Archive for the ‘peer learning’ Category

“Coaches Are Better Than Managers”,Insights from Bill Eckstrom & Sarah Wirth, Authors of The Coaching Effect, on the Critical Mass Radio Show

September 17th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA


Whether it be sports or lessons, having the right coach can be the key to unlocking your true potential. Authors Bill Eckstrom and Sarah Wirth’s latest book, The Coaching Effect, helps leaders at all levels understand the necessity of challenging people and creating a high growth organization. They join us on the Critical Mass Radio Show for more.

1.Coaches get the best results and initiate growth. According to Bill Eckstrom, coaches have the greatest impact on performance. High-level leaders such as managers and executives need to behave more like coaches in order to get the best out of their team and drive up performance as well as success. The best coaches and leaders have a great understanding of the play-by plays of the company as well as the team in which they are managing. Coaches over managers, have a positive connotation and break down the barrier between the managers and employees, which in turn, creates a work atmosphere that is built upon trust and a form of leadership that is structured by strategy rather than status.

2.Get out of your comfort zone. This can happen either voluntarily or non-voluntarily. Either way it forces you into new and different situations that allows for the ability to adapt and deal with new business situations. According to Sarah Wirth’s research, people tend to grow the most when they are outside of their comfort zones. This also relates to entrepreneurs and business owners on multiple levels, seeing as how people in business and entrepreneurs are forced into new and different situations constantly and are always asked to make decisions based on new scenarios. The people willing to take on new situations with a positive perspective are the ones who are going to grow the most, and are more likely to achieve success and find more opportunities.

3.The concept of discomfort does not always lead to happy employees. Discomfort according to Bill Eckstrom’s and Sarah Wirth’s research, is when the most growth occurs. Contradictory to what we hear from numerous CEOs about maintaining happy employees, happy employees alone are not always the best producers of successful work. The best coaches and leaders are the ones that push and challenge their team. The concepts of trust and discomfort go hand in hand because as we all know uncomfortable situations are not the easiest places to be in, but when in a business setting and being lead by your boss, or coach, whom you trust, you as the employee are more likely to be unhappy about the situation, but are also more likely to follow your coach into uncomfortable situations and come out successful.

 Listen to our full interview with Bill Eckstrom & Sarah Wirth on the Critical Mass Radio Show here:

“These Killer Concepts Will Drive A Killer Business”, Insights from Jeff Leitman, CEO of Killer Concepts, on The Critical Mass Radio Show

September 11th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

From unique phone chargers to portable batteries, there is a wide variety of cellphone accessories. One in particular you may have seen in stores or near the checkout counters are the small suction cup piggies for phones. We have Jeff Leitman from Killer Concepts on the Critical Mass Radio Show and Podcast to share some of the philosophies of Killer Concepts as well as provide us on inside look into the strategies of the business.

1.Become customer-centric.Focus your messaging with the idea that your customer is the end user. Look inwardly at what you are trying to deliver. Focus on your packaging, look at your competitors packaging, do research and find a way to strategically market and relay your product to users, and lastly focus on how to effectively communicate the message of what your product is, how it works, and why consumers should buy it. Keeping your customers as the top priority will ensure the success for your business and will demonstrate the authenticity of your brand as well as your product.

2.Stay busy. Stay relevant. When you find that your product or service is doing exceedingly well in your space, it becomes easy to recline and let the product do the work. However, in business, which is a competitive market in itself, it is also easy to become irrelevant. By keeping busy and continuously working on projects it keeps your brand relevant and also opens up an opportunity to keep jobs consistently available. Staying busy is a positive strategy on multiple levels.

3.Keep your employees happy but focused. As brought up many times on the Critical Mass Radio Show, employees are a huge piece to a successful business. However, in any business it is very difficult to succeed alone. Therefore, with the employees that you do currently have that are working hard to see your vision through, it is so important to make sure that your employees are taken care of to the best of your ability. If employees feel as though they are not valued then will put less value in your brand and just come to work for a paycheck or not even come to work at all. Therefore, maintaining a positive relationship between yourself as the executive figure and the employees that oversee day-to-day operations is crucial to the life and success of your business.


