Sure. Well, and that leads into the whole reason I wanted to bring you on, which is, yeah, I’m talking to agency owners every day, I’ve yet at least five or six agency owners that I’m on calls with. And you’ll go back to back, I’ll call where somebody is the EOS changed our entire lives, like we’re two and a half years into using it. And I can’t imagine like how we would have gotten here. We didn’t have it. The next blog text someone who says, It’s enough years ago, we tried EOS, it didn’t work for us. So we moved off of it. Well, what are you doing now? Well, we don’t really have anything in place to replace it. Like some of those things we we stuck. And so it’s interesting to hear. Some people like any anything, you know, you’re gonna have people who try it and succeed people who struggle with it. And I always go back to I coach, high school baseball here in the US or coach lacrosse. Previous to that, I think one of my favorite phrases during college, playing lacrosse was don’t blame the soul. Don’t blame the sword blame the soldier. And so a lot of it comes back to do we, how are we actually implementing it and using the tool that are given to us? Yeah, so Hi, let me start with that high level. And then we’re gonna unpack a bunch of the specifics here, as we go deep today. What are their consistent commonalities that you see if someone says, hey, we’ve tried it, and we’re struggling with it, versus the people who are having success? What makes the people successful with it? Great. I

Dean Breyley 6:55

love this question. Right? When a team asked me, Why would EOS work? I love that question. It’s almost like the perfect setup. Because, you know, I feel confident enough without any arrogance, after implementing EOS for 60 plus businesses, I always say it’ll be you. You know, like, if this stuff doesn’t work, it’s the people, it’s always the people. Right? The tools are just the tools. Right. And you know, you can give me a chisel doesn’t make me a carpenter, right. So but the chisel in the right hands and can do amazing things. So you know, I’ve seen the tools work often enough to know that the tools work. And I always like to say, you know, you give me two agency owners and two agency leadership teams who serve the same customers in the same market with the same products and services using EOS, they’ll get two different sets of results. Right. And the only variable in that is the people. So you know, it has to come down to the people. And it’s lots of things, right? If I if I look at the kind of the key pointers, it might be the fact that this team isn’t leaning into the tools, they’re kind of, you know, dipping their toes or just kind of practicing with it, relying on the tools to do the work and not them, which is like going to the doctor and thinking that’s the cure, right, you had to take the medicine. So it’s the taking the medicine, but you know, like misunderstanding, a tool, like an implementation of a tool that goes wrong, because they’ve just misinterpreted or not kind of really understood the principles or the foundations behind why we do things the way that we do. And then, you know, in all honesty, sometimes people just aren’t prepared to look in the mirror. And so EOS gets the blame, right? We tried EOS wasn’t for us. But actually, what EOS does is create this wonderful world of transparency, you know, and sometimes we don’t like what we see in the mirror. And so sometimes you stop looking in the mirror, right? So it’s one of those things like if you’re not prepared to change it, you just stop looking at it. And so I’ve seen quite a few times where, you know, like, it’s all EOS doesn’t work for us. And but like you say, when you look under that it’s not us, that doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s the people and again, not necessarily with bad intent, just like the commitment wasn’t there, the discipline the focus, the the want to really create and hold accountability in the company wasn’t there. This is a quote I use a lot with my teams, which is, you know, you incentivize what you tolerate. And then what you tolerate you become. So you know, I use that a lot with teams are looking at whether EOS is working or not.

Gray MacKenzie 9:20

Right, right. Yeah, that that’s a that quote, like you get what you reward or you also get what you tolerate like a reversion. Yes. What or I’ll just speak from the little bit that I’ve seen in conversations around EOS. I’m curious if there’s specific pieces, where people where EOS is more challenging. So my experience has been the VTL kind of people getting their vision and high level stuff that every agency has that they’ll go off site. We’ll do two days together. It’s an awesome experience. Everyone’s excited coming back. And the disconnect happens going from the vision to the actual Well, granular traction, like what are what are we doing in the day to day that’s different today than when we left the office three years ago now? Or is that? Or what are what are they? Like? Are there specific areas of your six different key components inside EOS? Are there specific areas that you see people struggling the most with?

