Ignite Brilliance in Your Leadership: AmyK Vistage Workshop

Leadership isn’t about position, title or authority. The most effective leader seeks to influence. Influence requires communication. Communication requires a conversation.  Are you reaching your potential as a leader? Are you inspiring your people?

My Vistage workshop on Tuesday, August 7th will help you unlock your brilliance – your natural superpowers and gifts.

Our workshop leader is Amyk Hutchens – she’s a Vistage speaker, author, trainer, business strategist and founder of AmyK International, Inc. – AmyK has assisted 35,000+ executives based on her deep insights and understanding of the issues you face as a leader.

AmyK will introduce us to her approach for developing your leadership mindset and skills. She will shift your perspective on what successful leaders do to build thriving teams and flourishing companies.

AmyK will share effective tools that result in a direct, practical application for strengthening your performance and productivity as an individual and in a team environment. AmyK will help you achieve a more integrated, productive, and profitable lifestyle. She’ll introduce you to her a questioning style that’ll develop and increase your “enterprising skills.”

After participating in AmyK’s workshop, you will learn a:

  1. Questioning process or approach that applies leading and every day life.
  2. More effective way to set goals, build teams and make decisions in ways that transform organizations and improve client/customer relationships.
  3. A methodology for thinking, leading and managing more strategically.

Workshop Details:

  • Date: Tuesday, August 7th
  • Time: 7:30 to 11:30 AM
  • Location: Renton, WA

To reserve your seat, please email my Executive Assistant, Amber Gephart at amber.gephart@vistageteam.com. Seating is limited so please respond as soon as possible.

About Vistage Chair Kevin McKeownKevin is a Vistage Chair Excellence Award recipient and a trusted adviser, coach, guide and facilitator for chief executives, founders, owners and key executives. He chairs two fully energized CEO groups and a key executive group. Kevin is building an equally dynamic second key executive group. He’s enrolling high integrity candidates for seats now. Kevin’s entrepreneurial and C-level leadership roles range from early stage to Fortune 500 (Mitsubishi #118) firms. As LexBlog’s President, his team built the world’s largest professional blog network. As co-founder of HitHive, Inc., Kevin’s team brought digital music to cell phones. He also helped build and sell one of the first online department stores. Kevin has a JD from Villanova University and a Bachelors in English from University of Pittsburgh. He resides in downtown Seattle. To learn more about Kevin’s leadership Chair practice, go to his LinkedIn

Rapid Learning for Leaders: Edgar Papke on Aligning Culture

I’m hosting three private CEO and executive workshops in June. In this rapid-learning session, you’ll hear from Vistage speaker and organizational psychologist, Edgar Papke. Papke will show us how to efficiently design and shape an aligned culture of innovation. Papke will also help understand how to generate desired results through alignment. 

The True Alignment model is the result of bringing together advanced work in the fields of psychology, organizational development, leadership, and market strategy.

This systemic method focuses on the culture of human motivation, interpersonal behavior, and organizational systems. Papke strives to build a culture specifically designed for innovation and takes strategic measures to improve better engagement with employees, delivering appropriate attention and competence for the customer and consumers, and concentrating on solving the right problems.

During his presentation, you will:

  • Get an overview of the True Alignment framework for aligning the four
    elements of business.
  • Learn how to align your team or organization’s culture and create higher
    levels of trust.
  • Gain an understanding on how leveraging alignment results in higher levels of creativity,
    innovation and greater levels of performance.
  • Improve your capability to sustain change and growth within your team or organization

Investing time into developing your company’s culture is vital to your success. When was the last time you checked the effectiveness of your organization?

To reserve your seat, please email my Executive Assistant, Amber Gephart at amber.gephart@vistageteam.com. Seating is limited so please respond soon. Workshop options:

Date: Tuesday, June 5

Time: 7:30 to 11:00 AM

Location: Seattle (key executives)

• • • • •

Date: Wednesday, June 6

Time: 7:30 to 11:00 AM

Location: Issaquah (CEOs)

• • • • •

Date: Thursday, June 7

Time: 7:30 to 11:00 AM

Location: Ballard (CEOs)

Thank you to the CEO and key executive meeting hosts. Praise to Amber Gephart for organizing this workshops series. Gratitude to Kiana Abhar for her support on this blog post. Another great team tackle!

