036 - Triplex Listening

June 17, 2016
Succession requires growing people in your organization so that they can step up to bigger and bigger roles over time.  We as leaders achieve our success through the work of others. Therefore, our most valuable skill is coaching our leaders and the most important tool of coaching is good listening.

In this Episode, Steve explains the skill of Triplex listening, he learned from Dave Buck, the CEO of Coachville.  “Triplex” refers to the three levels of listening:  
  1. What is being said
  2. What is not being said (reading between the lines)
  3. The energy of the speaker.

Listen to this podcast episode to learn what each level represents, together with examples of each.

Question of the Day: Are you a “Monoplex”, a “Duplex” or a “Triplex” listener?

035 - Malfunctioning Employees

June 16, 2016
In this episode, you can learn about how most employees lose their value proposition eventually. With the words of Dan Kennedy: “They all go lame….”

According to the “Peter Principle” of the Parkinson Laws, “Every employee is eventually promoted to his own level of incompetence”.  

Successful and productive employees tend to get carried away with their own greatness and the company’s apparent dependence on their services. Compensations do not increase indefinitely and when the excess bucks stop coming employees often respond by holding back performance and developing and “attitude deficiency”.

Listen to the story of a former high-flying employee who stopped growing and eventually became a liability for my organization and how I dealt with him in what turned out to be a mutually advantageous solution.

Question of the Day: How do You manage your valuable employees who have stopped growing?

034 - When is Your Protected Time?

June 15, 2016
Growth requires a proactive compared to a reactive approach to entrepreneurship and leadership. Listen to how proactivity manifests itself in attitude and behavior.

An indispensable ingredient to proactivity is a regular slot of quiet time protected from the whirlwind of workday activities. In this episode, I discuss how not to schedule our protected time and how Edison leveraged his afternoon naps to generate ideas.

Learn the best times of the day to plan, strategize and reflect and my story of how I used to get 90% of my output done by the time I hit the office.

Question of the Day: When is Your Protected Time?

033 - Force Yourself to Delegate

June 14, 2016
Delegation is hard. It requires letting go of perfectionism and stepping out of your comfort zone.

It requires developing new skills and tackling the possible feeling of inadequacy, fear of failure and forgoing the gratification upon leaving the comfort zone tasks behind.

Delegation is necessary, as growth is not possible without it. There are only so many hours in the day and you can undertake new project only in place of tasks foregone.

Listen to the two ways of delegation and why one trumps the other for most people.

Question of the Day:  What is your “old cloth” ripe for discarding?

032 - Succession Cures Addiction

June 13, 2016
Success is addictive, which is a good and bad thing. It’s good when after you have tasted success, you want more and will strive for it. Success begets success.

It can be bad if you stop being successful the way you used to be and hurt yourself trying. Listen to the story of an athlete friend who suffered that fate and how his situation gets played out in business.

In this episode, I also talk about ways Succession can solve success-addiction and make it safe.

Thanks for listening and please subscribe to the podcast on the iTunes Podcast App, to allow the show reach a wider audience.

If you would like your questions answered on future episodes, tweet them to #asksuccessionsteve.

031 - How to Grow by Compression

June 12, 2016

The faster your company grows the earlier your and others’ succession can happen. 

And for rapid growth, sales effectiveness is critical.

What often kills sales effectiveness is long sales cycles.  Some industries, such as IT Solutions, Government Contracting and my own previous business, Investment Banking are notorious for having long sales cycles. Brruh.

The longer the sales cycle, the more resources it consumes and the riskier each sale becomes.  The more time it takes to close the sale, the higher the chance for the client to change his mind, for circumstances to change, or even for the money to disappear from the customer’s purse.

In this episode, I share with you a quirky process Vistage groups use to shorten sales cycle for their members and some of the ways I succeeded with shortening sales cycles in my business and what I see worked for others.  Shortening the sales cycle by just 25%, can grow your sales by 33% and your profits by 50% or more.

Tune into the show, you won’t regret it.

Your Succession is Success!


030 - Why You Must have a Succession Plan

June 11, 2016

Succession comes from the latin “succedera”, which means:“to come close behind”.    I believe that we all must have a succession plan to move to the next level in our career and in our business.

