Transforming TALENT Into Wealth

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"There is at least one point in the history of any company when you have to change dramatically to rise to the next level of performance. Miss that moment and you start to decline."

Andy Grove, Hungarian-born
American businessman, engineer, and
Science pioneer in the semiconductor industry

According to Harvard Business Review:

“Understanding that there are different viewpoints on issues is step one in realizing the need for new perspectives.  It has been said that what keeps senior leaders awake at night is not what they know, but rather what they do not know.  Knowing the limits of your own knowledge is important."

Harvard Business Review article "Find a Fresh Perspective in a Comfortable Gig", by John Baldoni (July 2011)

Are you part of a company that:

  • Is driven by a strong vision, an area of innovation or a special expertise? Something that's cool, perhaps a little “geeky”, something that has the potential to make a difference in the world?
  • Is either employee-owned or considering to become employee-owned?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, are you:

  • The founder/ owner and perhaps CEO?
  • A CEO or C-suite executive hired to guide the team to execute the vision in a profitable manner?
  • A top leader in an employee owned/ ESOP company?
  • A board member or investor who is guiding and advising the executive team?
  • A banker concerned about the financial well-being of a client company?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, this page is for you.

vceo

Visiting CEO™, a division of Top-Notch CEO™, offer hands-on executive support to companies that are in one or more of the following four situations:

When Biz needs us most - visiting CEO

At the Foundation of Our Success Track Record - The Transforming Talent Into Wealth™ System

Visiting CEO™ uses our propriety Transforming Talent Into Wealth System. The program was developed by Top-Notch CEO's founder, Dr. Stephie Althouse, to ensure successful company turnarounds and to grow successful companies to the next level.

 

Overcoming the Geek's dilemma with the "Transforming Talent into Wealth" system

What Visiting CEO ™ Offers and Methodology

Visiting CEO™ offers executive hands-on support for two groups of companies:

  1. High-Talent Companies that do something complex or that specialize, e.g., technology, science, and innovation, insurance, financial disciplines, construction and more
  2. Employee-owned companies or those that are considering to become employee-owned

We offer the following Visiting CEO™ services:

Fresh Eyes Assessment™ - Gain a Fresh Perspective of Your Challenges and Opportunities

The Fresh Eyes Assessment™

Our Fresh Eyes Assessment™ evaluates all aspects of your business.  The assessment uncovers both opportunities and hidden issues that are in your blind spots and blocking your potential profits!

The advantage of such assessment is that we have no prior beliefs about your business, your people, your market positioning and what is or is not possible for your company to achieve.

This assessment with truly fresh eyes makes all the difference in the world.  Imagine yourself sitting in the driver seat of an 18-wheeler.  Studies have shown that one can easily place as many as 4 full-size cars in the blind spots of the driver in that truck. Wow! That is what we find in corporations and businesses we assess:  The decision makers are often too close to their own business and – in many ways – know too much about their own businesses to realize where the blocks are that once removed open the floodgates to more profits. much productivity and enhanced team culture.

 

Interim CEO/ Executive - Fill a Temporary Need With a Top Executive

Interim CEO/ Executive: Visiting CEO™

If you need an interim CEO or Executive, you have come to the right place.  Here are some of the scenarios that cause businesses to bring us in:

  • The CEO or another executive has experienced an emergency, such as illness, even death, or illness or death in the family.
  • The CEO or another executive in the company needs temporary support in handling a specific circumstance or project (see also the other tabs here).
  • A funded company or start-up is still too small to hire a full-time executive of the experience and caliber they need.  A common example is a rapidly growing company with a founder who is a strong visionary. Such visionaries are often too busy to "run the business" and guide the team consistently. A Visiting CEO/ Executive can fill this position in a more affordable manner, on a part-time basis until the company is ready to hire a full-time replacement onto their permanent staff.

Contact us to discuss your situation.

Boost Your Profits: Foster Growth or Embark on a Turnaround

Boost Your Profits:  Foster Growth or Embark on a Turnaround

At Visiting CEO™, we provide highly experienced consultants and specialized interim CEOs who focus on working with high-talent businesses and ESOP companies. Either type of company has a core area of expertise they are really good at.

These companies often miss out on much of the profits they deserve because they are not as effective in converting their talents into wealth as they are in the talent area itself.  

Our success record includes

  • High-tech companies (innovation based on physics, engineering, chemistry, microelectronics, instrumentation, etc.)
  • Other forms of high-talent companies (e.g., construction, insurance, and many others).
  • Employee-owned/ ESOP companies.