Listen to our full interview with Jeff Leitman here:

“The Good Will of Goodwill,” Insights from Nicole Suydam, President and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County on the Critical Mass Radio Show

September 6th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Goodwill helps people who are facing barriers to find and keeps jobs, which provide purpose, pride, and dignity. Not only do they serve thousands of children and adults every year, but they also provide services to help people achieve the highest level of independence. Nicole Suydam, President and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County joins us on the Critical Mass Radio show to share more.

1.The only difference between a non-profit organizations and a corporate business is the designation to the IRS. Non-profit organizations are full-fledged businesses and when looked at by corporate businesses do not get the status that they deserve. In some cases the best practices of a business are best executed by non-profit organizations. Oversight and compliance are expected and demanded from non-profit organizations and in some cases even more so than corporate businesses. Non-profit organizations are great partners and can boost credibility as well as establish a philanthropic view by consumers, therefore increasing interest to the brands of both businesses working together.

2.Find quality candidates. Many business owners struggle with hiring the right people that will compliment the values and mission of their business. This may be because of how candidates are narrowed down. What I mean by this is people with disabilities or even veterans are typically not given as much consideration as others during the interview process. We have now heard two CEOs, Nicole Suydam and Bob Marsh of The File Depot, that have significantly benefitted from hiring people with barriers, such as disabled individuals, either mentally or physically. As stated by both CEOs on two separate interviews, they bring a work ethic that is unmatched by others in the work place and their genuinely happy and grateful to be working for and representing your company. When conducting the interview process remember that everyone should be given the opportunity to demonstrate the skills and work ethic they have.

3.Be laser focused. For non-profit organizations and for corporate level jobs, focusing on programs and other ways that will allow people to maintain and succeed in their position within a company is a strategic move. Tuning in on the ways that can benefit your employees that allow them to prosper and grow within your business will ultimately allow your business to grow outward. This will add credibility to your employees as well as your business model, and hiring process, because if your employees are growing and expanding the business and themselves it reflects positively on the ones whop hired and trained them. Also, this sets individuals up for other opportunities outside of the business. In the long run focusing on the well being of your employees and being able to reap the benefits while doing so will allow for exponential growth and success all around.


Listen to our full interview with Nicole Suydam on the Critical Mass Radio Show here:

“Leaders Are Readers”, Insights from Pat Burns, Co-founder of the OC Children’s Book Festival on the Critical Mass Radio Show

September 6th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Books offer endless visions and dreams, individually different to each reader. Reading can be the secret to a happy and successful life for people of all ages. That’s why the OC Children’s Book Festival is looking to take people on an adventure of exploration. Co-founder and executive director Pat Burns joins us on the Critical Mass Radio Show with more.

1. Answer the big “Why’s” to know the “How”.For an entrepreneur launching a business or even generating a great idea to get your business started and gain recognition can be a daunting task. One of the easiest ways to go about doing this is to answer the “why” questions before hand. For instance, as stated in the interview,” why are we better?”, “Why is our community better?”, “ Why are the children better?”, and for any entrepreneur answering the main questions as to why your idea is better than anything your competitors are currently offering is a sure fire way to advance recognition and make your idea a reality. Always be aware of the “whys “ in order to figure out the “how”.

2.Leaders are readers. It does matter if you love to read. For entrepreneurs and other functioning members of society reading saves a great number of individuals from being taken advantage of. For instance imagine trying to make a business deal and not being able to read and interpret the contract that was drawn up for you. It is proven that being illiterate decreases self esteem and decreases the chances of succeeding in school which in turn decreases the chance of success in adulthood. Although reading may not come easy to some, the variety of ways to gain knowledge through books leaves little room for excuses as to why someone is unable to read. Leaders are readers and without reading you limit yourself to everything the world has to offer and are thus closed off to a world of endless opportunity as well as strategy that and benefit you and your business.

3.Connections are everything.For non-profit organizations especially, connections are everything and determine the success of the business. Non-profit organizations such as the OC Children’s Book Festival, depend on the philanthropic outlooks corporations have as well as the willingness of celebrity and big name sponsors. Without that help and networking, non-profit organizations would not be able to provide the change that all of us wish to see in the world. However, it is all one big circle and it all starts with an individual and a connection to a monetary source. With that connection can bring out change and decrease the problems that society faces on the daily such as illiterate youth. Build connections and help out a non-profit. It can only help and it will bring credibility for your business as well as the non-profit in which you are sponsoring.


