100

Building Blocks

100

Takeaways

34

Downloads

168

Pages

The 100

Building Blocks for Business Leadership

    More than half of all small businesses fail within the first five years. Starting and running a small business is hard work, and many entrepreneurs feel they must do whatever it takes to succeed, at the expense of their family, friends, and health. Yet, if done correctly, small-business ownership can—and should—balance profitable operations with personal fulfillment. According to author Tom Salonek—founder and CEO of Intertech, a Minnesota-based technology consulting and training firm—this balance is actually the secret to success.

    Salonek believes that your business should “give life, not take it,” a philosophy that has helped him grow his own venture every year since its inception in 1991. In The 100, Salonek shares his secrets to business success in the form of 100 concise, nuts-and-bolts lessons for achieving the ideal work-life balance for maximum success.

    Written in clear, direct prose, these lessons are packed with actionable ideas and practical advice for using communication, collaboration, and technology to help small-business owners cultivate the best qualities not only in themselves, but in their employees as well.

    Whether you own your own business or are simply thinking of starting one, this book will help you inspire teamwork, meet client expectations, clarify your personal values, and create a company culture to match. In addition, readers will gain access to a plethora of downloadable online resources—checklists, worksheets, templates, and more—to help implement the book’s ideas.

    The 100 is a handy, inspiring addition to any business manager’s library.

Book Topics

what you will learn from this book

Each chapter contains clear, to-the-point sections that share practical and implementable ideas to improve your organization and your life.

Living Your Best Life

The purpose of a successful business is to give life, not take it. Understand how to define and create your best future.

Using Employee Engagement To Outperform Competitors

Engagement results in more profit and fewer hassles. Use this chapter to create it in your organization.

Building A High-Performance Team

A world-class team starts with hiring. Find out field proven practices for hiring and on-boarding new talent.

Leading & Growing Team Members

Discover the key elements required to effectively lead others and how to handle a bad fit.

Outsmarting The Competition With Strategy

Use these tools, templates, and guidelines to state your business plan—from mission to 90 day goals—in one page.

Bringing Out The Best In People

Learn the five core elements for creating a high performance team.

Getting The Most Out Of Vendors & Consultants

Identify vendors and consultants who’ll go the extra mile and learn how to effectively manage the relationship.

Making Projects Succeed

With a series of Agile tools and best practices for leading people and projects, see how to over-deliver, on-time.

Leading Others Effectively

Discover the seven things all great leaders do and behavioral science backed communication strategies.

Making Meetings Work

Find out how to use well scheduled and managed meetings to make them a freeing, not stifling, way to run an organization.

Dealing Effectively With Problems

Problems are a sign that you and your organization are alive! Learn the best way to deal with issues.

Giving Back

“Not everyone can do great things,” but we all can “do small things with great love.” Make the organization bigger than itself.

Putting It All Together & Implementing the Ideas in This Book

Learn how to best use the 30+ downloadable tools to make The 100 have a huge impact on your firm and your life.

"An entrepreneur’s guide to freedom of time, money, purpose, and relationships . . . the bible of business best practices."

—David Reiling, CEO, Sunrise Banks

About The Author

Tom Salonek earned a bachelor of arts in computer science from the University of St. Thomas, where he has also served as an instructor. He performed graduate work at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He has completed executive education at the Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal named him one of Minnesota’s top 40 business leaders under 40. His firm has won over 50 awards including being named one of Fortune magazine's 2016 Best Places to Work in Tech. In 2003, Salonek founded the Intertech Foundation, which financially assists families with critically ill children and funds a college scholarship for students interested in studying computer science. He is the author of three books and has also published more than 100 articles on business, leadership, and technology in newspapers and magazines including the Star Tribune, Minnesota Business, and Upsize. He blogs at TomSalonek.com. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two children.

Tom Talks

Tom delivers a keynote at an industry conference. Request Tom to talk at your conference or company.

A Look Inside The 100

Read parts of The 100

Easy to understand Downloads, Examples, and Takeaways that help you build and run a successful company that keeps your employees and family first!