About Vistage Chair Kevin McKeownKevin is a trusted advisor, coach, guide and facilitator for chief executives, founders, owners and executives. He chairs two fully energized CEO groups and a key executive group. Kevin is building an equally dynamic second key executive group. He’s enrolling high integrity candidates for seats now. Kevin’s entrepreneurial and C-level leadership roles range from early stage to Fortune 500 (Mitsubishi #118) firms. As LexBlog’s President, his team built the world’s largest professional blog network. As co-founder of HitHive, Inc., Kevin’s team brought digital music to cell phones. He also helped build and sell one of the first online department stores. Kevin has a JD from Villanova University and a Bachelors in English from University of Pittsburgh. He resides in downtown Seattle. To learn more about Kevin’s leadership Chair practice, go to his LinkedIn

How effective is your decision making? Take your skills to the next level by attending the Vistage Executive Summit

As a business leader, your decisions have a long term impact on your company and your employees. Taking opportunities to improve your ability to make more effective decisions allows you to grow as a leader and increases the overall success of your business. Participate in the 2018 Vistage Executive Summit (VES) and bring a higher level of creativity and problem solving skills to your organization.

What is the VES?

This hands-on executive leadership event is more than just networking with other local business leaders. It is a conference filled with dynamic speakers, peer-to-peer interactive breakout sessions and learning new approaches to current challenges within your organization. Experience what it is to be part of Vistage and learn firsthand how being a member can make you a better leader.

Participate in Structured Issue Processing

Being a Vistage member means pooling perspectives of your peers and leaning into differences to make a better informed choice. Referred to as issue processing, this highly interactive, peer-to-peer discussion focuses on the root issue of a problem a member is facing, and taps into the power of the peer group to help identify constructive next steps. At VES, you will get the opportunity to participate in an issue processing session, something that is normally reserved only for Vistage members. By the end of the day, you will walk away with a new perspective, as well as with the tools to optimize your business, enhance your leadership and lead with innovation.

Get inspired by dynamic speakers

Every year, VES includes presentations by speakers specifically chosen for the value they will bring to participants. This year’s featured speakers discuss new approaches to decision making and leadership:

Hear from Alex Chausovsky, Senior analyst at ITR Economics, as he discusses leveraging dynamic decision-making to lead your business into the future in his presentation, Navigating the crest: Acute insights for improved decision-making.

Take your leadership to the next level, and learn how to turn disruption into strategic advantage from Rick Smith, serial entrepreneur, bestselling author and TED speaker. His presentation, Leadership in disruption, teaches you how to navigate change to its greatest benefit.

Ready to attend?

Please call or text me at: (206) 890-6858 or email me: kevin.mckeown@vistagechair.com today for more details on how you can attend VES as my guest, along with more information on the event. I look forward to connecting with you.

Are You Working Backwards from Customer Needs?

Remember when Amazon was just about books? These days I buy almost everything from Amazon except groceries. That may change now that Whole Foods is folding into Amazon. What happened?

A valuable way for a leader to think:

“A few years ago, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos wrote a letter to shareholders explaining how being “obsessed over customers” would protect them from the ravages of a turbulent economy and, in turn, force them to pursue some very difficult goals…

If we can identify a customer need and if we can further develop conviction that that need is meaningful and durable, our approach permits us to work patiently for multiple years to deliver a solution. “Working backwards” from customer needs can be contrasted with a “skills-forward” approach where existing skills and competencies are used to drive business opportunities. The skills-forward approach says, “We are really good at X. What else can we do with X?” That’s a useful and rewarding business approach. However, if used exclusively, the company employing it will never be driven to develop fresh skills. Eventually the existing skills will become outmoded. Working backwards from customer needs often demands that we acquire new competencies and exercise new muscles, never mind how uncomfortable and awkward-feeling those first steps might be.

Jeff Bezos isn’t saying ‘pursue goals that you’re already equipped to handle,’ instead he’s saying “exercise new muscles, never mind how uncomfortable and awkward-feeling those first steps might be.”

AmazonVisionary CEOs, like Jeff Bezos and the late Steve Jobs, use goal-setting processes that are radically different than the SMART goals process most companies force on their employees.”

How might this change your focus as a leader? Will you reimagine your organization’s goals? How does this apply to your personal relationships?