Every leader, be they founders, operators or mid level managers, need a succession plan.   In this podcast you can hear about 6 different succession situations in an organization and how the person graduating from and the person coming close behind is looking to accomplish.

Listen to me explaining the six succession situations,one or more of which will most likely resonate with where you are in your business life and career.

In future episodes I will start answering your questions, so please tweet whatever you would like to learn about succession and entrepreneurship to #asksuccessionsteve. You may also message me on Linkedin, Facebook or Instagram.

Your Succession is Success!


029 - Succession - Don’t Plan it - Ingrain It!

June 10, 2016

“Succession” has traditionally been thought of as being “Succession Planning”.  Set a date.  Look for a successor. Groom him or her for the job. Transition. Retire.

Listen to Steve, as he explains why family companies treat “Succession” as a one-time event and how this is not helping these businesses achieve fast growth. Learn how Private Equity-backed businesses and Fortune 500 companies think about Succession and what is the average succession cycle of each of these groups and why.

Listen to this podcast episode to find out what a continual succession program is and how it can help your company grow and attract better talent.




028 - Position Narrow, but Stay Wide

June 9, 2016

Today’s episode of Succession Secrets is about the value of positioning.  Listen to Steve as he explains how by creating a Unique Sales Position, you will immediately become more attractive to your market and how it will allow you to compete with established and much bigger players.

Listen to Steve’s story about how he positioned his fledgling investment banking firm when he first arrived in America and how this strategy will help you not just win niche business, but reach out to the broader market. 

Question of the Day: What is Your USP?


027 - How Do You Invest Your Time

June 8, 2016

Welcome back Succession Seekers! 

Time is money. – More than money.  Money lost can be recovered, but time lost is gone forever.

If you want to become more valuable to your business, you have to grow the value of your time.

If your goal is to make $200,000 a year, your work will have to earn you $100 every hour, assuming 250 full working days in the year.  If you want to make a $1 million, your time must be worth $500 an hour. 

In this podcast Episode, your succession coach Steve Preda will share with you his number one strategy to help his clients use their time more effectively.  He also shares strategies on how to continually jack up your hourly charge. 

You will also find out how this strategy helps morale in the whole company and how it boosts growth across the organization.

Question of the Day: What is the best use of your time?

Your Succession is Success!


026 - Culture of Compliance or Initiative

June 7, 2016

Welcome back Succession Seekers!

Culture is the biggest determinant of a company’s success.  You shape the culture with the behavior you model and the values you embrace.

The role of the culture is to institutionalize the values and behaviors that the business’ founders espoused to make it successful.

With the right culture ingrained in the business, it can scale and stay successful even when its founders are gone.

The good news is that culture is nigh impossible to copy and it cannot be faked. It is a way of being.

Listen to my story about companies I worked with that had cultures of compliance and cultures of initiative and why and how they chose their paths.

Question of the Day:  What type of culture are you attracted to and why?


025 - The Fear and Greed of Employees (and Employers)

June 6, 2016

Fear and Greed are the strongest emotions in business.  Greed makes us more optimistic than warranted, and what is safe. Fear makes us lose perspective,get paralyzed and occasionally over-cut our business, limiting its future.

Listen to my story of how Greed pushed me to over-extend my business and the painful process of how fear brought it down to earth and what it did to my vision. 

Learn how my employees reacted to the downturn in the economy and to the subsequent upturn, which took me by surprise.

Find out how entrepreneurs can learn temper their fears and their greed.

Question of the Day:  How do you handle your fears in business?


024 - Hire Your Market, Not Salespeople

June 5, 2016

Sometimes the best salespeople come from unexpected places. Recall stories of eager waiters and enthusiastic shop assistants who get hired by entrepreneurs passing through town, to promote them to successful sales careers in their companies.

A friend of mine is running a successful body repair franchise shop hired in from an insurance company.  He is has built a great book of business from his relationships at his former employers.  Listen to his story and how he is about to hire new markets into his company.

His competitors are hiring extroverted car body shop managers who are good at converting incoming traffic into customers.  However, they are not great at channeling demand to their shop, not having relationships at the source of that demand.