Contents

INTRODUCTION
NOTE ABOUT ONLINE RESOURCES
CHAPTER 1: LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE

    1 Knowing What Happy People Know
    2 Understanding How Values Propel Us Forward
    3 Creating a Road Map to Reality
    4 Envisioning Your Future
    5 Doing Less Equals Living More
    6 Finding Balance Between Giving and Taking
    7 Using Tools to Make Life Easier
    8 Making Email Manageable
    9 Being a Productivity Role Model
    10 Framing Decisions
    11 Harnessing the Power of Executive Dashboards

 
CHAPTER 2: USING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT TO
OUTPERFORM COMPETITORS

    12 Understanding What Engagement Is
    13 Understanding What Engagement Is Not
    14 Leveraging Teamwork
    15 Using Goal Alignment
    16 Building Coworker Trust
    17 Recognizing Individual Contribution
    18 Knowing Manager Effectiveness
    19 Trusting In Senior Leaders
    20 Feeling Valued
    21 Having Job Satisfaction
    22 Knowing Benefits and Pay

 
CHAPTER 3: HIRING: THE FIRST STEP TO BUILDING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE TEAM

    23 Hiring Slowly
    24 Having a Process
    25 Verifying the Story
    26 Watching Out for Bias
    27 Hiring Top Performers Only
    28 Getting Inside Their Heads
    29 Making a Clear, Time-Sensitive Offer
    30 Setting the Tone Quickly
    31 Checking In Regularly
    32 Being Patient

 
CHAPTER 4: LEADING AND GROWING TEAM MEMBERS

    33 Keeping Them Motivated
    34 Providing Work That Matters
    35 Helping to Avoid Burnout
    36 Assessing Results Clearly
    37 Identifying the Saints, Dogs, and Stars
    38 Firing Quickly
    39 Knowing What Matters

 
CHAPTER 5: OUTSMARTING AND OUTPLANNING THE COMPETITION WITH STRATEGY

    40 Involving the Team in Defining Values
    41 Making Values Differentiators
    42 Articulating Your Values Early and Often
    43 Making Your Values Come Alive
    44 Beginning with the End Goal in Mind
    45 Defining Principles for Decision Making
    46 Defining Your Brand
    47 Knowing That Three Is the Magic Number
    48 Making Time to Set Your Strategy
    49 Measuring the Goals That Must Be Reached
    50 Letting Everyone Weigh In
    51 Completing a SWOT Analysis
    52 Ensuring You Have Alignment

 
CHAPTER 6: BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE

    53 Recognizing People Are the Essential Component
    54 Defining Promotion
    55 Setting Compensation
    56 Recruiting
    57 Planning for Succession
    58 Creating Partner Relations
    59 Doing It!
    60 Executing Makes All the Difference

 
CHAPTER 7: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF OUTSIDE VENDORS AND CONSULTANTS

    61 Supplementing Your Team with Carefully Chosen Vendors
    62 Working the Vendor Interview Process
    63 Communicating at the Beginning to Avoid Problems at the End
    64 Taking the Time to Get It Right
    65 Being a Good Customer
    66 Handling a Bad Fit

 
CHAPTER 8: MAKING PROJECTS SUCCEED

    67 Using Agile and Scrum Principles
    68 Communicating Early and Often (Yes, I’ve Said This Before!)
    69 Thinking First Means Working Smart
    70 Improving the Process
    71 Finishing with a Bang (Not a Whimper)

 
CHAPTER 9: LEADING OTHERS EFFECTIVELY

    72 Thinking, and Therefore Being
    73 Matching Words with Corresponding Actions
    74 Understanding What Leaders Do
    75 Insisting on Results
    76 Solving Problems
    77 Delegating
    78 Shining the Light on Others
    79 Correcting Team Members—Correctly!
    80 Caring
    81 Knowing the Importance of Communication
    82 Giving Meaningful Feedback
    83 Telling the Truth
    84 Listening
    85 Communicating Strategically

 
CHAPTER 10: MAKING MEETINGS WORK

    86 Making Meetings Matter
    87 Scheduling Standing Meetings
    88 Having Daily Huddles: The Best Meetings of All
    89 Holding Weekly Key Result Area Meetings
    90 Holding Monthly Management Workout Meetings
    91 Understanding with All-Company Meetings
    92 Planning with an Annual, Offsite Meeting
    93 Accountability through Quarterly Board Meetings

 
CHAPTER 11: DEALING EFFECTIVELY WITH PROBLEMS

    94 Slaying Monsters Early
    95 Owning Mistakes
    96 Staying Cool in the Heat of Crisis

 
CHAPTER 12: GIVING BACK

    97 Embracing Corporate Responsibility

 
CHAPTER 13: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND IMPLEMENTING THE IDEAS IN THIS BOOK

    98 Relaxing in the Process
    99 Using the Downloads to Implement the Takeaways
    100 Getting Help with the Takeaways

 
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ABOUT INTERTECH
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contents

INTRODUCTION
NOTE ABOUT ONLINE RESOURCES
CHAPTER 1: LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE

    1 Knowing What Happy People Know
    2 Understanding How Values Propel Us Forward
    3 Creating a Road Map to Reality
    4 Envisioning Your Future
    5 Doing Less Equals Living More
    6 Finding Balance Between Giving and Taking
    7 Using Tools to Make Life Easier
    8 Making Email Manageable
    9 Being a Productivity Role Model
    10 Framing Decisions
    11 Harnessing the Power of Executive Dashboards

