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of developing and expanding “Abundance Multipliers” in the 21st century global economy.


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Directives for a Self Managing Company: Behind the Scenes of Strategic Coach (part 1) | Dan Sullivan, Babs Smith and Joe Polish

January 25, 2017


Directives for a Self Managing Company: Behind the Scenes of Strategic Coach (part 1) | Dan Sullivan, Babs Smith and Joe Polish

Get Immediate Access to the Full Episode, Show Notes, and Resources for Directives of a Self Managing Company:
(Behind the Scenes of Strategic Coach - Full Episode in It's Entirety)

Podcast Audio:

In this Episode of 10XTalk, part 1 of a 2-part series, you’ll discover the prime directives of creating a self managing company, the power of your team as multipliers, relationships, and a behind the scenes look at what makes Strategic Coach work with Dan Sullivan, Babs Smith, and Joe Polish.  

Here’s a glance at what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • A behind-the-scenes look at how Babs and Dan work together to make Strategic Coach work
  • How to know who you should have as team members and where you should focus your time, attention and energy
  • A key lesson Dan Sullivan learned growing one of the top coaching organizations for entrepreneurs
  • Why it’s important to find relationships that just work from the beginning
  • The difference between a business’s ‘frontstage’ and ‘backstage’ and why both are important
  • Dan and Babs share their Prime Directives that help create a self-managing company

Show Notes

    • How they took Dan’s one on one consulting business and transformed it into a thriving company with a team of 120 employees – together.  (3:00)
    • Dan has the “Front-Stage” role and Babs runs the “Back-Stage” of the business itself. (3:55)
    • Dan gained valuable experience from a guest at Genius Network who had suddenly inherited 28 million dollars and lost it all. (5:45)
    • Key lessons Dan learned in individual consulting:
      • If a process doesn’t work with one person, it’s not going to work large scale. (7:40)
      • The marketplace is your partner. Start with just one other person.  (8:18)
      • If it works with one person, then try it with ten. Dan was building over 15 years to develop growth process for entrepreneurs, working with one person at a time. In 7 years, went 10x. Now it’s multiplied even more. (9:15)
    • When someone doesn’t earn the money, there is a whole level of knowledge they don’t have.” (10:50) Joe Polish. “When you get money you didn’t earn you can be very promiscuous with it.” (12:20)
    • Like the Genius Network guest, sometimes it takes a crisis to propel you to the next level. (13:05) For Dan and Babs, it was a tax problem that forced them to scale the business.
      • “It was one of those situations where you have a breakdown and you have to have a breakthrough.” (13:25)
      • Tax bill presented them with a painful reality (15:20)
    • Dan and Babs have almost an identical Kolbe profile. Kolbe is a great system to help you understand how you should be operating on a daily basis and who you should have around you in a team.(16:30)
    • Both need to team with people who are good “Fact Finders” and “Follow Through”
    • How they work together:
      • Both are good at seeing the future. Babs has a clearer and more strategic vision of where the company can go. Dan has more of a vision of where the program can go. (17:30)
      • Creating a natural division of labor: “She’s really great at putting teams together, and I’m really great at putting learning structures together. (17:55)
    • “Prime Directives” guide their relationship, business, and life.(18:40)
      • He’s convinced that if you don’t like someone initially, you will like them less as time goes on. Instant connection and comfort with Babs. (21:45)
      • Dan wanted a relationship where you didn’t have to work on the relationship, the relationship just worked. (22:00)
    • First decision: “We were going to be together and we were going to work together.” It was a partnership in life and in business from the beginning.” (23:05)
      • Met in 1982, moved in together in 1984, married in 86. Business partners 87.
      • Prime Directives came after business began to multiply (1994/95) (26:33)
      • At one point Dan was doing 144 workshops a year. Experimented with different models of expansion.
      • Current model: get clients who love Coach, have their own thriving business, and they just coach for them. (28:00)
      • “There’s a lot of backstage to our front-stage.”There are a lot of people behind the scenes to make the workshops happen. (29:00)
    • We came up with the concept of a self-managing company to compensate for the fact that neither of us are managers, but we are leaders.(29:30) There is a division between Leadership and Management in their company.
    • Prime directives: Managers know that to even consider an idea or suggestion, it must satisfy these criteria:
    1. We can not do anything in the company that would negatively interfere with the teamwork and  intimacy that Babs and Dan have together. (30:50) All Company growth has to grow the relationship between Dan and Babs, both in business and in life (31:09).  Everything needs to support and enhance our teamwork and intimacy. (31:20)
    2. Babs and Dan need to be totally in control of the forward progress of the company. For that reason they don’t have partners. They own the company 100% and they always will. Don’t outsource their sales or marketing.(31:28)
    3. We only align ourselves with people who are already in alignment with us. (32:25)
    • In the company, as in life, there is no separation between the two of them. People can’t go through one to get to the other. (33:50)
    • “There is a real, fundamental understanding right from the beginning that this is forever. “ Dan (34:30)     


Strategic Coach

People Mentioned

Joe Polish

Babs Smith

About Dan Sullivan:

Dan Sullivan is the co-founder of Strategic Coach, author of over 30 publications, a visionary, innovator, and gifted conceptual thinker, Dan has over 35 years’ experience as a highly regarded speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach to entrepreneurial individuals and groups.  

About Babs Smith:

Babs Smith is the co-founder of Strategic Coach and the driving force “Back Stage” of the company. She leverages an uncommon blend of business acumen and personal insight to lead the company so that it’s financially sound and effective, and a nurturing, positive engaging environment for everyone who interacts with it – whichever side of the curtain they are on.


To go deeper with 10XTalk insights, access your FREE COPY of the “8 Transformations of a 10X Entrepreneur”, go here: http://www.10xtalk.com.


Genius Network is the place high level entrepreneurs go for collaboration, contribution, and connections not available anywhere else. Members get strategies for exponential growth and opportunities for deal making, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, and more. Membership is by application only.  Click here to learn more. You can also learn more about the Genius Network Annual Event here – which is the one time per year the group is opened to non-members.

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10xTalk delivers 10x Multipliers To Grow Your Business hosted by Joe Polish, founder of GeniusNetwork.com and Dan Sullivan, founder of StrategicCoach.com. 10x Multipliers To Grow Your Business. Insights For An Ever Expanding System Of Increasing Cooperation & Creativity Among Unique Ability Achievers.