Dean Breyley 10:22

Yeah. And that kind of comes back to why the model is the way the model is. The model has been through several iterations from Gino and he kind of started off by saying, you know, when you take a vision, and in all honesty, like you said, the visions, the exciting bits, the easy bit, right, which is why we don’t really do it first. Because to us the quote, Vision Without execution is hallucination, right? Doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best shiny vision out there in the world, if you don’t have a system of execution, accountability, discipline, focus, right team health communication, that vision is going nowhere. So yeah, like when you take a vision, and they use a bunch of people to execute that vision, you’re going to come up with issues. And again, that’s usually issues with the people issues with the data, or process. And again, the fact that most people just don’t solve the issues that they know they have. So those components, going back to why the model is the way that the model is, is that those six components are the root of all evil, you know, all of those other 136 things floating around a symptoms of just those few root causes. So we always go deep into those components. And the again, generally it’s around process data people where you find the biggest issues. That makes sense.

Gray MacKenzie 11:30

That makes sense. manifestly a couple specific questions around a fire away. Yeah, fire away, mate. Yep, the first one, this is fresh in my mind, because we’re working on this with a number of agencies right now. But it’s the scorecard component of it. So we’ve got a system where things that we’d like to look at on the delivery or Client Services side of the business. But then people ask, Well, what are we measuring on the growth and operation side of the business as well? What are you seeing? Or do you have a specific recommendation, or maybe lessons that you’ve learned as far as here’s the key metrics that you should be measuring in an agency environment? Yeah,

Dean Breyley 12:06

so I’m not I’m not sure to like the answer I’m going to give you everybody wants a shortcut, right? Everybody’s like you work with handfuls of agencies. Just give me a give me the scorecard. Tell me what it is. And, you know, there is actually no shortcut to success with this scorecard. I’ve seen enough agency scorecards, and they’re all unique, you know, there are a few commonalities, right? It would it would be untrue to say some numbers don’t show up on most scorecards, yet. But when you give teams the answers, you rob them of the chance to really learn and figure out their scorecard it’s almost like you have to go through the pain of discovering and figuring that out. But so I can certainly help shortcut that because most teams just spend five minutes googling a few key metrics or agencies, right. You don’t know what a scorecard and then you measure them, because that’s what you you think you should be measuring. But actually, you don’t really do anything, or it doesn’t tell you a story, or or you don’t find that you get great value from measuring those. So yeah, we do make teams go right, the way back to why are we scorecard in the first place, you know, and it’s not about catching people screwing up or using data to kind of be big brother, it’s about a certain amount of activity is going to generate a certain amount of results. So for us, we’re using data to deliver the vision. So then we go back to kind of deeper than the scorecard, right, it’s really looking deeper, what are we using the scorecard for? Well, it’s just to tell us whether we’ve had a good week, or whether we’ve had a bad week, and whether actually this week is going to help deliver on our financial future and success in where we’re going. So you start going back down to the principles of it. And so, you know, they’re gonna be like, leading indicators, activity based numbers, for sure. You know, we’re not looking to measure those kind of big lagging things. And, you know, one of my principles is you can’t change the past but you can influence the future right? So all of our data should be able to help us navigate in the future into a better position. So you know, we start going well, what does a great week look like for us as an agency and you can start breaking that down into the into the multiple major functions, you know, marketing? How do we know that for us? We’ve had a great weekend marketing, what is it? Is it certain amount of opportunity created a certain amount of awareness, and then you move into the sales function, or how much of that opportunity in a way so we closed down turned it to business, right, and value in orders to deliver. With operations? Again, depending on the type of agency you’ve got, you know, what are our operations and it generally is about delivering on time in full with no waste, no errors. And then making sure from from a back end business kind of operational and logistical facilities point of view. We’re getting paid on time and you know, all this. So it really is kind of breaking down the business into its fundamental parts and looking at success. And then collating five to 15 numbers on your scorecard which really paint that picture of health. You know, hey, we’ve had a great week, because it looks like there so I always go back to look underneath the scorecard, right look to the principles of what we’re trying to use the scorecard to tell us And then paint a picture using that. So when teams get stuck, we do go to the end, you know, like, well, we want to take on one new client a month. But we wouldn’t use a scorecard to measure that, you know, like that either happens or it doesn’t. So we start breaking it down to say, Well, what is the activity that we know we can control that creates one new client a month, and we start working the process back, you know, and even right, the way back to, you know, might be just adding a certain amount of opportunities to our pipeline, because we know that with our conversion, or gearing, our ratios, right, if we do X amount of these will generate y amount of those. So for us, it really is about what story, are we trying to tell what are we using data to achieve? Breaking right down to those fundamental? What are the things people do? And a certain amount of that activity generates the right results? Right. And that’s how we build a great scorecard.