Read some of our case studies here.

 

Leading Hypergrowth Into Sustainable Success

Leading Hypergrowth Into Sustainable Success

Your company is poised for rapid growth or already in the midst of it.  Now is the time to strengthen its foundation to support its growth now and long-term because experience shows that if you don't you risk

  • Loss of profit
  • Damaging your hard earned reputation with customers, vendors and staff; even potentially legal conflicts
  • Burnout because of ever increasing demands on your time without sufficient rest
  • Imploding while your business expands rapidly (some of the businesses even became cases for turnaround because of this!)

Rapid growth or hypergrowth is exciting.  It also requires that you strengthen your company's foundation in order for this step to be successful.  Establishing a strong leadership and accountability structure for your growing company is a vital step. This step often makes the difference between success and failure of highly talented companies such as yours (read case study 2).

Furthermore, it is critical to identify and effectively unite the respective strengths of the team members to foster maximum productivity, profit, and positive company culture.

We also highly recommend applying our proven Fresh Eyes Assessment™ (FEA) t to take a fresh and unbiased look at eight critical aspects of your company. Our company has used this trademarked process with great success in growing high-talent companies. The FEA is especially critical when a company is about to grow or already growing rapidly.  You will receive two substantial benefits: identify the biggest opportunities to achieve company improvements, growth, and profits and eliminate potentially harmful blind spots.

Read more case studies here.

Your Team, Your Asset: Advancing and Retaining Top Talent

Your Team, Your Asset: Advancing and Retaining Top Talent

Without your team, you have no leverage.  Especially for a company doing business in a complex field advancing and retaining talent is vital for the success of your business.

Solutions:

Talent Positioning™
• Make sure each team member works in his or her top talent area.
• Assemble a united team that maximizes company growth and profit.
• Foster your company’s culture.

Training

Your best team members don't just stay with your company for their monetary compensation.  Help them grow or see them go.

We offer systematic leadership and business training for your top and emerging leaders within the Top-Notch CEO Academy.

We also offer custom workshops (see that tab), retreats and keynotes (there is a tab for that).

Contact us to discuss which solution is the best fit for your company.

From Succession Planning to Exit Strategy & Legacy

From Succession Planning to Exit Strategy & Legacy

You have grown a business you are proud of.  You might even be its founder.  Sooner or later it is time to lean back a bit or pass on the business altogether.  There are many ways to do that:

  1. Pass on/ sell the business to one or several family members
  2. Sell the business to your employees - possibly through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESOP)
  3. Sell the business to a third party
  4. Or, in some cases, simply shut down the business.

Assuming that you are not interested in the fourth scenario, we can help.

Here is a process that illustrates how we go about supporting business owners in planning for their own succession, allowing them to exit the business profitably and leaving a legacy that can keep on growing for decades (or much longer) to come.

You may or may not need to take all of these steps.  Let's talk about what you want to accomplish and we can jointly create a road map with doable action steps.

 

Employee Owner Mentoring - Think like an Owner and Get Rewarded As One

Employee Owner Mentoring -  Think like an Owner and Get Rewarded As One.

ESOP companies are a special breed of companies. It is a proven fact that when you decide to share ownership with your employees you have the opportunity to create profit margins that beat the average margins in your industry!  What is needed is a leadership structure that fosters bringing forth ideas, input and innovation. To tap into this potential you need to provide your employees with training that guides them to think like an owner.

However, without such training most employees will remain in the traditional employee mindset, i.e., focused on pay checks, bonuses and other benefits, with a sense of entitlement and without regard or even knowledge of the company’s bottom line results. Without training most employees simply do not know how to evaluate the financial status of their company, and they do not know how they personally can impact profits in a positive way.

The good news is that employees can be mentored towards making a positive and permanent change. The result is that employee ownership becomes a great vehicle not only for liquidating assets of major stockholders but for enhancing company profits, fostering leadership and creating a profitable and sustainable culture that carries forth the legacy for generations to come.

We offer proven leadership training and coaching to top ESOP leaders (C-suite) and emerging ESOP leaders.  

Check out our Top-Notch CEO Academy and inquire about our custom programs.

Proven Solutions for Growing Your ESOP Company

Proven Solutions for Growing Your ESOP Company

We feel strongly that employee ownership can be an excellent vehicle to creating wealth (profit, making a difference and creating a freat quality of life).