Listen to our full interview with Pat Burns on the Critical Mass Radio Show here:

“Key Words are the Key to Success”, Insights from Angelo Ponzi, of the Ponzi Group and Steve Pitchford, of Search Optimizers, on the Critical Mass Radio Show

September 1st, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA



Content is King, especially when it comes to digital marketing. So how can you use that content to target your customers (prospects) to generate leads and sales? Angelo Ponzi of the Ponzi Group and Steve Pitchford of Search Optimizers join us on the Critical Mass Radio Show to tell us how to utilize a fun and interactive approach in order to leave a digital footprint and benefit from digital strategies.

1. Content drives ranking, which drives traffic, which drives sales. Having a strong content strategy whether you are a small, medium, or large size business is important because it helps you to realize how your customers’ absorb and process your content. It is not enough to pump out random content relating to your business, you need to understand the type of content that generates a reaction from your clients and potential prospects in order to generate the right traffic into your business, and ultimately expand and grow the opportunities . Deliver the right content at the right time to make sure you are driving the right call to action from your consumers.

2.Have visibility on search engines and a strong content strategy. This allows for you to identify how consumers and potential prospects are searching for your product or service. The key words that generate the most traffic to your website are the words that need to be bound into your content strategy and by doing this will increase the amount of recognition, opportunities, and clients that your business gets on a daily basis. It is also important to see how long people are staying on your websites. You can increase the longevity of visitors through interactive and engaging elements embedded into your websites. This can be strengthened with the right key words.

3.Voice searches is driving a lot of change. People are not as dependent on keys words as they used to be and even though they are still important to optimizing your business during a search, people are using natural language such as who, what, when, where, why, and how, during their searches and asking real questions through voice searches. With voice searches, it does not take someone to a physical website it provides them with a voiced response which will ultimately lead to a single conclusion but will narrow the conclusions based on how strong the search optimizers are for a particular site and how often key words are used to find a particular site.

Listen to our full interview with Angelo Ponzi and Steve Pitchford, on the Critical Mass Radio Show here:

“MOMS Include Dads and Any Other Version of a Parent “, Insights from Dave Lugo, COO of MOMS Orange County and Sara Piccollo, Vice President of Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity

August 31st, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

MOMS Orange County was formed 26 years ago in response to a crisis in access to prenatal healthcare for low income, and at risk women. Today they serve thousands of families bringing them the support they truly need. Happening right now, they’re accepting nominations for their 2020 Champion for Babies and Families award. Dave Lugo, COO of MOMS Orange County and Sara Piccollo, Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity, and Culture join us on the Critical Mass Radio Show for more.

1.Having help from an employer when you are a working mother is crucial. Working mothers do not get all the credit that they deserve; it is an extremely difficult situation both physically and mentally. Therefore, having an understanding employer to help you alleviate some of the work pressures can prove to be very beneficial for both the employee and the employer. For instance, it builds a strong sense of trust and respect and ultimately a sense of loyalty between the two.

2.An awards program is a great way to gain clients and gain momentum for your business. Having an awards program from within your company is a great way to gain recognition as well as credibility for the services you provide. An awards program is a way to provide knowledge and expertise to other near by companies and is also a great way to establish relationships with surrounding businesses. There is also a form of reciprocation that comes along as well when having an awards program, whether it is with volunteerism, philanthropy, or even spreading awareness of the services your company provides.

3.Evolve, change, and rebrand. Typically speaking non-profit organizations tend to be all inclusive when it comes to the services that they provide. However, sometimes that message does not translate and that can be because of something as small as the name of your organization. As the CEO or top executive of a company it is important know and understand who you are trying to provide services to and making it known across the board that your services are for everyone and not just focused on a specific group of individuals. Pay attention to your branding and the scope of the types of programs being offered. If you feel as a CEO or top executive, that the services being offered may not be extended to you based off the brand name, then evolve, change, and rebrand.