Gray MacKenzie 15:52

That makes sense. I think, if you look at in a normal agency business, whoever’s leading the client servicing side of the business, the things that you’re looking at are, what’s the growth of those accounts with the retention of those two things, obviously combined to make here’s the lifetime value of each account. But if you throw an LTV on your scorecard, that’s obviously built as lag is like you get, yeah, yeah, right indicator. So you know, we go

Dean Breyley 16:18

yeah, go say Yo, is exactly that it’s looking at the purpose of each function. You know, the purpose of our customer service function is to keep them happy, retain them and grow them. And then we’re looking, you know, you say, you might start off with some really lumpy login numbers, and then you break that down towards the weekly activity that we know is going to generate that. Right. Perfect. Perfect, you know, numbers there for the scorecard. Yeah.

Gray MacKenzie 16:41

Yeah, internal. And just for a couple of specifics. So we use me curious if you have a favorite one for this, but we look at both internal, what our team how they feel about relationships. And those aren’t just to some degrees, feel, but we give them clear definitions. And here’s what this account. Yeah, so account health scores. Yep, under five. One is things are trending in the wrong direction. We’re not hitting those clients upset. Five is not only are things above goals, but they continue to trend up clients really couldn’t be happier. Yeah, define those. And we’ll look at that on an average across all clients. And so we’ve got our internal scoring on a weekly basis that happens. Externally, we use Net Promoter Score. Yeah, back feedback from the client. So those are our two, if we’re looking at the lifetime value of a client and our retention numbers and our account growth, those are our two kind of leading indicators through that. Now, those are lagging indicators on did we everything’s a lead and a lag to some degree, where those are on did we get our workout on time? Do we know sales is the promise made and then delivers the promise gap? And so are we keeping our promises? From a delivery perspective? Do you have a favorite way to measure the client input? or feedback? Are you seeing many agencies using net promoter score? Or are they using something else to get their customer sees hat surveys or some type of customer say,

Dean Breyley 18:01

net promoter score is one of the one of the ones that comes off the shelf a lot, just like I say, it’s one of the most easily accessible and easy to build a system to get your net promoter on. But I think he touched on a really great point there that, you know, the scorecard is only limited by the people that use its creativity. So you know, like a number is a number is a point of data that you can measure, whether it be qualitative or quantitative, you know, I’ve seen teams build some really clever measurement systems in order to get a real handle this kind of pulse on their business and understanding where they are. So as long as you have a calibrated system that you know, whether you’ve built it qualitative, quantitative, you know, internal, external, that’s all that matters, because they’re early warning indicators, going back to your point that everything’s lagging to some degree. Right. But you know, we’re trying to avoid teams waiting till the end of the month, end of the quarter before they start looking at how did we do? You know, we’re saying that just within the last seven days, has it been a good week for us? Right, you know, and so therefore, those early warning indicators, there’s like a lot of flashing LEDs is where we should be paying attention, right? What are the what is the signs of smoke before the fire? And then we pay attention to those and we just verify and make sure so I say even if you’ve got a qualitative number, which is a feeling, that’s still data, right, still information that we can act upon, and then we can dive deeper, when we’re solving issues to figure out is there actually really an issue there or not? So there may not be, but at least we’ve double checked sense checked it and made absolutely sure. No, just kind of crossed our fingers and hope for the best.

Gray MacKenzie 19:31

Right? That makes sense. I think I’ve heard this from implementers. I’ve heard this from agencies who look back and that man, wish we learned this earlier. Probably one of the most common mistakes is we don’t know how to read rocks, and then way too ambitious with what we can get done over the course of a quarter. Quarter feels like a long time. It means by the end of the quarter. It’s like wow, where did Where did that go? Yeah. Who should be designing in rocks for anybody. Who’s not familiar yet? To clarify, since my poor explanation, but basically your quarterly what are the key movers internally the things that we need to get done or objective major objectives internally? Who should be for to clarify that? And then who should be setting that? How do those get set any advice that you have for agencies who are trying to do this and not get frustrated that we keep missing rough estimates? So