  • Are you considering to implement an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESOP) or another form of employee ownership?
  • Would you like a Fresh Eyes Assessment™ to gain a fresh perspective on opportunities and challenges that might have been in your blind spot? What you will find, is likely critical to the sustainable growth and prosperous future of your company.
  • Are you looking for EFFECTIVE training for emerging ESOP leaders and employee owners?
  • Are you in need of help with succession planning or perhaps you need help with effective training, recruiting, and retention strategies?
  • Are you planning a special event, celebrating ESOP month, a company anniversary or a major milestone, and you want an excellent speaker who engages your employee owners in improving themselves and the company even further, in an entertaining and memorable way?

Contact us and we will help you identify the right solutions for achieving your goals.

 We also offer:

Training - From Custom Workshops to Your Own Corporate University

Do you have the feeling that performance of your employees could be better and more profitable if there were trained in a way that filled exactly their individual gaps and needs? Are you tired of overpriced training that goes on for a day or two or even a week, and months later it seems as if the training had barely ever even taken place? Check out our highly customized corporate training.  

Corporate training is so fundamental to successful organizations, especially those that wants to maximize profits and grow sustainably, quite possibly over many generations to come.  The most effective corporate training is anything but cookie-cutter style – it is highly customized. We specialize in designing customized and interactive corporate training on many topics that maximize profits in high-tech and high-talent companies.  We have top trainers who will educate your staff with fun, interactive methods that promote accelerated learning.

Help your employees grow or eventually you will see them go – especially the best ones!

We offer individual training courses for a particular need or better yet, we can work with you to establish your own custom corporate university – an ongoing customized training program that supports growth and long-term sustainability.  The training can be held live, delivered on demand online, or a combination of both.

Of course, also check out the curriculum of our Top-Notch CEO Academy.

Speaking - Keynotes That Leave Everyone Inspired and Motivated

Speaking - Keynotes That Leave Everyone Inspired and Motivated

Dr. Stephie Althouse gives you and your staff powerful strategies to see your business through fresh eyes, allowing you to enhance profits AND improve your company culture at the same time. Avoiding 3 virtually undetectable problems that stop talented companies dead in their tracks from having the success they deserve:
Blind spots that rob money from your company – Discover the differences between the language your high-talent experts speak versus the business language necessary to convert those skills into profits today!
Secret strategies to raise profits quickly – Identify new opportunities through my proven Fresh Eyes Assessment™ tool.
Find out proven methods for reevaluating leadership and team collaboration – Optimize your accountability structure and rapidly boost your bottom line.
Customized Keynotes and Workshops

Here are just some examples of customized keynotes and workshops we offer:

  • Moving From Talent to Profits with Fresh Eyes
  • Be the Top-Notch Leader of Your High-Talent Team (tailored to the talent of your company, e.g., technology, life sciences, law, construction, insurance etc.)
  • Optionism™ as the Key to Creative Problem Solving
  • High-Achievement Goal Setting
  • HAPPIEST™ – The Formula For Outstanding Success
  • Winning the tug-of-war between work, family and taking care of yourself
  • And Much More!
Project Accountability - Fast Forward Your Critical Project/s

Project Accountability

If a project of your company is too critical to suffer delays, setbacks or mishaps, our project accountability program can help.

Company-internal staff assigned to produce project accountability for such projects often run into challenges:

  • His/her colleagues may despise being held accountable at the required level.
  • The person who is supposed to do it, is very savvy in the project on a technical level, but perhaps not equally effective at providing accountability and creating buy-in for project milestones.

Often, an outside accountability coach, experienced with critical, technical projects, can guide the progress with accountability, yet create a sense of accomplishment, celebration, and even humor.  This process works wonders!

Save Yourself Time, Frustration & Money

Come learn practical, fun, easily applied success tools with guidance from Dr. Stephie and her team of top talent business coaches.

Dr. Stephie Althouse — known as "Dr. Stephie" to her clients — is an experienced business growth advisor and coach who is an innovator herself.  Her background is a rare combination of science, innovation, business growth experience, and proven leadership.

She's successfully turned around — and then grown high-tech/high-talent companies.  It's her wide-spectrum expertise and ongoing studies — from hard science to interpersonal chemistry and group dynamics that uniquely positions her to work well with innovators, entrepreneurs, visionaries and their teams.

Stephie Altohuse, Ph.D. offers leadership trainign and executive coachiing for geeks

Her goal while working with you — in her Discovery webinar as well as in the Coaching Circle — is to share which pitfalls to avoid and which opportunities are best to choose. She's here to be your knowledgeable guide into the specific types and levels of success you most desire!