Listen to our full interview with Dave Lugo and Sara Piccollo here:

” Here is the BluePRINT for a Successful Company”,Insights from Colleen Howes, CEO of SABP Print Solutions on the Critical Mass Radio Show

August 30th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA



Serving Southern California since 1946, SABP Print Solutions has remained a family owned business with a reputation for customer service, integrity, and fast action. The President of SABP Print Solutions, Colleen Howes, joins us on the Critical Mass Radio Show to discuss her company’s history as part of our Summer Series, Fast Growth: Orange County Companies.

1. Prove yourself. Proving yourself when in an entrepreneurial state of operations can be one of the most challenging stages when it comes to gaining recognition and respect in the business world. This simple equation can take your business from the bottom to the top: Do what you say you are going to do+ when you say you are doing to do it+ have fair and honest pricing= success in partnerships and success for your business as a whole. Not everyone has that in their business model when first starting out or even when they achieve success, so by living and operating with integrity and respect for your clients and your operations is what will set you apart in the competitive market this is business. This will then ultimately lead to you proving yourself and gaining recognition from bigger companies that in turn will lead to greater growth opportunities.

2. Trust your instincts. If you think something is right in terms of your business then it probably is. A lot of companies, when they first start out are more willing to take chances and risks pertaining to their businesses because at that point they do not have anything to lose. However, as your company grows and expands and becomes more successful the ability for CEOs to take risks when it comes to their businesses decrease because they have a lot more value and stakeholders betting on their success. However, as a CEO it is your job to know when it is the right time to make changes and adapt with the times in order to uphold relevancy in the market.

3. It is hard to find good employees. A popular challenge we hear about on the Critical Mass Radio Show from an abundant amount of CEOs is how difficult it is to find employees that fit the culture of the company, have a great work ethic, and fit the job description. The main idea behind this is to take your time during the interview process and in most situations it is okay to be picky with the people you bring into your company. If you feel that the potential prospect you take on does not fit 100% of the criteria to qualify, (criteria being both the job requirements and work ethic) it is okay to decline them. Potential employees bring in resumes and examples of their work to interviews, and it is not enough to just look at the examples of their work, but to ask the right questions pertaining to their contributions on their work (if it was group work) or how long it took them to complete their examples. Asking the right questions can be the difference between gaining an outstanding employee or just another temporary employee.


Listen to our full interview with Colleen Howes on the Critical Mass Radio Show here:

” Digital Enhancements Are Not Just For Photos”, Insights from Tony Saldanha, Author of “Why Digital Transformations Fail” on the Critical Mass Radio Show

August 28th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA


In a world where everything is digital, using it to your advantage can come with great benefits, but not all prosper those benefits. The key reason company’s fail at digital transformations is because they do not undertake a focused discipline approach. Author of “Why Digital Transformations Fail”, Tony Saldanha joins us on the Critical Mass Radio Show to discuss a step-by-step discipline approach that is sure to make transitioning easier.


1.Define and understand digital transformation. As stated in the interview, there is so much hype around digital transformation that the true definition and understanding of what it means to be digitally transformed is not clear. CEOs, executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, and even the employees of a company need to understand that the true meaning of digital transformation according to Tony Saldanha is “the rewiring of your company to be successful”, this means in terms of pertaining to your business, your business model, internal operations, and the introduction of “smart” products into your business. By having/ introducing one or more of these components into your daily operations will guarantee the success of your company.


2. The digital transformation of a company must reside with the CEO. Digital transformation is a business strategy. Therefore, it must not only reside with the IT department and be made a situation for that team to make sense of. It must be a strategy that is set forth by the CEO and the CEO must maintain ownership of the decision to make a company become digitally transformed. The IT department is there to make sure the execution of the strategy is set forth in the right direction, but does not solely rest in their hands. In order to maintain success the CEO and executives must inherently take ownership of the new business model and see that all steps necessary are taken effectively and efficiently.