Dean Breyley 20:23

yeah, I mean, I’ve seen loads of people make rocks far too complicated. And then you know, when you make something complicated, it becomes really tough to break that back down. So a rock is simply a priority, one of the most important things biggest impact, most pressing over the next 90 days, you know, and that’s our timeframe, it’s in the next 90 days, this is one of the most important things and we call it a rock. Because if everything is a priority, nothing’s a priority. So you know, we give it a different name, it becomes a different thing. And so we’re setting you know, for the company, first, we always look at with the leadership team, specifically, what are the most important things for this business to achieve in the next 90 days, and we pick three to seven year we turn them into SMART objectives, right? So we make sure they’re specifically documented, they’re measurable. So we can be absolutely crystal clear whether we got it or whether we didn’t. And then we check the attainability of it within that timeframe. Like, can we get it done? If we put all the right time, effort and energy into doing it? So as long as we’re getting really crystal clear on what done looks like that’s, that’s a mistake. Most people make their rock sound smart. Or they just don’t take the time to truly understand in that kind of first week, what done looks like, How do I know when I’ve gotten what I wanted from it, and then are we as a team on the same page with what that looks like? Generally, expectations are different with the outcomes or deliverables from Iraq, and then then teams start falling out Braehead. So we get the leadership team to set the company ones first. And generally, that’s kind of with that board of directors style hat on, you know, like, the company has these rocks, and then the leaders will take ownership, but the other company rocks, then we get crystal clear on the three to seven for each of those leaders in terms of their priorities. But there’s a difference of focus, you know, three to seven most important things for the business. And then each leader has their set of their three to seven most important things, which will include the ones we’ve set from the company perspective, right, and then we go back, and we kind of cascade that out to the business. So each of those leaders will go back to their department, their function, and then they repeat the exercise with their team, you know, they might have a team of 357. And they sit down, they go through exactly the same exercise for us. For our department, let’s just say it’s, you know, we’ve got a development function in the agency for development, what are the three to seven most important things that we need to get done, and that becomes the departmental rocks, and then each person in that team gets clear on their rock. So but again, we would always say that for the leadership team, it’s three to seven, hopefully closer to three, we wouldn’t expect anybody inside the business who spends most of their time executing to be taking on any more than 123, hopefully, closer to one rocker quarter. Now, in terms of the alignment, you know, because we cascade that from the leadership team down, everybody should be focusing on how can they help the leadership team achieve the company rocks, and then their leaders rocks, and then we’re setting rocks of priority wise, we’re always focusing in on the vision and the plan. But there’s always stuff that, you know, for me, this is important for me this quarter, therefore, I should set that as a rock. You know, people generally tend to trip up on the whole, well, it’s got to happen, or it’s going to get done this quarter anyway, so I won’t set it as a rock and you know, my work will, will, will, will, if it’s going to take a significant amount of your time, effort and energy in the next 90 days, don’t you think we should wrap a rock around it to make sure it gets done, rather than trying to get that done, and then another three to seven other things, it’s like, you know, we only have 100% of our own capacity. So there’s definitely some common trip hazards in which people will fall into. And I suppose one of the other things is, you know, is it business as usual? Or is it a rock, like, if it’s just part of the day job, and this is something that’s repeatable, that happens like once a quarter, once a month, or once every six months, there is that grey line between, if it’s going to take a certain amount of your time, effort, energy, then it’s worth setting as a rock. But business as usual, should be taken care of, of kind of the process component, right? That just happens as part of doing the work rather than being a specific rock. That’s generally what causes people to trip up as well.

Gray MacKenzie 24:22

Yeah, I think that’s a helpful distinction. Could you maybe give a quick example of rocks and what they would what it would look like cascading down from hey, here’s a leadership team rock, here’s what that would look like when it’s translated to clients.

Dean Breyley 24:35

So, you know, leadership team rock, maybe we figured out that we need to overhaul say, one of our core processes, let’s just say our earliest development because I mentioned the development team earlier on that our development function, we don’t have a clear set of processes. So actually, one of the most important things is going to benefit the company this quarter might be to get that ball processes documented, simplified and followed by all you know, that might be a company rock because the impact The business so much over the next 90 days that it’s worth setting as a company rock. Now it’s very likely right that the development team leader is going to take that rock as the owner, right best person to own it, they would then take that back to their team and say, hey, we’ve got a company rock this quarter to get this done, I own it, then the development team would start kind of triage thing and setting rocks based on Well, I can take this part of that rock, I can take this part. And then individually, they might set a rock, which is to help the lead to get their rock done. So we cascade it up. So it really is about breaking the rocks down into smaller rocks, you know, and then and then breaking that down as we go through the business. So that the alignment is there on delegating as much of the work to everybody who can who can help. Yep,