Listen to this episode of Succession Secrets to hear my story of selling businesses at premium prices to industry outsiders and to find out how my friend is about to double and triple his business in a matter of months, rather than years.

Question of the Day: How can you hire your market, rather than just salespeople?


023 - Only Sell What You Believe In

June 4, 2016

Selling is critical to the growth of any business. 

Selling has to be ethical, as only ethical and fair behavior will give you the conviction, the confidence and the care for the client and customer that is required for you to be an all-in salesperson.

You can only be a super-salesperson, if you believe in what you are selling.

Listen to my stories of selling with belief and what happened when I lost belief in my product.

Story 1: I was a rookie investment banking entrepreneur when belief  helped me sign up the owners of a construction company to hire me as their investment banker and sell their business.  They had been unsuccessful finding a strategic buyer, given the many issues the business had.  I developed strong belief that a management buy-in could succeed.  It was a long shot, but it eventually worked and the deal was a success.  Nevertheless, my experience of how hard the deal was to pull off prevented  to pitch that kind of deal in later similar circumstances.

Story 2: This is about losing my belief in my product and how I could not sell it any more.  Fortunately my associates still believed for a whole and helped my company, but I eventually decided to pull out of the business and sell the company to younger entrepreneurs who still had the belief in the market. 

Click on the link to listen to my story. 

Question of the Day: How important is belief in sales?


022 - Fire with Compassion

June 3, 2016

I just had a session with a client, who is aggravated for having to fire a couple of her employees.

Firing is tough, but it is required for high-performing teams.

  1.  It weeds out non-performers
  2.  It “rewards” high-performers,and
  3. It puts medium performers “on notice”

 Jack Welch instituted the 20:70:10 firing policy for each GE departments.  It served GE well.

 Firing is healthy even for high-performing teams

  • It keeps the leader engaged
  • It facilitates “fresh blood” to constantly flow into the workplace
  • It eliminates complacency

Firing is often good for both employer and employee.  The former can maintain a vigorous workforce, the latter can move on to a fresh start sooner, armed with lessons.

Firing doesn’t have to be negative, if it is done with COMPASSION.

I have shared on the show my own personal stories of having to fire people and having been fired myself and how positively it turned out in each case.

It is OK to fire of you CARE about your employees and help them find a positive path.

Question of the Day:  What is your positive firing story?


021 - Keep Moving Forward

June 2, 2016

Entrepreneurship, building a business is not a linear process.

It is made up of periods of experimentation, followed by failures, successes and more failures.

Often the failures are more frequent, but if kept controlled, the occasional successes can create growth and progress.

Building a business is a process of evolution. If you keep pushing the envelope in a forward direction, then you will eventually achieve results.  The key is CONSISTENCY.

The BIG CAVEAT: You have to stay in the game. You must control your downside, so that you are still around when fortune eventually smiles on you.

Listen to my story of survival of the2008-2009 financial crisis with my business. How I stayed in the game to live to see a successful 2010.

Question of the Day:  What is your story of persistence to move forward?


020 - Defy the Bullets (They are Probably Rubber)

June 1, 2016

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

In leadership, fear is not helpful. Leadership means doing something first. In other words: being comfortable with discomfort.  COURAGE. 

Churchill said: “Courage is the foremost oft he virtues, for upon it all others depend.” 

Listen to the story of a leading tax attorney, who has recently been promoted to head the tax section of her law firm.  She is an excellent tax lawyer, but is apprehensive about whether she would succeed in her new role as leader, rather than doer. 

She was promoted for a reason and her fears are probably unfounded.  She enjoys a splendid reputation as a business developer and has great support staff.  Listen to how she is dealing with the challenge of putting herself in vulnerable situations and stretching her resources to help her staff succeed in her path. 

Question of the Day:  What is your stretch situation that would allow you to grow?




019 - Leadership is Assumed not Bestowed

May 31, 2016

If you want to be a leader, you have to develop your own confidence to run with the job.  It is uncomfortable to step up and lead, but you have to want it more to be a leader than your pain of discomfort in grabbing the helm.

