Kevin Stafford 0:00
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the conversations with coaches podcast. I’m your host, Kevin, properly caffeinated and ready to go. And today I have the pleasure of interviewing Steve Furman, Steve helps CEOs and executives reach their goals and dreams by using his proven methodology called Scaling up by working on the four critical components that all businesses must focus on. People strategy, execution, and cash. cannot forget cash. It makes scaling your business fun and exciting. Steve, thanks for being here. Welcome to the podcast.
Steve Ferman 0:35
Thanks for having me, Kevin. I appreciate it.
Kevin Stafford 0:37
Yeah, let’s get into it start at the start to start beginning the beginning. How did you realize you were or said about becoming a professional coach? So what was your journey towards that realization? And how did you turn that into running your own coaching business?
Steve Ferman 0:55
You know, I didn’t realize it until recently. But I think it goes back to raising my kids and coaching them in sports and realizing the joy that I got out of helping a child be really good in soccer. And I wasn’t really a soccer player, as a kid, I learned all their later years. But I think the beginning of it really started way back, grandma, my daughter is 24 and 27. Now, but way back when when they were little kids. And I just really enjoyed I mean, helping people, my Simon Sinek why the reason why I get up every day is that I love to help people. And that really turned me on. So I think it started way back when but I found that I’ve been in technology for over 40 years, I’ve built bought and sold six different companies over those years. And you know, if I look back on a lot of what I did, a lot of it was you know, helping clients make the right decisions. Talking about strategy, business continuity, disaster recovery, we’re in about cash and the obsolescence of equipment and planning for instead of getting a capital expense, but being prepared. And you know, that kind of morphed into me going to the Strategic Coach, which is a business entrepreneur coaching program. So I spent 13 years under seven of those under Dan Sullivan, the creator and being coached. You know, I think a good coach, like any great athlete has a coach, right. And then I got into El Entrepreneurs Organization eight years ago, and I got on the board and I started coaching young or not young, but to being a yo you got to do a million dollars or more gross revenues. And anyone that does 20 50,000 to a million we have a program called accelerator so VOA entrepreneurs, organization accelerators, and I started coaching them. And I graduated three out of people out of four years of coaching in ELA. So that was I think, the pinnacle of, yeah, this is really what you should be doing. This is where you belong. And it
Kevin Stafford 2:57
sounds like those of you caught the bug early and just kept going after it like you’ve got to watch. I mean, I can I don’t have kids myself. But I can imagine that, that when you get that taste of what it’s like to watch your guidance, just blossom in your own children. I mean, that’s and if you can have a version of that with other people where you’re basically giving the asking them the right questions at the right times, giving them the guidance and support they need to become who they want to become in the ways they want to become it. I mean, honestly, when I pretty much every coach I talk to is I don’t want to say addicted to it. But once they got that feeling once they caught that, they’re just like I want this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. I love that you brought in Simon Sinek the your why that’s that’s the why it’s just there is there’s really nothing like it, there’s no greater service, I don’t think there’s no greater service you can provide to someone than that guidance. And that, you know, the right question at the right time asked in the right way. It’s just it’s it’s a beautiful, just circle virtuous cycle, really.
Steve Ferman 3:56
It’s really hard to see the forest from within the trees, and coaches give a good outside perspective. And enjoy your right is watching their aha moment like, Oh, God, I love you. That’s what I think about that. And it’s funny, I’ll share a little quick story. I had a session I guess was two weeks ago with one of my clients. And I said, you know, I really haven’t had a chance to use any of these tools in my toolbox with you yet. I’ve been coaching you since January. And we’ve not taken out a vision Summary Function accountability chart. We’ve not done any of the things I normally would do with a client. And I feel like I’m not serving you the way as well as I could be and she goes just stop. Just stop right there. What do you mean goes, just your experience and your knowledge and your outside perspective has helped me so much. I mean, sales reps, were growing, everything’s working perfectly. Why would you want to change that? And that was, you know, for me a really good feeling inside of aha. You know, that’s but it’s really all about so yeah, I look for that that’s that’s the the adrenaline rush for me. Seeing them get that aha moment, like, you know, and they’d be able to help themselves.
