Employee Retention Starts with Excellent Leadership

There’s a saying that says, “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” The best bosses know that investing in great people and keeping them in the company keeps morale up and profits high. Employee retention requires some forethought before the hiring process even begins, but a little extra work in the beginning pays major dividends later.

Great Management is the Key

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, in his statement about the “State of the American Workplace” employee engagement study, said, “The single biggest decision you make in your job—bigger than all the rest—is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits—nothing.”

While true that creating a comfortable working environment, with great benefits and competitive pay, is important, nothing is more important than management talent. Are you concerned that you might be dealing with a company plagued by poor leadership? Take a look around the office. Do you see any of the following?

  • In-fighting amongst departments
  • High employee turnover rates
  • Lack of participation or creative thought during meetings
  • A manager who does not involve themselves in everyday comings and goings of the company
  • Complaints of micromanagement
  • Demands for respect and productivity, instead of encouraging it

If you do, there’s definitely something wrong. The good news, though, is that excellent leadership skills aren’t necessarily something that you’re born with. They can be learned, improved upon, and used for positive change in your office building– Change that encourages employee retention.

Gaining Leadership Skills

Two of the most powerful tools in leadership development are executive coaching and executive roundtables. Both offer a safe space to discuss the challenges you face as a manager, and how you can confront those issues and turn them into opportunities.

Catalyst Group ECR’s Executive Roundtables are perfect for those who are seeking small peer groups to discuss the hot topics on every executive’s plate, including challenges with employees, developing key performance indicators, and strategic planning.

If you’re seeking something even more catered to your personal needs, our coaching and mentorship programs are one-on-one meetings specifically designed for your journey as a manager.  No matter where you are as a business leader, we provide the structure and skills necessary for greatness. We meet you where you are and help you get where you want to be.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.

Planning for Life After Selling Your Business

There’s no way around it: Selling your business can be absolutely devastating. Unfortunately, it’s often a necessary and beneficial move for both you and the business. It’s not often enough that we, as business owners, discuss the emotional attachment that we have to our hard work. That’s why planning for life after selling your business is so important.

The Grieving Process

You’ve likely heard something about the process of grieving a loss: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. When you’re in the middle of preparing for your business transition, it’s not uncommon to experience these emotions.


It might begin with denial that’s it time to begin transitioning. You may pour more time, energy, and resources into the business in an attempt to make it work for you and your family. You might (metaphorically) slam the door in the face of potential buyers or investors.


Anger can take hold at any time, and you may question why the time has come to transition. You might be angry at yourself, the market, the people trying to walk you through the process.


Bargaining often goes hand-in-hand with anger. You may try to cut deals with yourself. You might think things like, “Well, I’ll just stay in for one more year and see where I’m at then,” or “I’ll definitely like the next purchase offer that comes along, so I’ll hold out for something better.”


Depression is hardest step to deal with. It can feel like you’ve abandoned your life’s work, or that you’ve let yourself down. It may take a toll on your ability to sleep, care for yourself and your loved ones, and care for your business.


Finally, comes acceptance. At this point, you’ve decided that transitioning out of your business is the right move to make. The good news is that transitioning doesn’t have to be an abrupt action. The better news is that working with an exit coach can make the transition easier to confront. Your exit coach can help you create a plan that works with your expectations for exiting, from valuation to the final sale.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.

Want to Move Up? Start By Developing Strategic Planning Skills


As you move up in your career, the cognitive abilities that you need to possess increase. Everything from your ability to handle conflict to your creativity will have to evolve along with the responsibilities you’re asked to take on. Strategic planning is one of the most invaluable skills that you can develop. It allows you to think about what the future might hold, then create strategies to tackle those challenges and opportunities with finesse and foresight.

You can start to develop these skills yourself by focusing on these three growth techniques:

1. Set Aside Time to Think and Create

Companies like Google and 3M set aside time every week, about 20% of working hours, to allow employees to work on any project that they would like to. It does not have to be work related, just productive and passion-driven. From that time, products like GMail and sticky notes were developed.

What does that mean for someone developing strategic planning skills? It’s a great way to flex your “muscle” a little, without the pressure of performing a particular task set to a particular deadline. Give leaders in your business the time to work creatively and watch them bloom. Give yourself the same privilege. Once everyone is comfortable with their projects and passions, invite people to share and collaborate. This encourages creative thinking and can lead to even more productivity.

2. Observe and Empathize

If you really want to develop strategic planning skills, it pays dividends to spend time observing your employees and “walking in their shoes.” Too often, business leaders spend their time delegating tasks and dealing with paperwork. While those are important functions of a business, take the time to see the ins-and-outs of everyday life at your company.

