CEO Warrior members say Advisory Implementation Meetings (AIM) have changed the trajectory of their businesses. Centurion level member Joel Mitchell is one of them. He says, “My AIM group has helped me commit to my business and do things I never thought were possible. We take a group approach to solving problems and hold each other accountable for implementing the solutions.”
Joel and his wife, Breehia own All American Home Service in Juneau Alaska. Their plumbing, heating, cooling, and drain cleaning company prepares all summer for the winter months that bring extreme cold, frozen pipes and over-worked heating systems. They also take on small home renovation projects. New construction projects were also a part of their service offerings until Joel’s AIM group of plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical company CEO’s from across the U.S. told him he should stop doing them. “On average, we were generating $200-250,000 a year in this area of our business,” says Joel. “But we didn’t realize that it was taking us weeks to get the projects done. My AIM group told me we could make way more money in the same amount of time by focusing on our core services, so we pulled the plug. It only took a couple weeks to see the financial and emotional benefits of our decision. We were no longer losing money from consistently going over budget, and the employees in our install group became less stressed because they no longer had to jump to respond to contractors and their clients throughout the day.”
How Are AIM Members Held Accountable?
Had Joel not moved forward with cutting new construction out of his business by the deadline provided by his peers, he knew there would be consequences. In Joel’s case, the penalty enforced would have been to go without something he loves, like fishing or hunting, for a period of one month. Other consequences for not being accountable have included cleaning and organizing a service truck and not drinking coffee for 30 days. “Now, that is a tough one,” says Joel.
As the leader of his AIM group, Joel is the “General,” and he pushes hard on members to reach the goals they’ve set. He checks in the day before their weekly meeting and starts pushing out text messages, if he thinks people are behind on reaching that goal. To avoid these rapidly fired texts, members agreed to an alternative; they promise to reach their goal by 8 pm the night before the meeting or be fined $50 that goes into a fund that the group decides how to spend at the end of the year.
CEO Warrior provides their AIM groups with a Personal Implementation Plan (PIP) to be utilized during weekly meetings. The plan includes wins and problems of the week, a top target for the upcoming week, and a momentum gauge, with a color-coded system. Joel describes the system like this:
SUPER GREEN: I’m feeling great, things are running smoothly, and I have no issues.
GREEN: Things are going well, but I’m not at the top of my game.
YELLOW: I’m tired and I’m working through customer issues.
RED: Emergency! I’m ready to leave and burn down my business!
Weekly meetings are initiated by CEO Warrior via Zoom. They kick them off with 5 minutes of updates and inspiration, place the groups into Zoom rooms, and the generals take it from there. They lead their group through a 60-minute session that includes a review of weekly PIP’s, followed by time in the “parking lot” where they work through the issues members are facing, and share solutions. Some recommendations are based on experience, and others are the result of brainstorming. “Sometimes we don’t get through them all,” says Joel. “But most often only four of five people need support each week. Most of the time, our solutions work, and occasionally they don’t, but we always find value in the support we provide to one another. And, if there are issues that we can’t solve, we encourage the member to seek help from a
CEO Warrior advisor.”
One CEO Warrior and AIM member had an employee that consistently showed up late to work, and sometimes didn’t show up at all. He knew he needed to let the employee go but was afraid to do it at a time when it’s difficult to get employees. With the advice and support of his peers who held him accountable to follow through, the CEO let the employee go, and it ended up being a huge relief.
“I’m in AIM to interact with other CEOs and business owners,” says Joel. “I’ve formed close relationships that have become personal, beyond business. Before CEO Warrior, Breehia and I didn’t have anyone else to talk to, and now we can talk to people with the same issues we’re facing.”
Joel says he became a general to give back to CEO Warrior and utilize his leadership skills. Breehia, on the other hand, says it’s because he wants to be in charge. Joel admits that he prefers to be in the driver’s seat but is also quick to ask for help when he needs it. “I micro-manage employees, and I need to stop it,” he says. “I stick my nose where it doesn’t belong, and I need to stay in my own lane and let people do their job. If we all stay in our lane, things work better. I’ve asked CEO Warrior and my AIM group to push me on this.”
Breehia also appreciates the beneficial outcomes of AIM. “It keeps our booties movin,” she says. “If you’re in an AIM group, you’re required to attend, which is good. Sometimes I’ll have an idea during the week, and Joel will put it out to the group to see what they think about it. People respond promptly because of their commitment to the group, and their responses are valuable. If you’re struggling and not getting projects done, there’s help available through AIM.
Your fellow members will motivate you and keep you on track.” Joel and Breehia are also asking CEO Warrior and their AIM group to help them exceed $3 million in revenue this year. Breehia says, “We’ve grown from 4 to 19 employees, but we can’t seem to go over $2 million. Hopefully that will change soon.”
An upcoming meeting could ignite that change. All American Home Service recently won the Dustin Folkes Legacy Award, created in memory of the founder of Folkes Heating and Cooling in Fishkill, New York. Dustin’s son, DJ, now runs the company, and created the award to honor his father for building a successful business and company culture. Applicants were asked to describe their company culture in writing and submit it with their application. As the recipients of this award, Joel and Breehia receive a two-day on-site visit from the senior management team of CEO Warrior, at no cost, along with other surprises that honor the memory of Dustin Folkes.