Tag Archive: Les McKeown


Interview with Les McKeown

Les McKeown is the President & CEO of Predictable Success. He has has started over 40 companies in his own right, and was the founding partner of an incubation consulting company that advised on the creation and growth of hundreds more organizations worldwide. 

Since relocating from his native Ireland to the US in 1998, Les advises CEOs and senior leaders of organizations on how to achieve scalable, sustainable growth. His clients range from large family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies, and include Harvard University, American Express, T-Mobile, United Technologies, Pella Corporation, The US Army, Microsoft and the NSA.

Based in Marblehead MA, Les now spends his time consulting, writing, teaching, and speaking. Les has appeared on CNN, ABC, BBC, Inc, Entrepreneur magazine, USA Today and The New York Times.

Les took time from his very busy schedule to conduct a telephone interview with me. He discusses the seven stages of Predictable Success and the importance of understanding each stage of business growth.
The 32 minute interview was a lot of fun for me and so informative that I thought it best to share with you.

As I have mentioned, I subscribe to Predictable Success blog written by Les McKeown. His blog post: 3 Steps to Writing Your Strategic Plan This Weekend peaked my interest. In fact, I shared the link with the team and we each made a commitment to listen to the 40 minute audio recording and workbook.  I personally downloaded to iTunes and on my ride back and forth to work Les accompanied me. I will admit that at first I was mesmerized by his accent but quickly realized he was sharing very good processes related to strategic planning.

One of our first steps in planning was to outline our KK and KDK. Les explained that the KK is what you “know you know.” The operational activities you do everyday. The KDK is what you “know you don’t know.” For example, customer satisfaction has declined. You know it has declined but you don’t know why.

Each week we worked on the 2011 strategic plan as a team. We implemented many of the suggestions Les outlined and used his worksheets for planning.

In our last newsletter to the franchisees of the year we outlined four major expectations. Each expectation outlined our strategic thinking, tactics and actionable steps.

  • Building and Growing the Brand
  • Fostering Relationships
  • Becoming Stronger and Smarter
  • Staying Innovative

In my letter to the franchisees I said, “trying to grow with the speed of technology is a daunting task, but with the support and enthusiasm of the system I know we will exceed even our own expectations in the coming year.”

In our visit to Blinds.Com Complex, Jay Steinfeld taught us to “experiment without fear.” Watch out 2011! COMPUTER EXPLORERS team is ready to start experimenting.

Experimenting Without Fear

What are your 2011 expectations? Did you work as a team to create them? Have you shared them with your franchise/organization?

Top Influencers

Earlier this year LinkedIn Groups added a few new features. One is the the ability to receive email alerts to new postings. The other is the addition of top Influencer of the Week. Per the LinkedIn blog:  “the new groups interface introduces an easy way to discover participants who truly drive the activity of the group’s discussions each week by highlighting them as “top influencers”.  This designation is given not only to those who contribute the most, but also to those whose contributions stimulate the most participation from other group members.”

I love the top influencer feature on LinkedIn and I started thinking about who my top blogging influencers are. Here are my top three:

Gini Dietrich

Spin Sucks – In my opinion, Gini Dietrich, Founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich  is a social media guru. Gini helped me and COMPUTER EXPLORERS understand the importance of social media. She was patient and mentored us as we started using the various platforms. She started us in the right direction of  what platforms to engage, who to follow and worked closely with me to develop a  social media tool kit for COMPUTER EXPLORERS. Gini posts daily to Spin Sucks and most days has a guest blogger. Her content is written in a conversational tone and she doesn’t hesitate to be controversial. In fact, she encourages it! Her blogs receive outstanding traffic and readers consistently leave comments. I not only learn something from the content Gini posts but often from those who leave comments!

Les McKeown

Predictable Success – Les McKeown, President & CEO is also the author of the book Predictable Success.  His book focuses on the evolution of a business and how and why some succeed and some do not. The best part of owning the book is the access to book-owners-only resources! I will admit I just logged on this week and I’m not sure what took me so long. Les believes it is a continued journey to be successful. I believe that if you subscribe to his blog he will coach you along the way. His podcasts, videos and postings provide a road map to follow on accountability, goal-setting, management tips and so much more!


Laura Graham Leonard

In My Court – Laura Graham Leonard, a local COMPUTER EXPLORERS owner writes: “A marketing activity a day keeps the creditors away. Or the ball is in my court – what am I going to do about it?” Early November Laura decided that her business growth was dependent on her marketing efforts. She committed to conducting at least one marketing effort a day and journaling her efforts until Christmas. She says that by blogging her activities daily she would be forced to focus on marketing each day and she would not be able “to hide under the bed until the economy improves.” For the most part Laura has been diligent about journaling and more importantly marketing. I’ve followed her blog reading about her challenges and successes. Christmas has arrived and I’m not surprised that she is busy with her family and taking a well deserved break. She may not be blogging but I have found her on LinkedIn and contributing to discussions. I decided to follow in Laura’s footsteps and try blogging daily for one entire week. I hope to manage my time and continue blogging through the New Year.

Who were your top influencers in 2010?

Don’t Blink!

I love the video that represents a year with COMPUTER EXPLORERS. In less than 35 seconds it documents a sampling of our year of meetings, conferences, events and classes.

Colin Powell said, “None of us can change our yesterdays, but ALL of us can change our tomorrows!”

As 2010 was coming to an end the COMPUTER EXPLORERS corporate team  spent time looking at the year. We reviewed our accomplishments and yes our challenges. We read Les McKeown’s blog post “Three Steps To Writing Your Strategic Plan This Weekend.”  Each of us downloaded and listened to his 40 minute teleclass. Click here to his blog post.

We know we can’t change yesterday but we are working hard to make improvements and changes to 2011.

We are still working on our 2011 plan and will publish our goals to the system before we close for the holiday. In the usual COMPUTER EXPLORERS fashion it will accompany a holiday video message.

Using “10 Predictable Success Strategic Year-end Questions” we:

  1. Changed our weekly staff meetings from Monday to Thursday. (May seem like a minor change but it has improved our productivity in our meetings tremendously!)
  2. Review what the worse thing we did last week/month/year and work to fix it.
  3. Ask ourselves weekly to measure our success individually and as a team. We hold each other accountable!

Plotting our vision and goals is not a simple task. In my opinion it is a task that is ongoing and ever-changing.

With a blink of the eye 2011 will pass us by if we are not careful in our planning!

Time to Relax

Easier Said Than Done

As a leader there are some weeks and decisions that are tougher than others. It’s part of the job. It’s not easy and if it were then anyone could fill the role.  Wanting to please everyone is a good goal but it’s not achievable (although I will continue to try).

Believing that most will understand  “it’s business, it’s not personal” is unrealistic since we are individuals with strong personalities and feelings.

So what does one do after one of those particularly tough weeks?

Les McKeown, Predictable Success Blog says:

Take the day off. You’re at your best when you’re fresh. You know it; everyone else knows it. So why are you ‘on’ 24/7? Rest, my friend. Your followers need it.

So that’s what I will do. Unplug and take the day off and re-energize.

Thanks Les, maybe now I will have time to read Predictable Success.