Gray MacKenzie 25:45

that makes sense. And then for the case, where we bit off more than we could chew, we all rocks, we got five done, which is impressive. But we all have left to rot, what on a quarterly basis, then we’re re evaluating whether those are an accurate priority and resetting rocks, do they automatically,

Dean Breyley 26:01

so we, we would always do a bit of a bit of a tidy up of last quarter’s rocks and sit down and learn and get better from it. So we would kind of analyze that, you know, what was it? Was it the right rock to set in the first place? Like was it truly one of the most important things that mattered most? Because if not, we shouldn’t have set it in the first place. You know, if it was the right rock, then we have to check its attainability. Well, was it truly attainable? On reflection? Now, you know, using the power of hindsight, was it attainable within the last 90 days, because like you say, sometimes we’ve been enough more than we can chew. And actually, you know what we need to learn from that around understanding our capacity. But if it was the right rock, and it was attainable, it’s likely we’ve got an accountability issue with that person, right? Like, I didn’t plan it, I didn’t manage it, I didn’t prioritize it, I let other things get in the way. So then we have to really start looking internally to the people to say, Well, you know, you have to own not getting that rock done. If it was the right rocket, it was attainable. So when we, when we have something that’s kind of like half done, or 75% of the way done, or even 95% of the way down, we just need to figure out what we do with it, it may be that we just pick it up, carry it into the next quarter and set it as a rock and we go again, and you know, like, we just then have to understand what we’re gonna do differently this quarter. So we don’t get the same results. It might be a bit evolves and changes shape, you know, if we’ve got half of it done, we’re gonna change the definition of what that looks like and stretch it out for the next 90. Or if it’s 95% done, and there’s just like a week’s worth of activity or a couple of to dues, we just don’t see that as a rock because we know that that thing is in motion enough to see itself out. It doesn’t need the spotlight, the focus or the intensity of a rock to carry on.

Gray MacKenzie 27:44

Right, that makes sense. I’m going to pivot over here a little bit to the people component in the org chart side of things. Yeah, we’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of pretty high growth agencies, the last two quarters, we’re recording this. Well, I guess, early in q2 2021. So end of 2020, and beginning of 2021, of mostly across the board been really, really good and had a strong tailwind for agency growth. Yeah, we’ve had a chance to help a number of those agencies get their systems and processes in order as they’re growing really quickly. And the market demand is very high. But as you’re working with those same agencies who are growing quickly, are there common mistakes that are made on the org chart? Not necessarily everyone’s gonna have, you’re gonna have your Rockstar hires, you’re gonna be bad hires, you’re gonna have your people who are just fine. That’s, that’s gonna be a piece of it. There’s certainly stuff that you can learn and figure out how to hire and are, you know, Are you hiring the right type of people? But yeah, at a higher level, from an org chart perspective. Are you seeing any consistencies where teams are, they get the teams who are doing really well get this role filled, and ended off well, or teams that are struggling, didn’t make that higher, and they chose this higher instead, any commonalities that you see there?

Dean Breyley 29:02

So I would say, first, it would come down to structure in terms of the teams that do really well are looking ahead. You know, we’re not competitive to the teams that are tripping over themselves, it’s generally generally because they’re looking at their feet, right? And they’re actually there, because again, our terminology is accountability, chart rights. So it’s that slight change from an org chart. And then their accountability chart represents who they are now, not, not who they are going to become. So you know, the key differentiator for us is your accountability chart should always be designed to get you to the next level, you know, you’re always thinking ahead is a proactive structure for where we need to be in kind of six to 12 months. And so what you’re able to do is is to really kind of, we talk about creating an opportunity, you define the seat to find the roles that that seat would be accountable for, really understand the measurable definitions of success, and then you go out to the market and hire a right person. So again, right person price is a great cultural fit for the organization based on values, and you put them in the right seat. Which is a see that, you know, you can never guarantee a great hire, but you can certainly really greatly reduce your chances of making a bad hire, based on truly understanding that role that you’re bringing them into, and their ability to prove, using our kind of terminology of GW See, right that they get this role top to bottom inside out, they want this role in terms of their intrinsic motivation and passion. And they have the capacity, right mental, emotional, physical, and time capacity to deliver everything that this business requires of them in that role. So you know, the companies that do really well look ahead next level of six to 12 months, and then bringing people into a predefined role. The ones that tend to trip over themselves are retrofitting people into the accountability chart, hey, we just hired this great new person. Now we need to figure out where they sit and what their role is. And see, you know, again, that they’re hiring for people rather than designing the team based on structure first people second, that would be a kind of a commonality thing. Yes. Yeah.