 
CHAPTER 2: USING EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT TO
OUTPERFORM COMPETITORS

    12 Understanding What Engagement Is
    13 Understanding What Engagement Is Not
    14 Leveraging Teamwork
    15 Using Goal Alignment
    16 Building Coworker Trust
    17 Recognizing Individual Contribution
    18 Knowing Manager Effectiveness
    19 Trusting In Senior Leaders
    20 Feeling Valued
    21 Having Job Satisfaction
    22 Knowing Benefits and Pay

 
CHAPTER 3: HIRING: THE FIRST STEP TO BUILDING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE TEAM

    23 Hiring Slowly
    24 Having a Process
    25 Verifying the Story
    26 Watching Out for Bias
    27 Hiring Top Performers Only
    28 Getting Inside Their Heads
    29 Making a Clear, Time-Sensitive Offer
    30 Setting the Tone Quickly
    31 Checking In Regularly
    32 Being Patient

 
CHAPTER 4: LEADING AND GROWING TEAM MEMBERS

    33 Keeping Them Motivated
    34 Providing Work That Matters
    35 Helping to Avoid Burnout
    36 Assessing Results Clearly
    37 Identifying the Saints, Dogs, and Stars
    38 Firing Quickly
    39 Knowing What Matters

 
CHAPTER 5: OUTSMARTING AND OUTPLANNING THE COMPETITION WITH STRATEGY

    40 Involving the Team in Defining Values
    41 Making Values Differentiators
    42 Articulating Your Values Early and Often
    43 Making Your Values Come Alive
    44 Beginning with the End Goal in Mind
    45 Defining Principles for Decision Making
    46 Defining Your Brand
    47 Knowing That Three Is the Magic Number
    48 Making Time to Set Your Strategy
    49 Measuring the Goals That Must Be Reached
    50 Letting Everyone Weigh In
    51 Completing a SWOT Analysis
    52 Ensuring You Have Alignment

 
CHAPTER 6: BRINGING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE

    53 Recognizing People Are the Essential Component
    54 Defining Promotion
    55 Setting Compensation
    56 Recruiting
    57 Planning for Succession
    58 Creating Partner Relations
    59 Doing It!
    60 Executing Makes All the Difference

 
CHAPTER 7: GETTING THE MOST OUT OF OUTSIDE VENDORS AND CONSULTANTS

    61 Supplementing Your Team with Carefully Chosen Vendors
    62 Working the Vendor Interview Process
    63 Communicating at the Beginning to Avoid Problems at the End
    64 Taking the Time to Get It Right
    65 Being a Good Customer
    66 Handling a Bad Fit

 
CHAPTER 8: MAKING PROJECTS SUCCEED

    67 Using Agile and Scrum Principles
    68 Communicating Early and Often (Yes, I’ve Said This Before!)
    69 Thinking First Means Working Smart
    70 Improving the Process
    71 Finishing with a Bang (Not a Whimper)

 
CHAPTER 9: LEADING OTHERS EFFECTIVELY

    72 Thinking, and Therefore Being
    73 Matching Words with Corresponding Actions
    74 Understanding What Leaders Do
    75 Insisting on Results
    76 Solving Problems
    77 Delegating
    78 Shining the Light on Others
    79 Correcting Team Members—Correctly!
    80 Caring
    81 Knowing the Importance of Communication
    82 Giving Meaningful Feedback
    83 Telling the Truth
    84 Listening
    85 Communicating Strategically

 
CHAPTER 10: MAKING MEETINGS WORK

    86 Making Meetings Matter
    87 Scheduling Standing Meetings
    88 Having Daily Huddles: The Best Meetings of All
    89 Holding Weekly Key Result Area Meetings
    90 Holding Monthly Management Workout Meetings
    91 Understanding with All-Company Meetings
    92 Planning with an Annual, Offsite Meeting
    93 Accountability through Quarterly Board Meetings

 
CHAPTER 11: DEALING EFFECTIVELY WITH PROBLEMS

    94 Slaying Monsters Early
    95 Owning Mistakes
    96 Staying Cool in the Heat of Crisis

 
CHAPTER 12: GIVING BACK

    97 Embracing Corporate Responsibility

 
CHAPTER 13: PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND IMPLEMENTING THE IDEAS IN THIS BOOK

    98 Relaxing in the Process
    99 Using the Downloads to Implement the Takeaways
    100 Getting Help with the Takeaways

 
BIBLIOGRAPHY
ABOUT INTERTECH
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Introduction

The art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

—HAVELOCK ELLIS, AFFIRMATIONS

 
 