Source: ‘SMART’ Goals Can Sometimes Be Dumb


How do I build my personal, professional and company brand on LinkedIn? Seattle Vistage Workshop (RSVP NOW)

Decide Today.

How you and your employees appear, connect, search and engage on LinkedIn is critical to increasing your sales pipeline and personalizing your marketing campaigns.

Do you and your employees believe that?

Does your sales force lead from a growth mindset? Are they aligned with your marketing folks? Have they honed the skills necessary to complete in a digital world? Are they proficient using the tools that engage, inform and educate your best clients, prospects, and talent? No? Not sure?

Colleen McKennaBe my guest (registration instructions below) and join us in Seattle on July 5th or July 6th. Vistage speaker, Colleen McKenna, is Colleen will demonstrate how LinkedIn is the ideal platform for:personal and corporate brand building

  • driving and increasing sales
  • recruiting top talent
  • inspiring your clients and employees to be your greatest evangelists

From strategy to a scripted action plan, whether you’re the CEO or staff, this interactive workshop will fast-track your mastery of the world’s largest professional network. 

A message from Colleen: 

Come with a growth mindset, not like the sales manager I encountered below.

Imagine it’s 7:30 a.m. and more than fifteen CEOs, business owners and presidents are logging into LinkedIn for an interactive workshop. The day before, more than twenty-five executives showed up for the same workshop during a torrential downpour and tornado warning.

Now, imagine the sales manager walks into the conference room and says, “I am too busy to attend this workshop, sorry.”

We all know someone like this person. They are always too busy, they are mired in “stuff.” Their world is on fire, and only they can solve it. I hope this is not you or your sales leader. If it’s you, reconsider your mindset. If you are the CEO or business owner and this is your guy, you need to coach them or move them out, because they cost you revenue, opportunity, talent, and relevance. They set a backward mindset in your organization.

Some might say that I didn’t do a good enough job of establishing my value as a trainer. Fair enough, but I didn’t even have a chance to let him know why it was important for him to attend. I think it has more to do with his attitude and mindset. I notice when people don’t take the chance to learn it’s because they are closed-minded. They have a bias steeped in an unwillingness to consider that there can be a better way, and a fear of the unknown. Oh, and they think they have all the answers.

I see it all the time. The people that show up for training, coaching and mentoring want to get better. They commit the time, energy and brain power to dig in and learn, even when they don’t want to or it’s outside of their comfort zone.

I worked with a sales consultant years ago that reminded me that you don’t get the juice (the good stuff, i.e. a new client) without squeezing the fruit (the process of prospecting, engaging and adding real, substantial value). There has to be a willingness to learn how to sell in today’s world, set up a process, put it in motion, test it and follow through with modifications. This is true regardless of your industry, brand or maturity. Why? Because, as today’s buyers become younger and younger (I am not talking just those in their 20’s, I am referring to anyone under 55) this is where they vet and verify. More than 76% of B2B buyers go online to vet and verify you and your company. Are you relevant?

shutterstock_123751108Salespeople and sales leaders who are not embracing their professional development and uncovering new ways to engage with prospects and customers also typically don’t meet their quota. They ultimately fail to increase their value to their company and customer.

It important to be relevant, today more than ever. Leverage insight and technology to engage with prospects and customers in new ways. Quality and service are table stakes; everyone has them. A backward mindset endangers your organization and quells innovation, engagement and positive disruption in your company.

It also gives your competitors a distinct advantage. When I spot a company who is not doing what it takes to be relevant, to leverage platforms that enable networking and conversation with the right people at the right time, I look for their competitor. That’s the company I want as a client. I think, your customers and prospects would agree.

So, why not the company that isn’t finding new ways to network? They don’t have the story, the value, the resources, and the mindset to see it through. These are the companies who immediately want to have the ROI talk, or want to know what we are going to guarantee. They don’t understand that this is a marathon, a new way of thinking and engaging in business.

On a recent webinar I pulled up someone’s LinkedIn Company Page, and they had more than 3800 followers (people who say they are interested in this nonprofit) and yet there was not one piece of content posted on their LinkedIn Company Page. Interestingly, the person who worked for this nonprofit was surprised and even mentioned that those 3800 followers were more than the combined total of their Facebook and Twitter followers, even though they were using those social channels.


What a missed opportunity for this nonprofit. How many followers do you have on your LinkedIn Company Page and how many are you overlooking?

