Patrick: Welcome to the Business Spotlight. I’m your host, Patrick Dougher. We have a fabulous show today. My guest today almost has more alphabet soup in his name than you could believe, but it’s a little bit more than that.
Odell Stunkard has created a number of businesses. He spent a great deal of time as a CAO, which is chief administrative officer, for a company that had more moving parts than the watch that you wear to moving through to being a CFO, and now as a CEO of over six businesses – one international. With that, I want to get right to Odell. Thanks for being on the show.
Odell: Hello, Patrick. Thanks for having me.
Patrick: I really want to get into your story because when we’ve talked in the past, you have shown me that you could keep track of more pieces in the puzzle than most of us would ever want to try to keep track of and administrate those and bring those together. We jokingly call it a high driver on steroids turned loose on a company. But that has given you gifts and talents to be that breakthrough person, that person that brings the hammer to the glass ceiling above other leaders and helps them break through. What’s your story?
Odell: A little more than we have time here for today, but the high points are that 15 years ago I didn’t do what I do now. Fifteen years ago I was following the usual climb the corporate ladder, “let’s work on that” life, but the further along I went the less they made sense. A turning point came where I was like, “If I’m going to do what I was created to do, then some changes are going to have to be made.”
So I moved into making a decision about what my life was going to be and then made myself align all of my actions and all of my subsequent decisions and everything I did to be in alignment with that target. As you go, you apply those same principles onto any business in any industry, you make a decision, and you do it. You keep doing it until you have another decision that you’ve made and then you switch to that and you keep going, always looking with the end in mind.
That’s been the story of my life. It’s always looking for what is the end and then let’s back up to where we are and let’s put everything in line to have that be in place. Just like in any part of any business, there’s a system. There’s a system to everything you do including how you breathe air. There’s a system to your life. There’s a system to your business. There’s a system to multiplying your business. There’s a system to multiplying how many businesses you can do and it’s just a question of putting the right pieces in the right place so that you can scale everything to what you want it to be. The real secret is scalability. It’s all through the foundational principles that you put in place and the decisions that you make in line with the belief that you have about where it is that you intend for this vehicle to go.
Patrick: What are some of the foundation stones that you use? You’ve told me right there that you’re not just an expert marksman in being able to hit your target each time. You actually had systems in place that can show other people how to hit their target every time. Is that what you’re saying?
Odell: Pretty much. Sometimes you have to pivot to a different target, but once you’re in that place then you can move forward because you have this baseline system.
Someone you’ll be talking to later, Bob Bare, taught me that there are three basic legs to any business. There are processes in all of them and you unify them into one system. One of the big mindset shifts that people have to make if they’re really going to succeed in business is that you only have one system. You don’t have a thousand systems. You have one. You have only one thing that you’re focusing on. There may be a thousand moving parts under it, but you have one.
For me, the foundational pieces have been to identify where I want to go and then to put the team in place that can support me being there, and then become the person who is there and then be there. The pieces that move into that are knowing what you need to track to know if you’re on target for this particular place – let’s say in sales.
I don’t like using sales. Number one, because it only gives you one third of the picture. But when you’re tracking, you want to track each piece of your business and make sure that it’s on track and that you have the right people in the right place. You’ve done your market analysis, you’ve done your business plan, and you’re in gear. You’re beginning to move. Now you need to know if the execution steps that you’ve set can be achieved using the methodology that you currently have in place. If they can’t, then you tweak the execution. You leave the plan alone.
Those are some of the foundational pieces. It’s to make sure you have a good plan, align the plan to the activities, check the activities, and come back and correct the execution. Then make sure that you’re staying on track with the plan.
Patrick: It sounds like you’ve done that a number of times in your life. You did that when you were running these big development projects but then, in creating the six different companies plus the international company that you’re now CEO of, you’re doing that over and over again, is what I hear.
Odell: It is. One of the methodologies that I use is rubber stamp. The way I put together a hierarchy is rubber stamped. The pieces that are in them will vary according to the culture that needs to be established, the people who are playing on the team, who is the target customer that we’re going after – but how we set that up is rubber stamped.
First, we identify where we’re going. Second, we identify who we have and who we need. Third, we put together the plan of getting there and then we do it. We just keep repeating the cycle.