     The 100 has been in the making since I founded my company, Intertech, in my basement in 1991. I don’t mean that I’ve been actively writing the manuscript all this time, but I have been learning—both formally and through experience—about what it takes to run a successful business. Some of the ideas I once held have been abandoned after experience taught me a better way. Other strategies have been strengthened and honed based on invaluable feedback from my partners, advisors, and employees. I’ve also learned valuable lessons from graduate-level classes and from the esteemed professors and fellow entrepreneurs I’ve met through executive education programs at the Harvard Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
     This book is practical and is meant for anyone leading a team or business. I’ve included lots of hands-on techniques, tips, and management strategies. The book also reflects my personal vision and values, both of which are essential to how Intertech operates. Again, let me be clear: I’m not saying my way is the only way; I’m simply saying that every business must be grounded in a clear vision and compelling values to truly build employee engagement, and, ultimately, success.
     I’m certainly not a Stephen Covey or a Peter Drucker, but I have seen firsthand how effectively these strategies work at Intertech. Intertech has received more than 50 awards: for being one of the fastest-growing firms in America; for being one of the best places to work according to the Star Tribune, Minnesota Business magazine, and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal; and for excellence in our management practices. But the real proof of our success is that Intertech has an abundant roster of highly satisfied repeat clients, great employees, and a consistently profitable bottom line.
     As an entrepreneur operating a successful IT development and training company, my experience includes work with many different employees and Fortune 500 companies, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and a good number of small- to medium-sized firms. In thinking about this book, I realized that despite their differences, all these organizations (including my own) are facing the same profound challenges.
     The Internet of Things promises to transform (and is already transforming) every aspect of business and customer expectations. The global village predicted by Marshall McLuhan in Understanding Media grows smaller with each passing day, while social media makes it easier for a single unhappy customer to do extensive damage to your brand reputation.
     On the employee side of the equation, things also are changing rapidly. Millennials are motivated much differently than employees of the past. Research says they will change jobs almost three times more than their baby boomer coworkers, are not interested in long-term employment, and are as equally committed to their work as to their employer (Lyons, 2012).
     What does all of this mean?
     Things are changing! The upcoming workforce is a generation unlike any other and will transform how we attract and retain talent. Our competition can come as readily from Bangalore as from our backyard. And a frequently uncertain economy makes forecasting and growth challenging, at best.
     Ironically, I believe all these changes are good in the long term. They force us to get better at serving our customers and employers, cultivating our employees (and ourselves), and understanding our markets. In essence, they compel us to build the strongest organizations possible to compete in the largely uncharted business waters of the 21st century.
     In The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman noted that to compete in the future, “We have to do things differently. We are going to have to sort out what to keep, what to discard, what to adapt, where to redouble our efforts, and where to intensify our focus.”
     I hope this book helps you to do just that.

Online Resources

The 100 makes reference to more than 30 online resources to help you implement the book’s ideas. Lessons that correspond with one of these resources are noted with this symbol: Download-Cloud

All resources are available for download.

Chapter Sample

Wharton professor of management Adam Grant has researched and written extensively about teamwork. In his book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, he says that “organizations have a strong interest in fostering giving behavior.” I believe this is spot-on. “A willingness to help others achieve their goals lies at the heart of effective collaboration,
innovation, quality improvement, and service excellence. In workplaces where such behavior becomes the norm, the benefits multiply quickly,” he also notes.
     Intertech consultants truly embrace the “one team, one dream” philosophy, and our company continues to grow and thrive as a result. We do not tolerate ego-inflated superstars who think only of themselves, to the detriment of customers or fellow consultants. We only hire professionals who understand the value of pulling together, like crew members of a rowing team, with corresponding positive results.
     Of course, sometimes consultants need to focus on a particular project or deadline and are not readily available to give assistance when asked. We encourage our consultants to consider the feelings of their colleagues in these situations and to share why they are not available. A statement like, “I would like to help you, but my customer is expecting my project tomorrow. I don’t want to disappoint him,” is a lot better for team morale than, “Are you kidding? I don’t have time to help you!”

TAKEAWAY: It’s easy to stop one guy, but it’s pretty hard to stop 100.
—JACK STACK, THE GREAT GAME OF BUSINESS

About The Company

Tom Salonek founded Intertech, Inc. in 1991, growing it from a one-person shop to the largest combined software developer training company and research-supported consulting firm in Minnesota. Intertech has been featured in stories in Fortune Small Business, Forbes, The Business Journal, Twin Cities Business, Upsize, Ventures, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and Inc. Intertech has won over 50 awards, which includes being named one of the 30 Best Places to Work in Tech by Fortune magazine.

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“You could spend a year reading the top 100 business books and not come away with as much as an afternoon spent reading this book.”

—Thomas W. Schaefer, CEO and president, Master Coating Technologies

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