Ahhh, I may have digressed. When the sales leader doesn’t fight for every available dollar for professional development and content for themselves and their team, they are probably not going to be able to drive the growth your business needs. Selling in today’s world is more sophisticated than ever, even for salespeople who sell, gulp, “transactionally.” Unless you have a sales training program, and the skills and tools to engage intentionally on LinkedIn and social channels you will be woefully behind. My guess is you may have already fallen behind. The question is how long will you let that slide?

LinkedIn and social channels are no longer new. LinkedIn has been around for thirteen years. Yes, thirteen years. I’ve been on LinkedIn every day for more than twelve years. The salespeople and companies who win embrace change.

The table stakes are higher than ever. Learning, encouraging and helping your employees understand and use LinkedIn to tap into their individual and collective networks and tell the story of your company/organization in a way that inspires people to want to work with you is critical to your success. The smart companies get this.

The sales leader who skipped my LinkedIn workshop most likely wouldn’t even recognize himself if he read this. I’m confident this post won’t be on his radar, but his CEO and his VP of Operations walked away from the workshop saying they had some work to do.

Do you?

Workshop TimesREGISTER NOW for Challenge 100: build your personal, professional and company brand on LinkedIn (Vistage Workshop). Seating is limited. Please register by emailing:elena.nelson@vistageteam.com. Make sure to give Elena your name, title and cell phone. She’ll prepare a name tent for you. Let Elena know if you’re attending on 7/5 or 7/6. Please arrive by 8 AM sharp. The workshop ends around 11:15 AM. Learn more about Vistage Speaker, Colleen McKenna on LinkedIn, at Intero Advisory or at her new venture, Vengreso. Her phone: 410.458.6960.

About Vistage Chair Kevin McKeown

KPM Headshot for VistageKevin is a trusted advisor to chief executives, founders, owners and executives. He is a seasoned Chair with two fully energized CEO groups. Kevin is building an equally dynamic third group focused on key executives. He’s enrolling high integrity candidates for the remaining seats now. Kevin’s entrepreneurial and C-level leadership roles range from early stage to Fortune 500 (Mitsubishi #118) firms. As LexBlog’s President, his team built the world’s largest professional blog network. As co-founder of HitHive, Inc., Kevin’s team brought digital music to cell phones. He also helped build and sell one of the first online department stores. Kevin has a JD from Villanova University and a Bachelors in English from University of Pittsburgh. He resides in downtown Seattle. To learn more about Kevin’s leadership Chair practice, go to his LinkedIn

A “Job Posting Done Right” Benchmark in Seattle

Business Development Lead – Strategy + Marketing = Great Opportunity! (Belltown) hide this posting


compensation: DOE – Salary + Bonus/Commission
employment type: full-time

Dynamic Computing is looking for a Business Development Lead!

Dynamic Computing is a leading Managed IT Service Provider to small and mid-sized companies and organizations located in the Puget Sound region and beyond. We provide Managed IT Services, including IT support, consulting, system upgrades, & cloud migrations for companies who have complex IT needs, but who want a more comprehensive solution than an independent consultant or small IT department can provide.

We’re a small but growing company that is laser-focused on our mission of being the best Managed IT Service Provider in the Pacific Northwest. Our team of 18 needs the right person to help us drive our growth, while ensuring that we do an amazing job for our clients every single day.

The Business Development Lead role is not another routine sales position with a different title.

It’s a role that combines strategy, creative marketing, system building, and adds a splash of sales at the end. We’ve got a very narrow idea of what a good client is, and our new Biz Dev person will help us identify the right people at the clients we want to target, communicate with them in a way that helps them understand how we’re different, and if we’re successful, it’ll involve a phone call and/or a meeting to get our sales process rolling. This job is the opposite of the old-school knock-until-you-drop method.

What kind of person are we looking for?

The Master Strategist – As we already said, this isn’t your average sales job with a fancy title. We’re looking for someone that will help us carry out our strategy – to target the clients we’re looking for and help us get their attention, through whatever methods we find effective. We’ll need you to come up with new and creative ways to get in front of the clients we want to work with.

The Creative Marketer – We’ve got a message to get out. The message is that there’s a ton of really mediocre companies that we compete with, and their clients deserve better. That message needs to be framed differently to different people. We need your creative brain to help us figure out how influence the hearts and minds of our potential clients.