Kevin Stafford 5:11
And that really is that that’s, I love that story because it really does capture the something about that that dual nature of what great coaching is all about. Because great coaches they have, they have systems, they have processes, they have blueprints, to guide you into building what you want to build. And it’s specific and it’s detailed, you show it to someone, you help them understand it. And it will, it will literally literally translate into their language and help them to become the person they want to become. And not or, and you as that coach are such a an example your presence, your experience. Speaking, when you speak, being silent, when you’re silent, waiting for someone to fill in those moments, it’s really just that your expertise, your experience, and you are almost a representation of everything that system is meant to be. And when you bring both of those to the table, when you have like that firm foundation that someone can understand, regardless of where they’re starting, they can understand where they’re going, at least they could see the map. But then they have you who’s traveled that map, who knows every nook and cranny of that trail every every mountain, every valley, every river, there’s just there’s nothing like it, it really is like you feel you feel both challenged, and safe, you know, with with a great coach, and I just, again, I’m just spouting.
Steve Ferman 6:24
You’re right. Correct, you will come 1,000% Correct the Mundo. That’s for sure.
Kevin Stafford 6:31
So let’s talk a little bit at least about me, we’ve already talked quite a bit about who you coach and how you coach them these days. Obviously, you have tremendous experience in tech. But what it’s today what let’s try to eliminate it seems like you do a little bit or a lot bit of all sorts of things. So what is the what would you identify as the heart and soul the core of your coaching business these days,
Steve Ferman 6:51
where scaling up really shines is in the mid market. And Mark Cuban can be defined by you know, 10 million, or it starts at 3 million, everyone’s got their own ideas of it. For me, it’s really 3 million up to 50 million. It’s three plus on the executive team. And my niche is technology. But ironically, I only have one technology company right now that I’m coaching the rest of all other industries. And it’s really about the four decisions, people strategy, execution and cash. I don’t care what business you’re in, if you’re growing, it’s gonna suck cash. If there’s a downturn, it’s summertime like August, and it’s gonna suck cash, because when he’s not coming to the door, you know, it all kind of goes round and round, but we’re scaling up really shines is in the mid market arena. It doesn’t mean a lot to CEOs I do or just straight executive one on one coaching I do. But the real power of the tools are really geared in and around the one page strategic plan, which is basically a plan for the individual to have rocks or priorities and goals and maybe a 13 week race to to achieve those goals as well as company priorities. That if you can disseminate, you know, if management can learn how to disseminate what their plans are, what the vision of the CEO, what the core values, what their mission statement is, and disseminate that down to everybody in the company where they all know it, keep it short and simple, no more than three core values. You don’t need a whole page of 10. Because always gonna remember, you know, your brand purpose, your brand promise, all of that. Let everybody know, and transparently what’s really going on where we’re heading, then everybody wants to join you when I was in the Marine Corps, you know, to get 80 guys to march and sink, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot sounds kind of crazy. Everyone’s his job is struggling, right. But the reality is, we’re all heading towards the same end goal. And we’re all working towards that we all know what it is, we’re a lot stronger because we’re one we’re unified, same company, and mid market companies, I think benefit the most from that, because they’re typically the most dysfunctional, because I want to do the best they can. There’s even something in the in scaling up called The Five Dysfunctions by by Patrick Lencioni. And you know, The Five Dysfunctions is really about people that have lack of trust, they have fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results. And that’s just, you know, quite common I see in market companies because everyone’s trying to do their own thing. They get siloed. And they don’t realize, hey, wait a minute, we’re all in this together. So that’s where we really shine.