There are several reasons why leadership should not be bestowed upon anyone:

  • It is costly to “appoint” a leader, if they don’t turn out to be one. Both financially and to the reputation of the owner / principal decision makers.
  • Choosing a leader will disappoint other aspirants for the position, which is painful to the entrepreneur who had built the organization through direct communication with his direct reports.
  • Selecting a leader in his stead can impact the identity of the owner, who may depend on the satisfaction of being the leader himself.  If no one report to him anymore, he may feel less of a player.

A leader should start leading first and will be recognized as such later.

Listen to my own story about stepping down as a leader when I sold my company and how the experience felt.

Question of the Day: What would it take for you to assume a higher leadership position?


018 - Execute Against Your Privilege

May 30, 2016

This episode is about the mindset of taking responsibility for whatever hand we are dealt and making the most of it.

If you are in a privileged position in life, it only increases your responsibility to do and give.  You however will do best to embrace that privilege and try to make the most of it. 

It is your responsibility.  It is no good to try about how much the world demands of you.   Make the most of it.

Listen to my own story of the privilege I found myself blessed (and cursed) with and how I woke up to my responsibility to embrace it after a stint of being mugged in Barcelona and working at a construction site thereafter.

Question of the day:  What is your privilege that you ought to embrace?


017 - Healthy Paranoia

May 29, 2016

Andy Grove, CEO of Intel wrote a book titled: Only the Paranoid Survive.

I have found degree of “healthy paranoia”very useful in my own life.  Listen to my story about a leveraged buyout deal that almost tanked, was it not for my paranoia, which saved it.

My paranoia often caused me to wake up at 3am in the morning, in a pool of sweat, thinking of a client I had not talked with for a while and having a hunch that they may not be happy.

Healthy Paranoia includes expecting the best, but preparing for the worst.

George Soros and Warren Buffet both taught me that as long as we protect our downside, our upside would take care of itself.  Paranoia helps you protect your downside.

Question of the Day:  How do you protect your downside?


016 - What is Your Leverage

May 28, 2016

Most of us try to grow our work output or business by:

  • Working harder and more hours
  • Trying to do everything ourselves
  • Focusing on efficiency, rather than effectiveness

·     The way to win, however, is to do more of what we are good at, rather than to do more of everything.

I am personally good at creating a vision, strategizing, writing, inspiring and getting better at speaking.  In the same time, I suck at: paying bills,bookkeeping, administrative tasks and responding to emails, among many, many other things.

My way of growing is to try and avoid doing things that I don’t enjoy and not good at and focus on my strengths.

Listen to my story of how I am trying to leverage myself, and how could you be doing the same.

Question of the Day:  What are you good at and how can you do more of it?


015 - How do You Define a Partner

May 27, 2016

The original interpretation of a “Partner” in a business is literally a “business partner”, also called as an active co-owner.   An active business owner is in many cases an entrepreneur too. 

An Entrepreneur is defined as a person who organizes and operates a business, assuming greater than normal financial risk in the process.

In most professional services firms, such as accountants,attorneys, advisors, etc. partners are shareholders, but in some cases there are “salaried partners”, who do not own shares. Typically “salaried status is an overture to full partnership, however.

Listen to this episode to find out about partners in professional service firms that are partners in name only and how a real partner should be defined and selected to make these firms more entrepreneurial and dynamically growing.  (Hint: real partnership requires hassling and bringing in the bacon.)

Your Succession is Success.


014 - Delegate the Right Things

May 26, 2016

Delegation is tricky. Some people are unable to delegate. Others delegate too slowly, so that it doesn’t allow them to grow their organization at a reasonable pace.

Yet others delegate too quickly, before they have figured out the process and delegation results in confusion.

Less obvious, but equally deadly variety is when someone delegates the wrong things and their business stagnates and loses money as a result.  Listen to this podcast episode to find out how to choose what to delegate and what tasks to keep for yourself to achieve the best results.

Your Succession is Success.


013 - Your Succession is Success

May 25, 2016

Welcome to Episode 13 of the Succession Secrets Podcast, where we're all about teaching you how to grow, groom, and graduate from your business in just 7 minutes a day! Today we will be discussing the importance of succession for your success. I believe that everyone should be working on succession at all times, because it means that you are creating more value, and becoming a more valuable person.