Gray MacKenzie 31:00

That makes sense. And then from us, as people are building out their vision, traction, organizer, their video, huh? Are you seeing this is another I’m just trying to throw as many objections to the EOS as I can actually do I love the challenge. This is this is kind of a smaller thing. But here, we’re in a space that’s evolving. Like, I have no idea what to think about 10 years, even three years, it’s farther than I can that I can possibly think. Do you modify kind of the standard time frame at all when working with agencies or? Or companies in the space? Or is it less about? Yeah, obviously, we don’t know where we’re gonna be 10 years, but let’s just think about where does this go like that specific point in time, it matters less than directionally are we aligned?

Dean Breyley 31:43

So yeah, you know, we have the ability in EOS to change that core target, right, the kind of the 10 year target. So for those familiar with Jim Collins, write the BHAG big, hairy, audacious goal, we always give teams the flexibility to choose, you know, and yet there are some constraints, right? Like it has to be between five and 30 years as our guide, anything less than five, it’s not going to have the energy to get where we want to go anything more than 30. And like you say, we’re so long gone by that time that we’re not going to have that kind of emotional time connection. But somewhere in there is around about or roughly, you know, like me, me, this team has a big anniversary, which is just happens to be seven years away, right? Like it’s their 20th anniversary, or, you know, the founders are 50, and whatever year So, generally, they might want to tie it to some big event, but five to 30 years, which gives them the ability to not have to know how they’re going to do it yet. And that’s a really important part is we don’t have to know how to get there yet. We’re going to figure that out on the journey. So everything else we do in EOS is about making it a reality. And so you are almost making the future up as you go along. Right, by by deciding we want to be this company by then. And so I’m always asking them, you know, what is that thing that drives you that one overarching energizing aligning, exciting business goal, that if we got there by x, date would be success. You know, I like the analogy of if we’re climbing a mountain over the next five to 10 years, what’s at the top? What has it all been for? Right? What’s on that flagpole, what’s at the summit. And again, qualitative or quantitative, sometimes you can measure it with a stick. And sometimes it’s a feeling, if you’d like to really is about just helping them understand, what are we trying to achieve here? What is the thing that we know when we get there? We’ve done it. And then we go again. Right? So it’s not the end? It’s just a mile marker on a larger journey.

Gray MacKenzie 33:37

Right? Have you had a chance to work with anybody who said that? I mean, that’s really tight. I mean, you’d have to work with someone at the very beginning of doing EOS, who said, I’m your target or whatever, have you had a chance to work with anybody? Or maybe they hit their goal early, who’s kind of been? Well, we got to recalibrate.

Dean Breyley 33:52

So we did a worldwide right to use our worldwide organization as a as a good guide when I joined in 2013 14. You know, there were a handful of us as implementers and a handful of companies running on EOS. And they said that by 2020, they wanted to get it to 10,000 companies using EOS. And everyone was a year crazy, right like this, that’s nuts. And they got there early. And so we were part of the journey a couple of years ago, when they realized they were on track to do it, that they reset their target for another 10 years. And we’re now working towards 100,000 companies running on EOS. And when everybody asked Gino, you know, like, how do you how do you expect to do that? You know, his response, which has proven to work and be true based on our story was we’re just going to figure out one quarter at a time. And it really is that you know, like we’re not in control of the future to that degree where you can say 10 years from the light down the line. We’re going to be this but you can certainly figuring out one quarter at a time and it’s just about not as much of the world as you can control right the next 90 days, but even in the last 12 months that’s been pretty known impossible, right given everything that was going on with corn. Coronavirus so we’re just about getting back to that horizon level of 90 days. You know, I would say probably six to 12 months ago, people were thinking 90 minutes ahead. Right, right. And now we’re able to get kind of 90 days again.