Kevin Stafford 9:34
And it really is. I mean, as you were speaking, I was thinking that really is the rub, isn’t it? How do you how do you have individual excellence in the context of collective action? And how do you without compromising one or the other or both? And I really I love the way that you emphasize that transparency, clarity, simplicity, and that’s obviously those all serve the same purpose where it just like it comes from the top down but it also radiates out Word as well. And it’s just, I find it and once again, I’m gonna find myself waxing poetically about how much I love this process is like that finding that changing those oars, like, can you have individual excellence or you know team cohesion, it’s not all these are ands we’re dealing with a lot of people will get trapped trapped into feeling like they can only have one or the other and making these false choices that hurt themselves and their company and their team and everyone around them. And there really is almost an A, again, I’m kind of waxing again. But this journey towards the end where it’s like, no, it’s this is possible across the board, individual excellence, and team cohesion and action in a way that makes everyone better. And you know what, here’s how we have a system, we have a process, but also here, I’m in the room. And I’ve got a couple questions for you, based on what I’ve seen, let’s talk about those. And it just goes from there. I love it.
Steve Ferman 10:49
Look at ant colonies or bee colonies. I mean, their nature is probably the best example of how to get a unified front all doing their own individual things, which all are for the greater good of the whole. And that’s where it really you know, makes a big difference. And you can make huge chunks, huge strides towards getting to where you’re trying to get to.
Kevin Stafford 11:12
Man, I keep wanting to, there’s so many jumping off points. Obviously, this is probably a big part of your coaching is it’s just it’s so rich, immediately right off the top it just like we could spend hours talking about this days, weeks, months, but we are we’ve already reached our 15 minute time limit. And that’s the I like I like to make sure that if people want to binge this podcast, they can actually listen to a couple episodes while they you know, do the laundry, fold the laundry and maybe do some dishes. So before I let you go, but first of all, thank you so much for being here. I love everything about what you do and your approach. Where can people find out more about you? And also if this is different, where can people connect with you and get to know you? I know some people like to be active on certain social media platforms that where they can go and meet people and connect and message. And obviously you have a website. So yeah, tell everybody where to find you and find out more about you.
Steve Ferman 12:03
Well, first, thank you for having me. I appreciate it. Great conversation. I do a lot on LinkedIn, I post on Facebook as well. But there’s not much for me on Instagram but mostly on LinkedIn. You’ll find I give helpful tips tricks information i repost other good content like Simon Sinek or or anyone that has something good to say that I think well people in my attitude is all about giving when you give them what you get. You can find that website WWW dot the number four pillar coach.com. LinkedIn is LinkedIn for slash in slash Steve Furman. And search me on Google, I’ve got a website, I’ve got LinkedIn. And I’m always available for a conversation or if you just have a question, I love to speak to you love to connect with you.
Kevin Stafford 12:55
I love it. And yeah, I find LinkedIn has become so so powerful lately for like actually building relationships as opposed to just like, you know, spamming or being like, you know, out there in the world and being being visible, I guess maybe the distinction is on LinkedIn, I feel like I’m able to be more present. Whereas on other social media, I just kind of try to be visible and be or be around. But like some of the some of the people I’ve met some of my favorite professional and personal connections that I’ve made over the past few years have been on LinkedIn, they started on LinkedIn, it’s become very, very powerful in that way in a way that I very much appreciate and respect.
Steve Ferman 13:28
I like to say it’s less noise because it’s more targeted towards what you’re really looking for. And I think LinkedIn has done a really good job at that. So that’s why I chose to spend most of my time there can anything then we’ll go to Facebook, but in all my blogs on my website, my events are on my website. You know, we do workshops, things like that for free to
Kevin Stafford 13:48
excellent lot of places to find you. I love it. Once again, thank you for being here. Thank you for talking with me today. I really dug it I’m I’m almost tempted to bring you back for a part two, just to just just absorb more, maybe focus the conversation, but it’s great. It’s fun.
Steve Ferman 14:03
Anything you want. Kevin,
Kevin Stafford 14:04
I’m more than happy to thank you and to the audience. Thank you so much for listening, find find Steve get to know him a little bit. He is as you can probably tell he is very easy to talk to, and has a lot to say. And as I can tell you is a good listener. I did talk a little bit he’s kind of let me let me wax poetic about something so Steve’s Great. Find out more about him get to know.
Steve Ferman 14:24
Thanks, Kevin. Thanks, everybody.