The Sleuth – Are you that person that can find out anything about anyone? Then you’re perfect for this job! We need someone who’s really good at investigating, and will find the right people to have a very important conversation with.

The Statistician – We’re looking for a numbers person. Someone who builds new systems and tracks their progress, like a hawk tracks its prey. If you think actual hard data is your best friend, and you somehow find comfort only when you can justify something numerically, this might very well be the job for you.

The Light Switch – We need you to be able to turn on the charm when you need to. In order to get in front of the clients we want, you’re going to have make an occasional phone call or two to someone you’ve never talked to before. Don’t get us wrong – this job isn’t about cold calling – we hate everything about that technique. But it’s important to be able to have a strategic conversation when the time is right.

The Opportunist – We need you to turn inches into miles. Sometimes, it might have to be millimeters into miles. We’re not trying to pry open doors that are welded shut. But we do need you to be able to sniff out a great potential client from a mile away and turn whatever crack of daylight they might be willing to give you into a closed deal.

The At-Least Occasional Extravert – Sometimes we need a presence in front of an audience. Whether it be a booth at a trade show, an evening of networking, or a community service event, we need you to be able to act as a positive face and name for our company and figure out where the opportunities lie in your audience. That means you have to kind of like people, at least some of the time.

Just a Little Bit of a Nerd – You don’t need to have a ton of IT experience for this job (although it certainly doesn’t hurt). But you need to REALLY like technology and enjoy helping people make their jobs easier and their companies more productive. After all, that’s what we’re all about.

Education & Experience Requirements:

• 4 Year (Bachelor’s) Degree strongly preferred, preferably with a focus that involves heavy written communication or business administration (ideally marketing). Equivalent experience is absolutely acceptable.

• 3 Years minimum experience in a business-focused marketing, strategy, or business development role, preferably in another professional or creative environment. Experience targeting/selling to a C-Level target audience is even better.

• Experience working with computer hardware, software, networking equipment, and IT solutions/services is a huge plus and will give you a leg up on the competition.

• If you don’t know the difference between your mouse and your iPhone, this isn’t the right position for you. The right candidate for this job will have a good working knowledge of devices, cloud applications, and some basics about IT services. Not to mention the ability to learn quickly.

So what will I be doing every day?

Below is a list of the day-to-day responsibilities – well, it’s is a pretty good start, at least. Given that we’re a small company and this is a brand new position, we can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll be asked to do things that seemingly have nothing to do with the items below, and that’s where it gets fun, right?

Job Description / Responsibilities: The Business Development Lead position is designed to be a full-time, salaried + bonus/commission, overtime exempt position, completed in approximately 40 hours per week. The position will be responsible for the following:

Target Client Identification. We’re not looking for a million new clients. More like 100. Ideally adding at a rate of 1-2 per month. We need you to help identify which companies fit our mold, who the people there are that make the decisions, and how to get their attention.

Marketing Campaign Creation & Development. You’ll be the creative brain behind our messaging. We need you to come up with new and creative ways to reach our target clients and get them to bite. You’ll also be responsible for measuring their effectiveness and adjusting as needed to get them on board.

Strategic Referral Creation & Development. Our best clients have typically come as referrals from our existing clients. And our existing clients usually rave about us. So we need you to help get them to rave about us to the right people at the right time. We’ve grown organically from 6 to 18 people over the past 5 years. We need you to work the referral train to help us grow strategically from 18 to a whole lot more over the next 5.

Strategic Partnership Creation & Development. We’re firm believers that having strong partnerships will help strengthen our service offerings and grow our client base. You’ll be responsible for helping to find and develop those partnerships and work with them to find mutually beneficial opportunities for everyone.

New Client Acquisition. Once we’ve got the lead pipeline going, we want your help in converting them from leads to new clients. That’ll mean handling some meetings and screening out the weeds to ensure we’re not barking up the wrong tree.

Solutions Team Collaboration. You’ll be a bit of a lone wolf in this role – working directly for our CEO. But you won’t be totally alone. You’ll work closely with our Solutions Team that’s responsible for account management and technical sales for our existing client base. They’ll be handle IT evaluations for new potential clients, and they’ll need your help and collaboration to ensure the new clients that you help reel in are handed off, taken care of, and stick around for the long run

TBD. Yep, that’s right. To Be Determined is officially in your job description. We’re a growing, changing and evolving company that needs more sales and marketing talent. That’s why we’re trying to hire you. It’s very likely that we’ll need more of your magic to spread around in different areas. We need someone that’s on board with our vision and up for a challenge.