Gray MacKenzie 35:12

Yeah, that makes sense. So this might be EOS specific. This might not be having to do with Eos. But among your agencies you’re working with or advise into who are growing the most quickly. Any common themes that you’re seeing, like, what’s what’s getting the fast growth? With EOS specifically, or just know we might be in the EOS thing? It might not be though it might be so obvious agency that somebody’s focused on sales, or they’ve got Yeah, but whatever that

Dean Breyley 35:44

CEOs decide, right, like, because again, EOS, which is the holistic model for helping them run the organization is going to help them run a better business without doubt like, but I would say that the key things as well as the EOS one is the culture. Right. And I’m not talking about ball tables, and you know, like beanbags and slides, I’m talking about people, really healthy, functional, cohesive cultures where everybody’s aligned, everybody wants to go the same place in the same direction. At the same time, there’s no politics, right? So you’ve got gotten rid of all of that. And for those familiar with, like, Simon Sinek, he talks about this circle of safety, you know, and I always say to the teams, like, if you’re worried about the external world, eating your life, perhaps you should stop beating yourself the light fast, right? Like, and it really is that so teams with a great culture internally, where everybody is, you know, acting, behaving thinking aligned the same way, they’re gonna do great things. And I suppose the second would be something that kind of underpins everything, which is their business model, is, you know, they’ve got a really kind of rock solid business model and clarity and who they serve the value proposition and how all of the key parts of their business on their orchestrated, you know, but they’re not just trying to sell anything to anyone and service everything. And, you know, like that kind of jack of all trades.

Gray MacKenzie 37:06

Yeah. So, I look for any common traits, wherever I’m bringing a baseball, and specifically the pitching aspect of, of baseball, what are all the people who are most successful? Like, what are the common things that they’re doing? And now this is brazenly analyzed by people world smarter than I am? Yeah. Hey, you know, they consistently get to this position, or this is how they get the spin, right that they get or whatever those things are. And so I, but I think that same kind of commonality, which is why I asked about scorecard numbers are their metrics that the easy answer is, it all depends, everything’s different. And certainly people need to understand the reason behind it. But I think at the same time, you also have there people who do things excellently. They’re consistent patterns, but between those from a culture perspective, especially as people have been forced to go remote, or their commute. So from a EOS rhythms perspective, you get weekly ltn, your leadership team meeting or your level 10 meeting, depending on the team that you’re in. Are there specific pieces outside of that, that you’re seeing teams in the healthy sculptures doing with that the daily standup? Or they’re doing a every other week of all hands meeting? Or they don’t use slack? Or they do you say, any consistency that you send there?

Dean Breyley 38:24

So yeah, that I mean, it’s, it’s that you’re going over and above in the virtual world, you know, because like, we can still run the business the same way we did, but you are losing things that you you weren’t even necessarily consciously aware of like, even when teams turned up for a level 10 meeting, face to face in a room, there’d be banter and talk and everything that happens for five minutes before and maybe five to 10 minutes after. And that’s the social kind of really kind of trust building team, you know, the health there’s just got lost because now a level 10 meeting is pretty functional. Everybody’s on zoom on the dot right of the of the time, right? You run through the agenda, you check out you’re gone and you’re into the next meeting, there’s just all of that human interaction stuff that isn’t directly related to work has gone so the the real healthy teams are doing other stuff to compensate. And I think, you know, in the early days of lockdowns when people were doing zoom quizzes and all you know that that was a way of trying to figure it out. And I don’t think it had longevity because people very quickly got bored with zoom quizzes and and, you know, zoom treasure hunts, that kind of stuff. But yeah, I’ve got some teams doing lots of great kind of, again, it’s additional stuff that they weren’t doing before virtual to really help their team still feel connected and, and not just in terms of the role but as a group of human beings. Just checking in how’s things how’s the family right and a lot more tolerance for things like kids running in or the shopping being delivered. When you’re in the middle of a, you know, before lockdown, we wouldn’t have considered those things acceptable, but now, I think it’s just that really understanding of the Lend between personal professional, that was easy to separate whenever he was in an office, you know, I think the real healthy teams are doing stuff like that. Okay, makes sense.

Gray MacKenzie 40:11

So I’m going to switch gears here completely and want to learn a little bit more about how you work with folks. But generally, so you are an implementer of us maybe briefly talking about what the role of an implementer looks like. If an agency’s saying, Hey, we shouldn’t obviously first step, I think for most agencies winds up being read the book, maybe check out the the site, but most agencies at some point will read Traction as the initial book. Yeah. Not not the only book necessarily then read from us. But then what’s the What does an investment look like to work with an EOS? implementer? I’ll throw that pile of things, do you? Where should people still have that stuff? I’m going to do.