Patrick: That’s great. We’re coming up here on a break and I want to say that you’re going to enjoy the show. Odell has some real keys and tools that can help you get farther down the road in your own business and even some breakthrough. We’ll be right back. This is Business Spotlight.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. I’m your host, Patrick Dougher. My guest is Odell Stunkard. Odell has a real system for helping you create the breakthrough in your business. Thank you, Odell. It’s great to have you on the air.
Odell: Again, thanks.
Patrick: I want to get into what you’re doing to create the success you’re having because you have created systems that create success. Let’s talk about what you’re doing.
Odell: We can go back to the beginning. We can go back to the first business that I came into. It was already structured. I didn’t create it. I didn’t create it at all. But I came in at a place where it was rapidly moving towards growing, growing, gone. Meaning that the sales were just going through the roof, and with it so were the expenses to maintain it. The time that I came in, sales were on a record climb and so were expenses. So the net income was in a negative.
When we started looking at all of that, then we realized that we did not know where our threshold points were for what it took to produce a product and get it to a customer. We had to begin examining that. We began setting up a war room with metric boards where we were tracking the different pieces of the organization that drive things so that when we got ready to make a change, we could calibrate a specific dial instead of just setting a goal and saying, “Go do it.”
We also put in implementation strategies with database management and with accounting practices to make sure that the financial and the customer service pieces could flow smoothly through the human aspect that was running this conveyor belt. Through that we were able to reduce the staff by over half. Flat line sales for one year. The following year, it was on a 25% growth curve with 15% on the bottom line. Now it averages 25% straight profit.
Patrick: That sounds like a real gutsy move because normally a growth organization wants more sales. They’re like, “Hotdog, we got money!” But you had to step in and make some real strategic, disciplined, and even probably painful [09:31 inaudible].
Odell: Yeah. It’s not easy.
Patrick: Is that something that you help a lot of other businesses with? Is that what you’re doing now?
Odell: Yes. Whatever business you’re in should be the business you’re planning on being in the rest of your life. Meaning that you may have a number of vehicles that you employ, but your “why” should always be driving. Whatever car you’re in, your “why” should be driving.
Oftentimes when I come into businesses what I recognize is that they’ve created a vision for the company without any respect to vision for their lives. So they’re off on this course and they’re still completely unfulfilled, not enjoying what they’re doing, things are problematic, and they’re constantly having issues.
Patrick: Is this the executive team or is this the whole team?
Odell: Yes. Because what starts at the top flows down.
Patrick: Right. I believe that management reproduces itself.
Odell: Management reproduces itself. Management sets the tone for the environment. Management determines the attitude of the players. Management controls whether or not things are on track or askew. Management has all of that authority.
Patrick: How do you get a bit on an executive when they’re usually wild stallions anyway? Does that make sense? It sounds like that’s what has to happen. You have to get them to get a grip on what’s really going on in their business.
Odell: That’s the hardest thing of all because most business people, including myself, consider ourselves to be successful. Remaining teachable and coachable is not always an easy thing, especially when the dial spins around and the mirror is pointing at you. That’s the hard thing because it’s always easy to say, “I need a better system. I need a better piece of software. I need better marketing. I need a better team.”
But more often than not, that’s not what needs to happen. What needs to happen is a change in here, between your ears. Once you get that clear, then everything else can be built on it and it will stay in alignment.
Patrick: Very good. One of the things that I hear and I know of your history is that you help people that are bouncing against a glass ceiling realize that it takes a mind that that’s past the ceiling to really make the difference. Wouldn’t you agree? How do you get them into that mind?
Odell: The way I put it is that the provision for your vision is in the place of your vision. Your job is to get your butt where your face is. We begin to look at, what is it that you believe to be true that’s created the success that you’re at? Whether it’s, “Hard work has its own rewards,” or whatever that mindset is. Instead, let’s start looking at how people think who are already doing what you want to do.
Now let’s make the adjustments and begin to prove the evidence out that the way they’re thinking is qualified, it’s justified, it works, and it’s appropriate for you. But sometimes how that occurs is by (1) let’s come face to face with what you really want, (2) let’s come face to face with where you are, (3) let’s come face to face with what is the guff in between the two, and (4) let’s come face to face with how committed you are to being there.
Patrick: If you were to sit there and you’re talking to a leader with 30 seconds, what would you tell him right now?
Odell: You can do whatever you have decided to do as long as you decide to change who you are to be the person who does it.
Patrick: Okay. The next segment is really about who you would call your ideal client, who you’re looking for. I know we just spoke to a C-level type and I encourage you that if you’re in business and if you’re not getting the money that you want, then you should be talking to Odell anyways.