While doing so, ask yourself and others questions like, “What’s not working around here?” and “Could this process be made easier?” Even if nothing changes today, it’s can change in your 2-, 5-, or 10-year plans. Being aware of issues before they really become issues and dedicating yourself to improving upon them is a critical piece of strategic planning.

3. Create a Culture of Learning

Encourage yourself and others to constantly seek new information. It doesn’t even have to be specific to your field! Read travel journals, explore forums or websites about topics you’re interested in, or spend some time on YouTube learning a new skill. While this may seem like it’s not work-related, a huge portion of learning something new, like a hobby or skill, requires problem solving and perseverance.

Those soft skills can translate to hard results once you implement them into work-related projects. Think about grade school and learning reading comprehension skills. While it may have seemed that those were isolated skills at the time, we use inferencing, foreshadowing, and our understanding of figurative language everyday to understand the world around us. The same can be said for learning other skills, like creative thinking. While your ability to whittle or paint might never come in handy in a boardroom, your ability to remain patient in the face of frustration will.

The best way to develop strategic planning skills is to work with a coach who has the expertise and experience to help you grow. Catalyst Group ECR works with individuals to help them realize their potential and experience growth in their focus areas. Through one-on-one meetings, we work with the business owner to build a sense of community and rapport that provides a foundation for growth. We would love to hear from you, and help you start your journey towards developing strategic planning skills.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.
Playing chess on a white table

Small Business Leadership Training: The Key to Success

Leading a small business requires much more than having your name on the paperwork as the owner. It’s an active role that requires furthering yourself through research, networking, and small business leadership training.

Having a successful business means being a leader who is capable of delegating, negotiating, and making the tough decisions when necessary. Working with a business coach is an effective way to get you on the fast-track to greatness. You coach can help you improve in 3 key areas:


“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop a positive vision,” –The Dalai Lama

Some entrepreneurs struggle to be leaders because they know they want to run a business but haven’t fleshed out a purpose yet. It’s just not enough to want to make money. You have to have an intrinsic motivation for striving in your business. Without one, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and lacking direction, which can make it impossible to get back on track following a hurdle or setback.


Small business leadership training is valuable before you’ve even fully fleshed out your business plan. Working with a business coach gives you access to invaluable experience from an honest advisor who’s been where you have before. In fact, most business advising firms are small businesses themselves! Working with a coach as your crafting your business plan ensures that you’re more prepared to handle the responsibility of being a leader.


Perhaps the most valuable asset that a business coach brings to the table is the willingness to hold you accountable to your goals. The dreams that you shared when you were creating your vision should be as relevant the third year you’re open as they were the day before opening. Small business leadership training with a professional can help you remain accountable and striving towards your vision, even when you feel like there are more important situations to deal with.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.


Professional Business Coach

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional Business Coach

Are you ready to take the plunge with a professional business coach? Taking the next step can be a big decision, but one that’s worth your time if you’re willing to put in the work.

While a professional business coach can help you become a more creative, well-rounded manager, they’re not right for everyone. There are pros and cons to taking on any kind of coaching. See if you’re ready to make the jump:


  • A business coach can help you become more empathetic and understanding, which can lead to a healthier business culture. Having a deep and meaningful understanding of the struggles and triumphs of every level in your business opens doors to a more cooperative working environment.
  • Coaching can help you become more open to feedback. When you work with customers, feedback, both positive and negative, is inevitable. The ability to dissect and grow from that feedback is an absolute necessity if you want to continue to satisfy those who do business with you.
  • The lessons you learn with your coach can spill over into your personal life. Being a business leader isn’t all that different from being a leader in your own life. The ability to quickly make decisions, find creative solutions, and compromise has endless applications outside of the office.


  • You shouldn’t expect your coach to be a miracle solution or a quick fix. Coaching with any skill takes time, effort, and resources from both parties. While any coach worth their salt is going to give you their best every time you meet, you must be willing to reciprocate. A coaching call once every 3-4 months just isn’t going to cut. You have to keep to a schedule that allows for results.
  • If you’re not willing to open up about your struggles as a manager, you’re not going to benefit from a coach. No business leader is perfect. That’s just the facts. We all have issues and weaknesses that should be assessed, discussed, and improved upon. Entering into a successful coaching situation requires a close relationship.
  • You must be able to define what coaching success looks like for you. It’s not an indefinite service. It should have a definite ending date, with the goals that you hope to accomplish by that time. If you can’t communicate what you’re trying to get out of the relationship, you’re going to have a hard time getting started and an even harder time seeing clear results.

Think you fit the bill for help from a professional business coach? Give Lori Moen a call and get started on improving your abilities as a business leader.