This will be a salaried (+ bonus/commission), full-time position that is overtime exempt. The starting salary will be DOE, and ultimately, your pay will be based on the results you deliver. We don’t anticipate much more than 40 hours per week, but we may occasionally ask you to stay an extra hour or two if something important comes up or we’ve got a special event. Benefits start right away – the first of the month after you’re officially on board.

Medical – We pay 100% of your medical insurance! (We’re not kidding). We’ll also make a contribution to your HSA account after you’ve been here for 6 months, and we’d encourage you to do the same (not to mention that you get a tax break for doing so). You’ll also have the ability to add your spouse/partner, and/or children at your expense if you’d like.

Disability – We also pay 100% of the cost of a short and long term disability insurance policy for you – it ensures that you continue to receive income if you get hurt and are unable to work.

Retirement – We provide a Simple IRA retirement plan, matched dollar per dollar for up to the first 3% of your salary.

Paid holidays – You’ll get paid for 9 holidays without even showing up to work! You’ll get to pick either MLK or President’s Day, plus Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day & following Friday, two days at Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Transit Pass – You’ll get an ORCA card that entitles you to free transit on the bus, train, light rail and more that you can use to get to work (and for your personal use).

Additional PTO – You get 16 additional paid personal days off per year – you can use them if you’re sick or for a vacation or two.

How do I apply?

Please submit your resume and cover letter via e-mail to

  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

Strong Leaders Cultivate a Growth Mindset. See Visual:


The “change perspective to grow” technique. All Rights Reserved – Kevin P. McKeown ©

What I believe about my abilities and potential fuels my behavior and predicts my success as a person and a leader. I’m dedicated to staying in shape. I do CrossFit and Yoga. Why wouldn’t I also tune-up the internal dialogue that shapes every aspect of my life?

That inside game starts with mindset and focus.

Choosing a growth mindset “…creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Its hallmark is the conviction that human qualities like intelligence and creativity, and even relational capacities like love and friendship, can be cultivated through effort and deliberate practice. Not only are people with this mindset not discouraged by failure, but they don’t actually see themselves as failing in those situations — they see themselves as learning.”

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck writes:

Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.

I return to the Dweck visual often.

1 Mindset-Two

Dweck’s visual is inside Maria Popova’s post: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives. I encourage you to follow Maria and her blog, Brain Pickings. This blog is “an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more.” The nuggets of insight inspire and delight.

Brain on Growth not Fixed image[4]For my members and candidates:

I stress the inside game because we are more impactful leaders and peers when we wire ourselves for growth. In the group setting, the power of peers is boundless when we choose at attitude of growth.

Caroline Anderson, psychologist, Olympian and founder of Performance Edge Psychology coaches that paying less attention to negative thoughts frees you up “…to enter a state of observation rather than thinking, focus rather than judgment.” This helps you focus and enter the flow state.

Suggested Reading

About Vistage Chair Kevin McKeown

KPM Headshot for VistageKevin is a trusted advisor to chief executives, founders, owners and executives. He is a seasoned Chair with two fully energized CEO groups. Kevin is building an equally dynamic third group focused on key executives. He’s enrolling high integrity candidates for the remaining seats now. Kevin’s entrepreneurial and C-level leadership roles range from early stage to Fortune 500 (Mitsubishi #118) firms. As LexBlog’s President, his team built the world’s largest professional blog network. As co-founder of HitHive, Inc., Kevin’s team brought digital music to cell phones. He also helped build and sell one of the first online department stores. Kevin has a JD from Villanova University and a Bachelors in English from University of Pittsburgh. He resides in downtown Seattle. To learn more about Kevin’s leadership Chair practice, go to his LinkedIn

Register for Seattle’s Vistage Executive Summit – Tuesday, May 16th

Disruptive innovation or market disruption?

Disruptive innovation or market disruption?

Driving Dynamic Decisions

Executives are in the business of making decisions. Difficult decisions. Big decisions.
Decisions no one else can make. Many times, there are no clear-cut answers. But there ARE make-or-break consequences. This is the world you live in. Own it. Don’t just make a decision. Optimize it.

What is the Vistage Executive Summit?

