Transform Your Strategic Thinking

If you are comfortable with your strategic planning, then you need to shift your perspective, escape the trap of “tried-and-tested tools” and focus on key areas that very likely will bring “fear and discomfort,” said business consultant Stacey McKibbin in a presentation to San Diego business executives. McKibbin photo
McKibbin, president of Multivariable Solutions and a coach with Sage Executive Group, challenged business leaders to understand that in today’s hyper-competitive environment, strategy “is more of an intuitive and messy process, not the analytical process we’ve made it to be.”
The breakfast meeting in early November was sponsored by Sage Executive Group, a fast-growing, San Diego-based peer advisory group for top managers ranging from CEOs and C-level executives to sales and marketing directors.
Effective strategic planning embraces the unknown, requires unwavering focus by a small group of top executives who have inherent trust in each other, and demands a commitment of time each week over a year or more. “Once strategy is nailed, execution is very systematic and sequential,” McKibbin said.
It is critical to assemble the right team, a group of four to five leaders drawn from the top ranks such as CEO, co-founders, head of sales or marketing, all with one attribute in common – trust. The team’s main job is to determine the focus for the future, concentrating not on everything the business does for every customer, but on its most profitable and value-driven core. This is the 7 percent that effectively defines the company and draws customers who are attracted and sustained by “value” of what the company provides and are willing to pay for it.
“This becomes you Number 1 thing to focus on,” McKibbin said.
For more information on McKibbin’s presentation, you can reach her at or (844) 433-3328.
Click here to learn more about Sage Executive Group.

Marketing Group Announced by Sage Executive Group

A new peer advisory group has been created for marketing professionals under the leadership of Angela Hill, CEO of creative agency Incitrio, Sage Executive Group announced today.
Members, who are active in shaping marketing plans and strategies for their companies, will meet monthly to learn best practices from their peers, share ideas, explore technological solutions, and discuss challenges in a rapidly changing marketing environment. Positions include: Marketing Director, Digital Marketer, and MarCom Manager.
“Being part of the Sage Marketing Group will enhance the skill set of market professionals in leveraging innovative Angela Hilltechnology, learning best practices from one another, and developing ROI-driven strategies to accelerate revenue growth for their employers,” Hill said
Hill founded Incitrio, an award-winning global branding agency, in 2004 in Solana Beach. The Incitrio strategic branding process has been developed over two decades through big agency experience and a long roster of Fortune 500 past clients. The agency provides full-service marketing solutions focused on helping clients achieve their revenue growth objectives. Hill is also a board member with Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County and teaches Branding, Web Design, and Online Marketing at the University of San Diego.
Sage Executive Group was established in 2012 in San Diego and operates peer advisory groups for CEOs, presidents, and partners, as well as for C-level executives in finance, operations and sales. The Sage process has been developed by leaders who have over 45 years of collective experience with CEO peer advisory groups. For more information, contact Sage Executive Group at (800) 648-1063 or visit

Weekly Wisdom: Can Fear Be A Great Motivator?

Have you ever had pre-game jitters, been nervous before a big sales presentation, or been concerned about delivering bad news to an employee, boss or board of directors?
My answer to the question of Fear as a Motivator is both No and Yes
To support the No reply in respect to  business leaders or sports coaches, it is  true that short-term results can be gained by utilizing fear as a motivator. Having said that, the results are never pleasant, and long term it is not the right way to motivate people. Short-term results do not turn into long-term achievement. The best examples supporting this conclusion have been exhibited by very successful college coaches who rule with iron fists utilizing fear tactics. Invariably they try to move onto the pro ranks and that is where these  tactics do not work with true professionals. It is exhibited in the business world by autocratic leaders who achieve short-term goals but miss long-term objectives because they cannot retain their people.
On the Yes side of the equation  are my studies of  highly successful leaders, coaches  and athletes. A common trait they share is their self imposed and innate fear of failure.  Each day they are concerned with disappointing their teams, or fears of not achieving their vision and goals. What this group has in common is that they are high achievers and are considered best in class by those that know them.
One of the defining factors of true winners, leaders, coaches and employees  is the ability to face their fears and to not become paralyzed by them. An old coach of mine told me that everyone has their fears, but my  ability to act on and overcome them would define my level of success.
If Fear is controlling you, it may be time to confront it and see what the worst outcome is. In my own experience, it was rarely as bad as I made it out to be.

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” Rosa Parks

Weekly Wisdom by Jerry Rollins, CEO and Chairman of Sage Executive Group

Practice the 6P's of Great Teams

My observations of great teams in both my business and professional sports careers have led me to believe that there are parallel practices common to both.  Here are the 6P’s of great teams.

  • Preparation: They prepare in advance and always expect to win.
  • Plans: They own and understand them. One-page plans are the best.
  • Practice – They constantly practice their craft and are involved in perpetual learning and self improvement.
  • Persistence – They don’t quit in the face of adversity or obstacles; they take great joy in dealing with challenge.
  • imPatient – They want it done yesterday and feel today is the best time to make things happen.
  • Party – They have lots of celebrations and recognition for achieving milestones; then they set more aggressive goals and move on to the next one.

Weekly Wisdom by Jerry Rollins,  CEO/Chairman of Sage Executive Group

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