Dean Breyley 40:53

So there are three things we say we do for the leadership team, right? And that’s we teach we coach we facilitate for them, you know, we’re not there to be the guru or the strategist, or tell them where their business should be going. Sometimes we’re the dumb guy with a marker, right? Because we know that that’s not helping create this healthy, functional, self sustaining leadership team, if we just go in there and provide the answers, right, that’s creating dependence on us. We want to create this really kind of independent leadership team that only needs us for a very limited amount of time before they can go on and solve their own issues, right with the right toolkit. So, you know, we teach a very simple system. And our goal is to give them everything we know about EOS and EOS in its purest form. From the facilitation standpoint, you know, once we’ve created a context around what their world should look like with EOS, then we kind of facilitate all the smart brains in the room into that and help them get these tools that work for them and really add value to their business. And coaching is that, you know, when you’re in the game, you can’t see the game, right, that kind of quote from Kurt girdle cannot be in a system and at the same time, see the system that you’re in. So, because we do play this game all day, every day with different leadership teams, we’re able to help speed them up, help them avoid some of those stumbling blocks and the trip hazards and coach them to play a better game, you know, that’s what we do. In terms of how we do that, then, yeah, they can certainly read the book, you know, will quite happily send anybody a copy of Traction, although we can also shortcut that, you know, as a community of implementers, we commit to share 90 minutes of time with anybody who wants to learn more about us, and take them through kind of a learning and teaching session, which we call the EOS 90 minute meeting. So you know, like they could reach out to an implementer, that implementer would take them through this kind of, again, at the moment most of virtual right, but it’d be lovely to do them face to face one day again, where we just sit with that leadership team and give them the whole experience of EOS. And for the teams that want to work with us directly. Yeah, we spend full days working with the leadership teams probably run about five or so times a year, although in between the physical sessions, you know, we’re on the journey with them. So we’re there around to help and support as much as needed. But investment wise, I mean, you’re looking anywhere, because we have we have kind of professional implementers, we have certified implementers. And in the UK, especially, we’re talking probably around about 12 and a half 1000 a year to kind of 30,000. And the difference is kind of length of service and an experience with EOS, you know, I’ve done 60 cycles of EOS with different teams. So my fee is towards the top end of that bracket. You know, and those, because again, there isn’t an EOSI as we call ourselves who hasn’t been there done that one, the T shirt, you know, we’re all entrepreneurs in our own right, who just want to help and give back and have a passion for helping other people, you know, get what they want out of their businesses. And so for the newer ones into the community, you know, that their feeds represent the experience with the tools. So that’s why there’s kind of a range of, of different costs have been implemented

Gray MacKenzie 44:01

in professional versus certified implementer. What’s the distinction there?

Dean Breyley 44:06

So distinction link this service? So you know, like it’s both for the professionals, it’s about number of times they do say yes, a certain amount of sessions. And so that’s really the only distinction is certified is just a designation that states Yeah, you’re longer in the tooth, you’ve got more battle scars, for example. But you know, everybody, whether that’s professional or certified, if they’re inside the official community has the EOS seal of approval for teaching the staff. So, you know, nobody’s better or worse, right? We’re all we’re very abundance minded community. But it is worth knowing that, you know, we don’t hold any kind of long term contracts for teams or we don’t get to sign up for any kind of lengthy agreements. Our commitment to our teams is to work one session at a time. And to fully guarantee every session that we do that if that team don’t feel they’ve got value for the work we delivered, there’s no obligation for them to pay for that session. So everything we do is about making it as risk free for the people that we work with as possible, which also helps keep us on our toes, right, which puts the focus on us delivering a massive value for the teams and the work that we do.

Gray MacKenzie 45:12

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, Dean, I appreciate you coming on. Thanks for being willing to answer so many questions and go deep on EOS stuff here with us, or folks who want to learn more about you or reach out. What are the best places for them to connect?

Dean Breyley 45:25

Absolutely. So they can find me on LinkedIn. Dean Breyley is my is my name. And best thing to do is drop me an email. So So, or they can give me a call. I’ll answer the phone to anybody who wants to talk to me about EOS. Awesome.

Gray MacKenzie 45:43

Good stuff. Dean. Thanks for your time. I appreciate it.

Dean Breyley 45:46

It’s been a pleasure, Gray. Thanks for having me.

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