This is the Business Spotlight where you get to tell your story to your marketplace. We’ll be right back.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. I’m Patrick Dougher. My guest today is Odell Stunkard. I want to call him a breakthrough coach – but even beyond that (I hate the word “coach”), a breakthrough guy that is training and helping leaders get into the field that they really want to be in, and I mean the field of income that they want to be in – breaking through that glass ceiling. A bit of a glass breaker, a breakthrough expert.
Who are you trying to help? Who is this message for?
Odell: Although this message could be for anyone, the people that I enjoy working with, the ones who receive the greatest benefit, are the influencers who already have success and have already come to the place where they recognize that to get from here to there requires a leap just as it did to get from where they started to where they are. They don’t mind being taken to task for what they say they’re going to do and who they say they’re going to become. I’m a high D and a high I, so it’s all about what are you putting on the road.
Patrick: So you’re a high driver and high influencer, and that really makes sense to the drivers and the influencers who don’t want to be coddled and don’t need a big explanation. You just charge in and say, “Look. Pull your head out. Let’s move on.”
Odell: It’s not quite so rough, but I am direct. We’ve agreed to be here. You’re spending money to be here. You’re spending money trying to figure out how to get to the money level you want to be at. So I don’t want to sit here and charge you so you can sit here and tell me your family woes. I want to sit here and talk about what’s wrong in your business and what dials you want to turn. Then let’s get a plan in place and I will drive you to implement your plan so that you can see the success that you have decided to have.
Patrick: The cool part about that is that it really does attract then right people when you are direct enough to say, “Okay, let’s move.”
Odell: “That’s really, really nice but can we get on to something else?”
Patrick: Right. The other thing is that bringing that vision of this other place – that other mind, so to speak. How do you begin to get that process into people?
Odell: Although I am direct, the basis behind all of that is love. From that place, we can take the time to find out who you are. We can take the time to find out what it is that has stopped you from getting through the glass ceiling that you’re bumping up against. Over time you might discover this for yourself, but my job is to shortcut that so that you can do it quickly and as painlessly as possible (there’s always pain, but as painless as possible).
Once we discover what it is that’s holding you back, then we simply come up with a plan for what is more powerful than what is holding you back. When you step into implementing that, then this fear or this old belief loses power.
Patrick: Can you give me a story of somebody that you’ve been able to do that for?
Odell: Sure. Let’s talk about my business partner. One of the things that was causing him the most angst before he brought me on board was that he had a confusion between what was team and what were employees, which is a common thread across all businesses.
Patrick: They care for their people. A lot of times everybody becomes family once you start writing them a check.
Odell: Right. Everybody becomes family but all roads lead back. They’re not a team. A team means that they are empowered to act on your behalf and run the organization for you, which is where you gain freedom and the ability to work on your businesses instead of in it.
Patrick: You get past the technician and into the business owner.
Odell: Doing that allowed the size of the business to double in twelve months because you had six people working with your mindset towards your targets. Meanwhile, you were free to begin working on the next one.
That’s how we’ve gone to this as we employ that strategy. He comes in with the vision, I come in and building the structure, and then the team takes over and runs it for us while I go onto the next one and he goes onto the next. We just follow each other in the loop.
Patrick: You’re teaching this on a large scale basis on a national platform, aren’t you?
Odell: National and international.
Patrick: You’re literally getting people from whatever level they’re at. Preferably I know that you tend to work with the extreme leaders, people that are earning their income in their businesses between $6 million and $50 million or more. Would that be about right?
Odell: Yes. That’s my favorite target. That works great.
Patrick: Any other short story of somebody? Where did they start and where are they at now?
Odell: There’s a woman I know who began as a non-profit organizer. She moved from non-profit organizer to administrative assistant and now she is director of operations for a multi-location, multi-million dollar business in 36 months.
Patrick: The one thing about that is that I hear that you saw her real potential and gave her a glimpse of that and made the difference.
This is the Business Spotlight. I’m Pat Dougher. Odell Stunkard is my guest today and he is creating tremendous breakthrough for his clients around the country and around the world. We’ll be right back. Thanks.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. I’m your host, Patrick Dougher. My guest today is Odell Stunkard. Odell is a master at helping you get the breakthrough that you really want in your business, most specifically. As he stands right now, he’s the CEO of over six businesses. One of them is international in scope. Multi-million dollar companies. Odell, thanks for being here.