Most ambitious people are continuously looking to grow in self-development, to become more effective and be more successful. Succession allows you to keep your work stimulating and exciting by always introducing a steep learning curve. It also allows you to leverage others and pass your knowledge on to them as you promote yourself to keep growing and building your business. Remember, succession never ends and it is a huge driver of growth and development. So how will you be incorporating succession for your success?

Key learning points from this episode:

  • Successful, ambitious people always seek to grow personally and avoid the learning curve plateau by implementing succession into their business.
  • Succession allows you to leverage the skills sets of others; as you teach others to do your job, you can leverage their time to work for you.
  • Implement succession into your business to build in excitement and new challenges in order to avoid burning out or perhaps becoming stagnant or ‘bored’ with your work.
  • If you want to build a successful business, you cannot do it alone; create opportunities for others through succession by attracting them to an exciting, growing company.
  • In business, momentum is everything. Trending and growing in leaps and bounds with succession, will allow the momentum itself to attract greater opportunities.
  • Succession is the driver of growth and development, and an incredible strategy for creating more value and growing your business.

Your Next Action Step

As you are growing your business, I want you to think about this question: “In what areas are you creating succession for yourself or the people around you?”

Remember to leave your comments about this episode below, and I look forward to connecting with you.



012 - Are You Good Enough for Vistage

May 24, 2016

About the 10 traits the ideal Vistage member possesses. What these are and why they are important for you to have / develop to fully benefit from the Vistage experience.


011 - Managing the Business Doesn’t Make it Yours

May 23, 2016

Why intrapreneurship is bunk. How I got fired as an "intrapreneur" and what I learned from the experience. Business leaders that are frustrated with owners that hold them back and the options they have to move forward in this situation.


010 - Vulnerability in Peer Groups

May 22, 2016

I am reporting about my Vistage Chair Group event. A discussion of vulnerability, what it means and why it is important. How is not being vulnerable a weakness and an opportunity.


009 - Succession in the Broad Sense

May 21, 2016

The narrow definition of succession is passing the baton as a seller, retiring CEO or a serial entrepreneur. The broad definition is to always be in succession mode. Succession to me means keeping the learning curve steep and always looking to graduate to the next higher level of leadership or life-fulfillment position, wherever you are. I don’t care if you never want to sell the business, won’t retire or will live forever. For every organization to grow, there must be upward mobility for the people in it. Your employees will only grow to the extent there is room for them and the good ones will not even join your organization without the prospect for rapid advancement. That means that everyone will have to constantly be thinking about working themselves out of a job and coaching others below them to grow into their jobs.


008 - How Do You Define Success

May 20, 2016

Different strokes for different folks and why it is important to define success on your own terms.


007 - The Greatest Gift of Coaching

May 19, 2016

About how coaching REALLY helps CEOs and Entrepreneurs to be their best self...


006 - Driving to My Vistage Group

May 19, 2016

In this episode I take you along for the ride.  En route to a Vistage meeting I tell you about how a typical meeting works and how powerful it is in helping CEOs solve their challenges and make better decisions.


005 - How to Have a Good Idea

May 19, 2016

The way to have good ideas is to have many ideas.  Listen to my thoughts about how being prolific in ideas and experimentation help you come up with groundbreaking stuff.


004 - Choose Your Own Boss

May 19, 2016

In this episode I talk about why you can and should choose your boss. Listen to my story of compromising this principle, the fallout and what I learned from it.


003 - RVA100

May 19, 2016

About the Dream 100 concept. How to build the ultimate network in town and become the cement for it.


002 - Turning Lemon into Lemonade

May 19, 2016

In this episode, I talk about: What yesterday's podcast helped me realize. The energy of frustration and how to channel it. How to turn negative energy into tangible results and flip it into enthusiasm.


001 - 80-20 to the Rescue

May 19, 2016

Why I started a podcast, my frustration with losing in little league soccer, and how I am going to fix this with the use of the Pareto Principle. How Greece won Euro 2004 in soccer and what we can all learn from their tactics. The strategy that helped me catapult from the bottom of the pack to the top during my accounting exams in London in 1992.