3. Make it an expectation to digitally enhance your company regularly. As business models continue to progress and succeed people get, in a sense antsy, about what the next enhancement will be and when it will be launched. For example, Netflix and Hulu are the digitally enhanced versions of Blockbuster. From there we got fast forwarding through commercials, and then the ability to live stream at any time of the day and on any device. As you can see as technology progressed the expectation for digital enhancement also progressed on both the consumer side and the business side. In order to maintain success and keep consumers interested digital enhancement is a necessity.


Listen to our full interview with Tony Saldanha on the Critical Mass Radio Show here:

“Valuable Information is Supplied by Big Data”,Insights from Brian Musil, CEO of Big Data Supply, on The Critical Mass Radio Show

August 25th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA

Big Data Supply Inc. is focused in the ITAD industry (I.T. Asset Disposition). Specializing in recycling I.T. items through reuse such as; data tape media, hard drives, data storage hardware, networking devices and telecom systems. They also offer data destruction services and third party maintenance on data storage and network hardware. Their vision is to reduce waste of 99.9% of the world’s IT materials by recycling and reuse, and energy generating disposal. Brian Musil President/ CEO joins us on the Critical Mass Radio Show to discuss his firm as a part of our Summer Series on Fast Growth: Orange County Companies.

1. Be humble and utilize resources. It is hard enough to own and operate a business but to be an entrepreneur trying to run a start up company is even harder.Therefore, it is so important to remember to stay humble and utilize the resources that are available to you at the time. Ever business has a starting point and a growth curve, the one that your business is currently at is exactly where you are supposed to be in order to achieve maximum growth and resources in the future. Stay positive, humble, and keep your end goal in mind as you take your business from level zero to level one hundred and achieve your goal.

2.Build your business on scalable system. EOS is the most reoccurring tool for entrepreneurs learning how to run, operate, and scale their businesses. With that however, it is important to be able to set a realistic scale for your business growth. Do not set unrealistic expectations of growth for your business because you will ultimately end up wasting valuable resources and labor in the process. Scale your growth and you may end up exceeding your own expectations in the process.

3.Hire people that have the same core values as you do. One of the hardest aspects of being an entrepreneur is hiring the right people to help you along the way. One of the easiest ways to get around this would be to hire people that share the same values and visions as you do. In other words do not rush the hiring process. In order for a business to be successful it needs employees that care about achieving the goals you have established as much as you do. Therefore, take the time to match the person to the job and not the job to the person.


Listen to our full interview with Brian Musil here:

“Respect Is A Best Practice”, Insights from Louis Carter, CEO of The Best Practice Institute on the Critical Mass Radio Show

August 25th, 2019 by Richard (Ric) Franzi, MBA


The fortunes of any business rest in the hands of its leaders and its people. But what really creates a workplace in which everyone thrives, is deeper than the latest engagement tool-it’s emotional connection. CEO of the Best Practice Institute and Author of In Great Company, Louis Carter is here to share the five ways to build expert tips and advice from within a business.

1. Respect is the new currency of the work place. For entrepreneurs and also any other person in the work force, respect is something that will either guarantee the success of your business or will be the one thing that ruins your business. Without respect, negotiations and deals with other companies will not work out in your favor and will also drive the customers respect for your business to the ground. In a sense respect is somewhat more valuable than the actual currency that a business brings in. The lack of the physiological safety when it comes to gaining the respect of others is recipe for disaster for yourself and your business.

2.Do what you say you are going to do. Just as respect is taking on a more powerful role, trust is just as important within a company. Building an emotional connection is only possible when you have trust and respect working together. Building a sense of trust within the workplace will guarantee the success of your business. Employees will want to work for someone they can trust and employers will have the support they need in order to make the best decisions overall for the company and the people who help run it. The trust that is then built and established will then feed off onto the customers that will then make them feel more comfortable conducting business with you.

3.People really do seek out emotional connections. Whether you are the customer or the employee of a company we all seek out the emotional connection that enables us to stay in a certain place i.e. the workplace. People seek out the emotional connections to products or services through questionnaires and sometimes interviews in order to gain a sense of how a product or service has impacted an individual in their daily lives. As much as we do not pay attention to it, companies continuously seek out the emotional connections from their target audiences in order to gain a feeling of belonging and achievement in the field in which they reside.


 Listen to our full interview with Louis Carter on the Critical Mass Radio Show here:

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