Odell: Thank you, sir.
Patrick: I want to get into how someone can connect to you if they see themselves as that success. They know they’re not where they want to be. They’re not where they’re designed to be and they can afford to hire you. I know you’re not cheap but you really do attract the best people. How do they do that? What’s the process?
Odell: My website address is www.OdellStunkard.com. My phone number, (972) 600-2300, will take you directly to our receptionist at the offices here in Las Colinas. You can contact me through that and we can schedule a session to get to know each other. Usually that’s about 30-45 minutes. I ask questions 20% of the time. You speak 80% of the time.
It’s all about finding out whether or not we’re a fit, if you’re at a place where I can help you, if you’re above me, if you’re coming up to me. There are only a certain number of people that I can work with at any given time and they need to be a fit. I don’t want to waste your time and I don’t want you to waste my time. So we get together and we make sure that we mesh. From there, we’ll put a plan of action together based on the answers to questions I ask you in the initial interview.
Patrick: It sounds like if they do get into the process, if they do engage with you, then they’ve got someone that is going to hold them accountable to the vision that they create.
Odell: Right. It’s not about what I want. It’s what you want. Then my job is to support you in what you want, but not support as in hold your hand. Support as in, “Okay. You want to do this, so let’s go do this. You’re not alone. I’m here. I’ll help you. But let’s go do this. Let’s get it done. Let’s move you onto the next mark.”
Patrick: In that process, once they’ve gotten past the initial plan, how often do you usually meet with people? What does that process usually look like?
Odell: I vary it on occasion depending on where they are and what needs to be done, what are the critical pieces and how many of them there are. But as a general rule, it’s one hour once a month and two 30-minute sessions spread out through the same month. I require that people sign on for no less than 90 days. Usually I won’t take a client unless they’re willing to commit to six months or more.
Patrick: I would expect that to really help somebody, you ought to work with him for a couple of years to get them not just in the mindset, but in the place that they envision. Usually the place they envision is not 90 days away. It’s a couple of years out.
Odell: The thing about vision, Patrick, is that it’s like looking through a doorway. When you’re across the room from the doorway, you have a very limited view, but you think you see what’s there. The closer you get to that doorway then the more you can see, but it’s not until you’re through it that the real expense of what you’re about begins to take shape.
Going through the cycle for at least six months will begin to give you that glimpse. Then that’s where the real work begins and as you move through that 12-month cycle then it’s becoming more expensive because by then you’re at that that threshold and you’re looking through that door and there’s much more than you thought.
Patrick: I would imagine that some clients get a little bit apprehensive about the changes.
Patrick: Most people are bit afraid of their own success.
Odell: Well, because one of the things that you’re going to recognize is that as you begin moving into alignment, there will be people among you (assuming that you’re already established and have a team) that are there in false service. Wonderful people, but they’re not going to align with the alignment that you choose.
Those people will deselect or you will have to say goodbye for the health of your entire organization, for your ability to grow, for your own sanity. Those are never popular things because you chose these people. They’re a part of your family. You’ve made long-term relationships with them and now it’s going to be time to say goodbye.
Patrick: One of the things, though, that I know about you from my time of exposure in the last few months is that you have an ability to inject strength and courage because you know they could do it. You’re standing there in that vision with them saying, “You’re here. Stop thinking from the old brain. You’re here.”
Odell: And I have walked where they are. There is a knowing, there is a strength – but there’s also a passion. My passion is that you achieve what you were put here to do, so let’s just go do that. Yes, there is a confidence in that because I’ve already been there.
Patrick: With the next minute or so, tell some executive out there what he needs to hear to connect to you.
Odell: You can reach me at www.OdellStunkard.com. My phone number is (972) 600-2300 and I will return the call if I’m not there to take it myself. I guarantee you that we won’t work together unless the fit is right, and that if we work together we will achieve the targets that we decide on together. I look forward to seeing you. Thanks.
Patrick: Awesome. Folks, this show is really about a business leader being able to tell a story and get his message into the marketplace. It’s selectively placed on a bunch of different websites more than anything else – YouTube and so many other places – that you have the opportunity to hear an invitation to connect to Odell. I hope that you have the guts to do so. I would encourage you to do it because most of the time we hold ourselves back, and I don’t want you to do that.
This is the Business Spotlight. We’ll talk to you all next time. Thanks.