THE THOUGHTFUL ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST
In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the CEO of Rhythm Systems,
If you're struggling to achieve growth in your business, Patrick Tian, CEO of Rhythm Systems and author of “Rhythm: How to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth,” can help.
Patrick emphasizes the importance of execution and achieving commitments in business. He shares a simple process of “think, plan, do” to help companies process ideas objectively and get their teams aligned to execute them. His book provides practical advice and case studies for companies looking to improve their execution and achieve growth.
Rhythm Systems offers a methodology, software, and consulting services to help companies achieve accountability and process chaos. Patrick also offers a free organizational effectiveness test on his website to help businesses identify their strengths and weaknesses.
About Patrick Thean:
Patrick is a renowned speaker, CEO coach, and serial entrepreneur recognized for his expertise in business growth and execution strategies. He gained fame as a USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and his work has been featured on major media outlets, including NBC, CBS, and Fox.
In 1996, Thean was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for North Carolina after successfully scaling his first company to #151 on the Inc. 500 list. His bestselling book, “Rhythm: How to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth,” outlined a unique system to enhance team execution and growth and was updated in 2022 with a new chapter on operating systems for successful business management.
About Rhythm Systems:
Rhythm Systems is a leading provider of cloud-based software and consulting services for mid-market companies, helping them achieve successful business execution. The company's solutions aid CEOs, executive leaders, and departmental teams in strategic planning and execution. Rhythm Systems ensures seamless cooperation toward achieving weekly, quarterly, annual, and daily targets through its offerings. The company takes pride in its work with top mid-market growth companies worldwide, including numerous Inc. 500 winners, Best Place to Work recipients, and industry leaders, underscoring its reputation as a trusted partner in facilitating business growth and success.
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Links Mentioned in this Episode:
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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey, there thoughtful listener, would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than 10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence.com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live, and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget, the Thoughtful Entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence.com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you with us right now. Patrick Thean, Patrick, you are the CEO of Rhythm Systems. Uh, you are the author of the new book Rhythm, how to Achieve Breakthrough Execution and Accelerate Growth, which by the way is a Wall Street Journal and U S USA Today bestseller list. Listen, that's saying a whole lot more than being an Amazon bestseller. I could tell you. So Patrick, it's your website. I wanna share this as well, is patrick thean.com, and that's t h e a n dot com is how you spell Thean. Patrick, thank you so much for joining us.
Patrick (00:01:35) - Hey, Josh, thank you so much for inviting me. It's a pleasure to be here.
Josh (00:01:39) - Well, I am so excited to have you on the show, and, yeah, I think all of us are excited about, you know, achieving breakthrough execution and certainly growth in business. What are kind of the main tenants behind rhythm?
Patrick (00:01:56) - So, you know, let me give you a quick thought here. My job and my purpose is to help CEOs not fail and instead help them to succeed. Now, I share that with you because I'm a serial entrepreneur, and in my history, I've been very successful. But in my very first company, which was an Inc 500 firm, we made it to one number, 1 51 on the Inc. 500. Back then, I felt like I was going from crisis to crisis to crisis, and I survived each crisis long enough just to get another crisis. And, uh, and I survived. And then suddenly I was successful and everybody was celebrating our success. And, and what I, what I learned along the way was that I was really a hash breath away from failure, but I was fortunate enough to succeed. And I'm curious as to how many of your audiences kind of feel that way.
Patrick (00:02:47) - And so in 1999, a article on Fortune magazine came out was called Why CEOs Fail. The punchline was they failed for lack of execution, not getting things done. And the the definition for me, I'm not getting things done, is not achieving your commitments. So what are the commitments you have made? If you don't execute to deliver on your commitments, you are going to fail. Therefore, that's what I've been spending in the last 20 years helping people do, is to execute, uh, make their commitments happen. And that's how they get their breakthroughs in a nutshell. That's really, at the end of the day, you know, most people come to me and I've found that they actually have their strategies. A lot of people say to me, Hey, Patrick, I need you to help me with strategy, but when I show up, I find that this strategy is a sound. They just not getting it. It's just not gonna get done. And then they're blaming it on strategy strategies, the fall guy, when actually oftentimes execution is the culprit. You know
Josh (00:03:46) - It, so you're saying that the the strategy is okay, or they're just not following through and do, and you know, oftentimes when you think about strategy, it's gonna involve a lot of other people. I think it's one thing for a leader or CEO to say, okay, I have it all in my mind. It is exactly how it's gonna go. And then you involve other people with all their biases, all their experiences, all their, and they valid input and feedback as well. But again, it's, you know, other people mean lots of other variables.