Part of the curriculum for leadership training
101 Quick Tips for ESOP Leaders

"My business had stopped growing at the rate I thought it could, and I knew that I needed some help. Dr. Stephie did an incredible job at identifying what makes my business special and helped me to maximize that uniqueness to help grow business.  My business is running much smoother and more efficiently, and my stress level has dropped considerably."

Bill Walsh, District Manager, Farmers Insurance, District Carlsbad, CA

“Thank you for your strategic guidance and the “Fresh Eyes Assessment.  Through your leadership, and in a short time, we exceeded our expectations in revenue and profitability, and Giroux Glass has emerged as a stronger, independent employee ownership managed company.”
 
Anne-Merelie Murrell, CEO, Giroux Glass, Inc.
 

Wow, I honestly did not expect to get so much value from Dr. Stephie’s “Top-Notch CEO Coaching Circle.”  In the beginning, I thought I already knew the tips we were discussing.  Then, as we got deeper into it, I realized that — to reach my goals faster and with greater ease — I needed to reflect more on many of the tips.  I am fleshing out my ideas in more detail and, more importantly, I now write them down instead of carrying them only in my head.  Many times when I’ve been promised tremendous business improvements through one program or the other and I have felt ripped off afterwards.  Dr. Stephie, however, is the real deal and delivers way more value than you would ever expect.

Ted Przybylek, President, Rancho Ted Real Estate Loans & Investments

"Dr. Stephie has shown herself to be an effective strategist and leader, with a feel for employee attitudes and motivation. She has taken companies to winning awards for their success in generating top financial performance by building employee commitment and dedication. She gets results!"

Martin Staubus, Executive Director, The Beyster Institute

"Dr. Stephie Althouse excels in the corporate world as a Visiting CEO. She developed a "Fresh Eyes Assessment" and does a turn around with troubled companies. She has pulled them from near bankruptcy to profit in a relatively short time. One of her specialties is working with ESOP companies."

June Davidson, Ph.D., President of American Seminar Leaders Association and Coaching Firm International, Asla.com

Dr. Stephie’s CEO coaching program is right on the mark. It is pragmatic — no fuss — and gets you on point quickly. I appreciate the teleconference format as it makes it very easy to participate. It is obvious she has a lot of experience and has spent a lot of time researching and developing the program to get the maximum results. I highly recommend it for anyone that is driven to be successful and wants to further improve strategies and tools needed need to get there.

Karen Taggart, President, Shades of Light, San Diego

“Working with Stephie has been life changing and eye opening. Through Stephie’s guidance, my team is now maximizing their strengths, creating a much more efficient and productive business. More importantly, we are all excited to come to work every day! With Stephie’s coaching, I am now a much happier boss, wife and mother. I am not only reaching my vision, but I am also meeting and exceeding my goals.”

Jill Harris, Farmers Insurance, Lic#0F70123, JHFARMERS.com

“Dr. Stephie is a driven and highly energetic executive. She has kept the team focused, and the company growing, even during the recent economic cycle. Last year’s revenues increased 41%. Stephie has expanded the company’s portfolio of products and skills into new technology areas. Client satisfaction is very high.”

Jim Waring, Executive Chairman, CleanTECH San Diego

Our session with you today is so valuable it will more than pay for your compensation for the whole year! While we thought about doing the analysis you did with us today, we would have never done it. For sure, we could not have done it so well. Coaching with you by far exceeds all of our expectations. THANK YOU!"

Ted Przybylek, President, RanchoTed Real Estate Loans & Investments

The Top-Notch CEO Coaching Circle and “101 Quick Tips for high-Talent Companies” book are very helpful.  They force me to step back, pause and reflect on what I want to accomplish, as well as review Hi-Z with a fresh perspective.  Beyond that, the peer group provides an outside viewpoint from other business leaders unrelated to Hi-Z.  Having this type of forum as a sounding board is invaluable.  Thank you, Dr. Stephie!

Jill Elsner, CEO / CFO, Hi-Z Technology, Inc.

Fantastic CEO!!  Couldn’t ask for a better person to steer the ship of my company.  Great advisor, problem solver, people person, and system analyst.

Joy Megas, CEO, Simply Pay Yourself First

"Dr. Stephie Althouse is an insightful and creative consultant and executive coach. Her Fresh Eyes Assessment has been integral to positioning the company for higher profits. She has displayed tireless dedication, tremendous skill and beyond-the-call-of-duty commitment in guiding us in our efforts to create our family legacy."

