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Leadership/Management

The Halo Effect: What is it and can I use it to power sales?

By Doug Foster | March 21, 2017

What Is It We Do That Has the Largest Impact on Business? Your employer’s reputation is based on what?  Its website?  A 2017 survey revealed that only 12.2% of AEC firms feel that its website has the most impact on business. As far as I am concerned, a website has very little impact on a…

Why you’re not meeting your clients’ needs

By Doug Foster | January 12, 2017

I am excited to offer you a free downloadable tool to keep your services positioned for high-demand and high-profit. See below for the link. Read to find out why this is so critical to your career and financial health. You created your business model back when your company was formed or when you took over as CEO. You…

Doug Reed Performing Like a Superstar

SuperStar Project Managers Are the Envy: Set Yourself Up On Day One

By Doug Foster | September 6, 2016

What if I told you that you could become a superstar project manager and it wouldn’t be that difficult. I’ll show you how to set yourself up to be the envy of your peers and you don’t need to be Michael Phelps. Learn ways to reduce on-the-job stress, enhance your reputation, become a top profit…

The one thing you need to know about decision making certainty

By Doug Foster | May 11, 2016

It can be lonely at the top. As a CEO or firm executive, your shoulders are burdened by huge responsibilities. This impacts your personal life, your sleep, and your feeling of accomplishment. There is risk everywhere. Your employees have each other for collaboration, brainstorming and feedback. Do you have an honest, tell-you-what-you-need-to-know resource? Have you…

Superbosses

By Doug Foster | May 9, 2016

Are you having trouble hiring that 5-10 year A/E/Env professional? I know you are. Besides my personal experience at such futality I was just reminded of this plight at the ACEC April conference CEO Roundtable discussions.  So, you are not alone. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could put your near entry level staff in…

Your Firm is Your Wings or Your Drag

By Doug Foster | December 16, 2015

Training, education, learning, knowledge, skills, or whatever you call it. If you are a marketing coordinator, a senior manager, principal or CEO, you seek more of this. And, you like to spend your time wisely. Most of all, you want something of value out of your learning investment. Yet, time and again, you experience little…

The real truth about talent and your business growth strategy

By Doug Foster | June 12, 2015

How often do you think about your company’s values and purpose and how they’re related to your business growth strategy? The answer should be, “all the time.” As the leader it’s easy to be distracted with day-to-day operations and lose sight of what’s really important to you and your business. Successful leaders communicate these beliefs and priorities to…

It takes a village– how to develop your own personal community of advisors

By Doug Foster | April 17, 2015

It can be lonely at the top but it doesn’t have to be. Just as your employees rely on each other for collaboration, brainstorming, feedback, etc., you too, as the leader, need this support. But it doesn’t always come naturally when you’re the CEO. For example, since employees won’t necessarily feel comfortable providing you honest feedback,…

Lessons on CEO burnout, how to spot it, how to resolve it

By Doug Foster | March 27, 2015

Part of being an effective leader is to constantly evaluate yourself. It can be difficult to objectively determine how you’re doing– to see yourself as others see you. The problem of leadership burnout is that no one is going to tell you. No one is going to come into your office and tell you that you’re…

Feel like it’s all on your CEO shoulders? It does not have to be.

By Doug Foster | March 11, 2015

Have you considered that trusted advisers might be key to your successful career? You probably have. In fact, a survey published in Harvard Business Review in 2013, reported that nearly all CEOs say they saw value in having an adviser. But, did you do it? Probably not. Nearly 2/3 of the CEOs reported they had…

CEOs’ top role: Get the most out of your employees

By Doug Foster | February 19, 2015

When talking strategic direction, we often talk in terms of the role of the CEO and what he or she must do to encourage greater productivity and alignment. We don’t focus as much on the role of the employees, although we all know we’d be nowhere without them. We understand leadership starts at the top and an effective leader encourages employees to act…

If you’re not leading with these, your company is jeopardizing success

By Doug Foster | February 16, 2015

As a leader, your job is to look at the big picture and, naturally, much of your attention is on essential items like growing revenue and controlling expenses. Typically, there’s less time spent strategizing on how to lead than the leading itself. But, what if you could lead your firm in a more enlightened way,…

what 4 things do you do to make it so

Strategic Execution– What 4 things must you do to “make it so”?

By Doug Foster | February 7, 2015

The planning process is essential to establishing broad goals, but it doesn’t just start or stop there. Next, you must execute consistently on clearly identified steps that build to the ultimate goals identified in your strategic plan. In the case study below, you’ll see innovative actions that ultimately led to the firm’s success. They include: hiring…

For best results don’t just learn, learn right

By Doug Foster | July 26, 2014

As a staff engineer on the cusp of securing my professional license, my employer gave me opportunities to support new business pursuits. While I happened to be successful on the first few, I don’t give myself the credit. I give the credit to the owners and senior managers of the firm who gave me the…

To broaden sales participation, the CEO must remove barriers

By Doug Foster | June 18, 2014

As a principal in charge of the largest division of a 130 person firm, a first step in implementing a highly efficient sales program was to make sure everyone knew the latest sales methods and spoke a common sales language. Since operations and finance managers were a potential barrier to broaden sales, all senior managers went…

I am 95% billable and I generate business for my company

By Doug Foster | June 6, 2014

Many professional service firms’ CEOs and managers are convinced that time spent on overhead activities detracts from the revenue of the company by lowering billability. This is one of the largest misconceptions I have seen. In both my corporate experience and with clients I applied a technique that maintained high billability and generated sales, even…

In a successful organization, sales is part of everybody’s job

By Doug Foster | May 15, 2014

In a successful organization, sales is part of everybody’s job. Most firms have only a few persons who are actively engaged in generating revenue. There is often tension over being billable and helping to secure the next project. This is not limited to management. Staff at all levels feels this tension, so the action of…

Technical staff has what it takes to win clients

By Doug Foster | April 14, 2014

This is a quick note with thanks for the fortune of a valuable lesson that impacted my career. The following is my story. This may remind you of a similar experience.  Now is a good time to thank those who helped shape your career and to think about how you might help someone by challenging…

2016 DBAssociationTranssurvey

DB: A/E Business Viability Risk or Sustainable Practice?

By Doug Reed | December 11, 2017

What has the A/E industry learned after 30 years of Design-Build and CM-at-Risk infrastructure projects? The industry has learned that owners love it. And, they have learned that it has stung many A/E firms.  It is clear that the owners are the winners, not A/E firms. Must A/E firms continue to be the victim or…

SWOT Your Way to Your Future

By Doug Reed | June 23, 2017

Growing a business in not natural for most