VES 4 icon-ActionHelmed by event speakers who walk the talk, the Vistage Executive Summit (VES) is not for everyone. It is for you. Executive. Leader. Chief Problem-Solver. This event will provide you with the insights to make better decisions, helping you refine your instincts, improve your judgment, and expand your perspectives.

Every leader can define their tenure by a handful of decisions they made. This event has been re-engineered to enhance your leadership effectiveness, in four key areas:

  1. Business optimization: Fortify your foundation with trusted perspectives, and original approaches to decision-making.
  2. Leadership enhancement: Sharpen your focus. Bolster your confidence. Define your style. Master the art of execution, to lead fearlessly.
  3. Inspiration: Be empowered to lead with innovation and creativity. Speakers and peers push the conversation forward, helping you grow personally and professionally.
  4. Action: Immediately start making better decisions for your unique business. Leave equipped with actionable recommendations to translate inspiration into progress

VES Decision-Making-Strategies-590x400-560x379Experience the Power of Structured Issue Processing

My private peer advisory boards come together each month. Imagine the best and brightest minds in one room tackling business challenges and big picture strategic issues. Members see real results. My VES guests will have an opportunity to participate in issue processing. Learning how you can tap into the brainpower of 12 to 16 executives – the Vistage way – is best experienced firsthand. 

Vistage Executive Summit

More About the VES Speakers

VES 3 icon-InspirationThe irresistible power of strategic storytelling: In an increasingly connected and competitive economy, organizations are endeavoring to align their messages and influence their teams and customers to avoid losses of revenue. Leaders must not only be dynamic decision makers, but must communicate their decisions in dynamic ways. Strategic storytelling—when properly executed—is an approach that gets results. In her presentation Kindra Hall will demonstrate how strategic storytelling makes leaders more compelling and influential, serving to motivate your internal teams and connect you with consumers to build a loyal following. Leave with a blueprint for strategic storytelling you can implement into every presentation, as well as actionable tips for finding the strategic story in every leadership scenario.

VES 1 icon-LeadershipA new era of enlightened capitalism: Scott Svenson is co-founder and CEO of MOD Super Fast Pizza, recognized by Technomic as the 2015 fastest-growing restaurant chain in the U.S. MOD is a culture-centric business driven by having positive social impact. Previously, Scott co-founded Seattle Coffee Company, the first gourmet coffee retailer and wholesaler in the U.K. Scott built the business to 75 retail locations in under three years, selling the company to Starbucks in May 1998. Following the sale, he assumed the role of President – Starbucks U.K. and subsequently, President – Starbucks Europe, during which time he authored the company’s European strategic plan. Based on his own success, Scott will demonstrate how you can leverage culture and “enlightened capitalism” for key competitive advantage.

VES 2 icon-BusinessEmbracing Disruption: Every day there are more and more remarkable discoveries, inventions, and technologies. It can seem overwhelming trying to plan for every possible scenario. Industries steady and unchanged are being rocked to their core. John McElligott will help you see the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities hiding in emerging technologies and philosophies, with a crash course that empowers you to answer the question: is your organization equipped to keep up? By embracing disruption, business leaders have not only the potential, but the ability to leave a legacy of changing the world.

Executive Summit Details

I’d Like to Learn More About You Before VES

Please call, text: (206) 890-6858 or email me: kevin.mckeown@vistagechair.com. Elena, my EA, will also help us connect: (206) 999-9819 or elena.nelson@vistageteam.com.

I look forward to talking,

KPM Headshot for VistageAbout Vistage Chair Kevin McKeown

Kevin McKeown is a trusted advisor to chief executives, founders, owners and executives. He is a seasoned Chair with two fully energized CEO groups. Kevin is launching an equally dynamic third group focused on key executives. He’s enrolling high integrity candidates for the remaining seats now. Kevin’s entrepreneurial and C-level leadership roles range from early stage to Fortune 500 (Mitsubishi #118) firms. As LexBlog’s President, his team built the world’s largest professional blog network. As co-founder of HitHive, Inc., Kevin’s team brought digital music to cell phones. He also helped build and sell one of the first online department stores. Kevin has a JD from Villanova University and a Bachelors in English from University of Pittsburgh. He resides in downtown Seattle. To learn more about Kevin’s Chair practice, go to his LinkedIn