Patrick (00:04:17) - Yes. And so what you hit the nail on the hit there, what a lot of folks don't end up doing is when they involve people, you gotta have good discussions. You gotta discuss debate, and then you gotta decide. Once you've decided you've got to say no to other things, you've gotta be focused, gotta get real focused. The way people fail is they lack the clarity. As you said, different people have different opinions, and thank you for sharing. However, with all these different varied ideas, we have decided to go this way, execute the strategy this way. Now, once we open that door and walk out, even on the remote virtual doors, I need everyone to be aligned and really clear what we're supposed to achieve. And that's how you get your commitments done. If you don't do that and you begin doing different things, you're not gonna get your commitments done. So that's poor execution. So really, at the end of the day, what I've found, you know, especially with the audience that you have, most people in the smaller companies, most of them already have a strategy. They wouldn't have achieved what they have so far. If they had no strategy, they just maybe weren't as clear on communicating it. And then as they get bigger, it gets more and more difficult to communicate that strategy and to get all their teams aligned to execute that exec strategy.
Josh (00:05:39) - So what are some of the best ways that, you know, and okay, so part of me says, well, look, in order for me to come up with great strategy, I wanna be collaborative in that, certainly with my top leadership. But in having or chairing that conversation, I don't like, I guess I'm looking for maybe a good process or a good roadmap for how to do that. Because again, I wanna do this collaboratively, but I don't want that lack of, you know, kind of executive decision making that, you know, it's kind of like, I want them to feel like they have a say in it, right? But at the same time, I don't want them to feel like, well, this feels real nebulous here. Sure. How do, how do we walk that line better?
Patrick (00:06:22) - So in my book, I talk about a process. My process is very simple, think, plan, and do. Now, unfortunately, a lot of people who are small companies tend to focus on doing,
Josh (00:06:34) - Oh, yeah,
Patrick (00:06:35) - Right? So think, plan, do. So in the think side of the process. I'll show you a quick story. You know, one of my clients came in and they said, Hey, Patrick, we've all these ideas, why don't question how to process it. So usually in a strategic planning session, we'll discuss each idea. And by the way, I like to say that all ideas begin life as great ideas, but why is it that some of them end up really being bad ideas? So, cause nobody walks into your office Josh and says, Hey Josh, I'm so excited to share a lousy idea with you today. Right? No one does that. Everyone believes they have great ideas. So we take each idea and we ask, what is the revenue opportunity? What is the impact of this particular idea? And we rank it from zero to 10 or one to 10.
Patrick (00:07:20) - Then we ask, what is the ability for us as a firm, as a team to execute and make this idea happen? Zero to 10, 10 is easy. We have the right resources, we know how to do it. Zero one is really hard, we don't know how. And then so we rate it on these two a axis, you know, from impact zero to 10, ability to execute zero to 10, and then we plot it on four quadrants. So it's a very objective way to process subjective discussions. Because I don't want us arguing about whether your idea is better or my ideas better. I want us arguing about whether or not, or debating I should say, or whether or not we think this idea is worth 5 million to million or 1 million. We can at least agree on that. So we agree that this idea is worth three 4 million.
Patrick (00:08:06) - We agree that this other ideas worth only 1 million. Now it gets ranked on impact. And then we discuss, you know, what is our ability to execute. When we've done that, we now plot it. And it is real simple. You know, things on the top right quadrant, easy to execute, as well as high impact and revenue. Those that are easy to go, okay, you know what, these are the ones we wanna do. Then the ones on the top left quadrant, these may be, you know, high impact but difficult to execute on, and you may wanna choose something from there. If it creates a moat around your castle, so to speak, in strategic talk, right? You wanna create something which gives you barriers to entry for your competitors and maybe barriers to exit for your customers. Those are high impact and they may not be easy to execute. And then anything else that's low impact, we want you to just objectively be able to say no, because really most of us have more opportunities than we have the ability to execute.