Eddie Moreno, Vice-President, Sales at The Arrowhead Leasing Company, Inc.

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Discover Proven Methods to Create Top Success in Record Time

  • Discover how to create your top-notch roadmap to the success YOU envision.
  • Get proven tools, techniques, and tips you can use right away to enhance your business culture and increase your profits.
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Client Feedback

Wow, I honestly did not expect to get so much value from Dr. Stephie’s “Top-Notch CEO Coaching Circle.”  In the beginning, I thought I already knew the tips we were discussing.  Then, as we got deeper into it, I realized that — to reach my goals faster and with greater ease — I needed to reflect more on many of the tips.  I am fleshing out my ideas in more detail and, more importantly, I now write them down instead of carrying them only in my head.  Many times when I’ve been promised tremendous business improvements through one program or the other and I have felt ripped off afterwards.  Dr. Stephie, however, is the real deal and delivers way more value than you would ever expect.

Ted Przybylek, President, Rancho Ted Real Estate Loans & Investments

Dr. Stephie’s CEO coaching program is right on the mark. It is pragmatic — no fuss — and gets you on point quickly. I appreciate the teleconference format as it makes it very easy to participate. It is obvious she has a lot of experience and has spent a lot of time researching and developing the program to get the maximum results. I highly recommend it for anyone that is driven to be successful and wants to further improve strategies and tools needed need to get there.

Karen Taggart, President, Shades of Light, San Diego

“Dr. Stephie is a driven and highly energetic executive. She has kept the team focused, and the company growing, even during the recent economic cycle. Last year’s revenues increased 41%. Stephie has expanded the company’s portfolio of products and skills into new technology areas. Client satisfaction is very high.”

Jim Waring, Executive Chairman, CleanTECH San Diego

My experience with Dr. Stephie was that she was very professional and she offered great insight into how a company should be run AND the tough decisions which need to be made.

Andy Gull, Project Manager, Giroux Glass

For the past 6 months I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Stephie on a weekly basis. I must say, when I began, I did not think I was going to need the help of an executive coach for my business. I could not have been more wrong! She has been an invaluable asset, providing me with frequent feedback and coaching that has allowed me to go above and beyond at work and in my life. I highly recommend Dr. Stephie to anyone looking to grow their business and empower everyone around them. She is a dedicated asset and I look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.

Madison Meyer, Director for Business Development, Holonis Inc.

Dr. Stephie is an experienced business woman — with experience in diverse companies — including work with skills assessment, marketing, team building, sales, and leadership.  I highly recommend her!

Maureen Mason-Cover, Physical Therapist, Comprehensive Therapy

“Working with Stephie has been life changing and eye opening. Through Stephie’s guidance, my team is now maximizing their strengths, creating a much more efficient and productive business. More importantly, we are all excited to come to work every day! With Stephie’s coaching, I am now a much happier boss, wife and mother. I am not only reaching my vision, but I am also meeting and exceeding my goals.”

Jill Harris, Farmers Insurance, Lic#0F70123, www.JHFARMERS.com

“Thank you for your strategic guidance and the “Fresh Eyes Assessment.  Through your leadership, and in a short time, we exceeded our expectations in revenue and profitability, and Giroux Glass has emerged as a stronger, independent employee ownership managed company.”

Anne-Merelie Murrell, CEO, Giroux Glass, Inc., Girouxglass.com

The Top-Notch CEO Coaching Circle and “101 Quick Tips for high-Talent Companies” book are very helpful.  They force me to step back, pause and reflect on what I want to accomplish, as well as review Hi-Z with a fresh perspective.  Beyond that, the peer group provides an outside viewpoint from other business leaders unrelated to Hi-Z.  Having this type of forum as a sounding board is invaluable.  Thank you, Dr. Stephie!

Jill Elsner, CEO / CFO, Hi-Z Technology, Inc.

What impressed me most about Dr. Stephie is her ability to motivate me to confidently tackle challenging tasks.  She truly cares about getting measurable results for her client and this is obvious from the initial consultation through the actual coaching program.  I would highly recommend her for anyone tackling a new quest or needing to be more effective in the current one.

Mark Baldwin, Founder and Principle, Urban Farm Opportunist

Fantastic CEO!!  Couldn’t ask for a better person to steer the ship of my company.  Great advisor, problem solver, people person, and system analyst.

Joy Megas, CEO, Simply Pay Yourself First