Rapid Learning for Leaders: The True Cost of a Bad Hire

The point underscored by these two articles? Making bad hires is more costly than you think. What have you found? See what Barry Shamis thinks next week. A couple nuggets to chew on before then:


The True Cost Of A Bad Hire — It’s More Than You Think by Falon Fatemi, founder and CEO of Node:

  • Recruiter Jörgen Sundberg puts the cost of on-boarding an employee at $240,000.
  • SS Bombs and FiresAccording to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. For a small company, a five-figure investment in the wrong person is a threat to the business.
  • While the financial impact is quantifiable, chief financial officers actually rank a bad hire’s morale and productivity impacts ahead of monetary losses. Why? A bad apple spoils the bunch, so to speak. Disengagement is contagious, which may be why employers can’t seem to defeat it.
  • Since Gallup began tracking employee engagement in 2000, less than one-third of U.S. employees report being enthusiastically involved and committed to their work.

Fatemi urges, “Go with your gut” when hiring. I suggest you challenge your gut after hearing Barry Shamis speak next week.


What Is The True Cost of Hiring a Bad Employee by Jörgen SundbergCEO of Link Humans:

“We all know that hiring the wrong employees can cost organizations a huge amount of money, but this infographic (bottom of post) presents some startling figures.”

  • Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 3.30.20 PMWhen hiring a new employee, double check that the job description (JD) outlines exactly what you want before posting the opening and really sell what your business can offer top candidates to attract the best people.
  • As important as the technical skills are to complete the job, it’s also crucial to assess how well the individual would fit into your environment.
  • If their personality does not suit your organization, it is unlikely that they will stay for long and it may cause conflicts amongst your team. If you’re not sure about a candidate, ask other members of staff to help you to make the decision.
  • Don’t just hire anyone to fill the spot, it’s best to take your time over hiring decisions and consider it carefully to ensure that you find the right candidate for the position.

Sundberg only mentions a JD. I suggest you ask Barry Shamis why a JD isn’t enough. Ask him why a Success Profile ensures a better hire.

Remember that Will Rogers sally? “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” What’s your most expensive hiring mistake? What will you different next time? How might you improve your hiring judgment?



What is Your Peer (and Leadership) Superpower?


Our chief executive peer group – Photo by Vistage Chair, Kevin McKeown © (All Rights Reserved)

No doubt you arrived at my blog after receiving a handwritten card. That note of gratitude promised an answer to this question: do you wonder what we treasure most about you?

Before I answer, let’s deconstruct how you ended up in our peer “discovery” group. First, we stripped away title; we imagined you powerless. Second, we saw a person plowing into feelings, thoughts and beliefs about leadership. Third, we experienced each other with all our foibles over a series of purposeful conversations. Fourth, we built relatedness around impactful legacy. You checked all the boxes necessary for a dynamic peer group:

  • Noncompeting business
  • Wired different from fellow peers
  • Novel perspectives and contrasting views
  • Penetrating insights fueled by a mélange of experience
  • Willingness to face issues, problems, challenges, and opportunities head-on

Finally, instinct took over and TOGETHER we decided the fit was right.

So, what do we TREASURE most about you?


Kevin McKeown©

We like how you show up. We enjoy the flavor you bring. We love how you listen. We observe passion, intellect and heart shared in ways that are uncommon, exclusive and singular to you. You are distinctive. An original. Special. Remarkable. Watching you dig inspires. We see magic fill the room when you lead with your voice.

Your decision to grow as a leader – and join our group as a pathway for that growth – transcends. You remind us to look inside to find our own way. Letting us wander with you on your journey influences us to take a step toward our own development. That’s what we treasure about you. You command us to act – to discover the source of our own magic. You inspire a valuable way for us to be.

Don’t believe us?

The likelihood of you being born as YOU is 1 in 400 trillion. The universe conspired to make you extraordinary. You being quintessentially you is indispensable for that transforming, compassionate ilk of leadership you offer. Being exposed to you is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The power in peers is YOU. We show up every month for YOU. We want access to your intellect, your heart, your passion, your drive.

IMG_3151Your way of leading is that rare and that’s grace. We need you. The world needs you. May you find and never lose your own vibe. But if you do – no worries – your peers will remind you who you really are through trust, caring, challenge and growth.

Now, let’s go bend the future to our will. Getting it done is genius!

Feel the ripple,

P.S. May you always be led by what you love.

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