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Coffee cup on top of goal setting calendar

5 Categories of Leadership Objectives for Goal Setting

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We’ve discussed quite often the necessity of setting clear goals for yourself and for your business. Without goals, it can feel like you’re constantly reacting to situations as they occur, without a clear path for where you’re going next. That’s why major publications, like Entrepreneur, commonly puts out articles about the importance of setting goals and doing so the right way.  Catalyst Group ECR can not only help you set those goals, but also with narrowing down exactly what your leadership objectives should be. There are hundreds of different skills that business leaders could work on, but we’ve narrowed it down to 10 that we feel can be implemented quickly and easily.


Grow your personal database of knowledge and resources about your sector. Read the most recent information on data and trends using Google Scholar to find academic articles. Pick up the latest business “self-help” book to figure out what others are doing and finding success with.


Work with your team to find the most common causes of workplace distraction and discuss solutions for eliminating those distractions. Unproductive workers cost the company valuable time, money, and resources, but sometimes the problem is in the system, not in the worker. If mandatory weekly meetings conflict with ongoing deadlines, that’s something that management needs to know about and improve upon.

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Work with a coach to find better ways to speak to your team and your clients, both verbally and in writing. The art of using words to communicate ideas comes down to more than what you say- it’s about how you say it. You may be completely unaware of the messages that you’re giving with your tone and body language, and becoming aware can have a major, positive impact on the way that you express yourself.


You’re not the only person who could benefit from the expertise of advisors and coaches, like Lori Moen of Catalyst Group ECR. Work with your team to figure out what skills they are interested in growing and set up coaching appointments to help them do that. Allow ownership of the coaching process, without interfering too much with choosing those skills. You’ll find that your team grows in confidence when they feel that they are in charge of their professional development.


Sometimes, though it can be difficult to admit, our team’s level of motivation comes from the culture of the business. Taking the time to nail down the values, principles, and culture of your company can help everyone remain accountable. Remember, though, that you are just as responsible for maintaining that culture as everyone else. If one of your values is that everyone treats the other with respect, you must also be willing to follow that rule.

Man walking with large windows behind him

Executive Advising Methodology: The Steps to Success

Just as an academic advisor at a college helps young professionals navigate the question of “where do I go from here?,” an executive advisor’s goal is to help executives find their footing as they take the next steps in their career. Whether you’ve just moved from a company or you’re ready to start your own business, the executive advising methodology is a valuable resource for you to reference as you consider where you’re going next.


The executive advising methodology starts with assessment. It would be inappropriate for a consultant or advisor to try to instruct you without understanding you. Some use personality and interest inventories, like the Myers-Briggs, while others prefer to simply have conversations with you about your career, your personal life, and your aspirations. No matter what option your consultant chooses, they are building an understanding of you, as a person and a professional, that shapes the way they approach advising. It’s a personalized experience, tailored to your every need.

Once the advisor understands who you are, they can begin to light your path ahead. Whether it’s training modules, roundtables, or networking events, your advisor will open the vault to an abundance of professional resources that you may not have known were available to help your growth. Like an academic advisor, an executive advisor will help prepare you for the road ahead before asking you to start the journey.

Set Goals

Finally, the last piece of the executive advising methodology comes when it’s time to set goals and meet them once you’re in your new position. It’s not enough to stagnate once you’ve reached your current professional goal; You must continue to learn and network. Your executive advisor can help you stay on track through monthly meetings where you discuss what your professional goals are and how close you are to accomplishing them. Then, when you’ve reached them, your executive advisor will help you celebrate your growth. It’s a professional partnership focused on developing your skills and reaching your full potential.

If you’re looking for guidance from an executive advisor, look no further than Catalyst Group ECR. Our founder, Lori Moen offers 14 years of experience as a business owner, all of which have culminated into the opportunity for you to learn and grow. Our tough love approach will challenge you to set goals and create circumstances where success can flourish.

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What Can a Business Coach Do For You?

Working with a business coach can change the way that you run your company. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing this for years, everyone has something to learn from a professional coach. Find out more about what they have to offer:

Set Goals

One of the most valuable commodities that your business coach will offer is helping you set stretch goals, and the benchmark targets that it takes to reach them. Coaches keep you accountable, checking in with your progress and pushing you through when you’re ready to quit.

Celebrate Victories

Your coach can help you find productive ways to celebrate the little victories. If you’ve learned a new skill, it’s time to put it into action. If you’ve completed a professional goal, maybe it’s time to work on a personal goal. Your coach can help you tap into what keeps you motivated and encourage you to work towards those celebrations.

Learn New Skills

There’s more to being a leader than simply leading. The world of business is constantly in demand of new talent, new technology, and the eagerness required to learn the skills necessary to implement them into the workplace. Your business coach can get you on the right track to growing in both hard and soft skills.