Josh (00:09:05) - Patrick, your book Rhythm, how to Achieve Breakthrough Execution, accelerate Growth, it's in Kindle, it's an audiobook, it's an audible hard cover, soft cover, and you have over -- you have 192 reviews. So you're definitely getting some traction. Why is this such a great book for right now?
Patrick (00:09:25) - So, you know, a couple of my clients said they like the book because it's simple and easy. It gives you a very simple process, think, plan, do. In fact, we just finished our customer conference last week and we had over 200 people here in Charlotte, sharing ideas and exchanging thoughts on how to execute. And somebody walked up to me and said, Patrick, you know, I love that your book helped me think. And what he shared of me was he had trouble with, with processing all these ideas till he started using this process that I just walked through, which is in the first part of the book on the think process on how to choose your ideas. And he said, Patrick, that really helped me get relaxed and go, okay, I have now chosen the top three ideas and I feel the anxiety melting away cuz I had a process to choose that.
Patrick (00:10:13) - And then the next thing that we do is, is I like to put people into what I call a 13 week race. Every quarter is 13 weeks. The only way to have a great year is the four grade quarters. And you work backwards. The only way have a great quarter is to have 13 grade weeks, one week at a time. And so the book shares of you how to plan the quarter and how to work each quarter where each week is important for your overall success. So the book is very practical. It's chockfull of case studies of companies who have done this and have shared their insights on how to do this. I like to think of it as the methodology is like a suit, you know, and it's when we put the suit on you, we'll tailor it down for you. I'll tailor it up for you. We'll tuck it in here. We'll tuck it in on the waist a little bit cuz you look good on the waistline, you know, we'll fit it for you. But because we have a series of processes that have worked over 20 years for thousands of companies, but we streamline it for every firm.
Josh (00:11:21) - And so I wanted to mention this here. So you're obviously the founder of Rhythm Systems. What is Rhythm Systems?
Patrick (00:11:30) - So Rhythm Systems is a company that has methodology. We have a framework. One of our clients, Mike Prager, CEO of Avid Exchange, he shed that when you grow a company, you always could have chaos. What you need is to have a methodology to help you process the chaos. So rhythm, first of all, we have a methodology to let you process your ideas, your cadence, any chaos that you have. It's like the operating system for the company. The second thing we have is we have software for you to document your goals and achieve accountability. Then we have consulting and coaching that helps you figure out what's your strategy, what's your priorities, what are you going to commit to? And all of our clients who are very successful basically sign up to this three-legged stool or this triangle strategy of having a methodology, having some consulting help and having software document and keep track of all your priorities so that you can be accountable to deliver. Yeah. So that's what Rhythm does.
Josh (00:12:37) - Yeah. And then of course, Patrick, your personal website, patrick thean.com. And you've got resources, particularly if you've, you know, started, consuming content from the book. And by the way, this is not your first book.You also have another bestselling book, predictable Results. How Successful Companies Tackle Growth Challenges Win, Execute Without Drama. What, you know, again, our friend that's listening and go to Patrick's website, we've got the link directly in the show notes. But Patrick, when they go there, what would you recommend if they want more of the thought leadership that you've been helming here?
Patrick (00:13:14) - So people always tell me, you know what? I don't know where to start and can I have an easy way to start? So if you scroll down a little bit, there is a organizational effectiveness test and that's a quiz. It's my gift to your audience, for them to just take that quiz and we'll show you some of the things, what you're doing well and what you're not doing well in. And so that's a good way to start getting some value. And it's free, really. It's my gift to everyone who wants to just improve themselves as they reach the seating of complexity and wondering, you know, what should I do? What should I work on? It'll show you where you're strong, where you're weak, and it'll help you think about, Hey, should I strengthen a strength or should I work on a weakness? The organizational effectiveness test, scroll down, it's free. Please take that and enjoy it.
Josh (00:14:05) - Yep, I'm looking at it right here again. And this is again @patrickthean.com. Patrick's been really great having you. Thank you so much again. Your book, wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling book, it's called Rhythm, how to Achieve Breakthroughs, execution, and Accelerate Growth. Patrick, thank you so much for being a guest.
Patrick (00:14:26) - Josh, thank you so much for having me today.
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