A SEAT at THE TABLE: Conversations with Today's Top Industry Leaders

A Framework to Take Projects from Vision to Reality

October 25, 2022 Curtis L. Jenkins, Business Coach & Author Season 9 Episode 20
A SEAT at THE TABLE: Conversations with Today's Top Industry Leaders
A Framework to Take Projects from Vision to Reality
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

There’s an old saying ‘Same bed, Different dreams’.  That is often the case with teams.  You have a group of enthusiastic players but each has their own vision of what the outcome should look like.

The result can be a lack of efficiency, a failure to meet deadlines or realise any out come at all - or even conflict.

And so one of the many things that effective leaders need to achieve is to get everyone on the same page with a shared vision.  The concept is easy to understand.  Making it happen can be a bit more challenging.  However today’s guest aims to help solve that - and much more.

I’m Jane Singer and thanks for joining me here and being part of our international community. 

Today we’re joined by Curtis Jenkins, business coach and author of Vision to Reality: Stop Working and Start Living.

Curtis found that the most important thing to resolve was getting everyone involved in a project to visualize the same outcome. This would lead to motivated team members who were enthusiastic at the realization of the outcome.

He quickly implemented this knowledge, fine-tuning his own projects to ensure the outcomes contribute to his vision.

He soon realized there was no one size fits all methodology, but that in order to bring the vision to reality required creativity and soft skills. From that realization sprang The Realization Framework Experience.

Curtis will be talking about:

Why many companies fail to bring their goals to fruition.

The importance of mental preparationbefore implementation.

His ‘Vision to Reality’ framework - and how any business can apply this.

… and much more!

To achieve key goals you need good people. One of the biggest challenges companies face is trying to find top talent - particularly to fill critical leadership roles.  Nowadays, having the right people can really determine a company’s success or failure.

That’s why top corporations and even smaller enterprises rely on Asianet Consultants to help them fill key positions. 
Since 1988 Asianet has been working in partnership with its global clients to help them make the right strategic hires.  They have a well-earned reputation for being able to fill even those difficult to fill positions.

So if you need to recruit new talent - or think that you might be doing that soon, head on over to their website. That’s asiannetconsultants.com. 

Now let’s hear what Curtis has to say about how we can get from vision to reality.


Connect with Curtis L. Jenkins:  https://www.linkedin/in/curtis-jenkins-pmp

Curtis Jenkins’ website:   https://cljassoc.com/

Asianet Consultants website:  https://www.asianetconsultants.com/

Visit A Seat at The Table's website at https://seat.fm

Jane Singer  00:02

There's an old saying same bed, different dreams. That's often the case with teams, you have a group of enthusiastic players, but each has their own vision of what the outcome should look like. The result can be a lack of efficiency of failure to meet deadlines, or even realize any outcome at all, or, in the worst case, even conflict. And so one of the many things that effective leaders need to achieve is to get everyone on the same page with a shared vision, the concept is easy to understand, making it happen can be a bit more challenging. However, today's guest aims to help solve that, and much more. I'm Jane singer, and thanks for joining me here and being part of our international community. 

Jane Singer  00:44

Today, we're joined by Curtis Jenkins, business coach and author of vision to reality stop working and start living. Curtis found that the most important thing to resolve was getting everyone involved in a project to visualize the same outcome. This would lead to motivated team members who were enthusiastic at the realization of the outcome. He quickly implemented this knowledge, fine tuning his own projects to ensure the outcomes contributed to his vision. He soon realized that there was no one size fits all methodology, but that in order to bring the vision to reality require creativity and soft skills, from that realization sprang the realization framework experience. 

Jane Singer  01:26

Today, Curtis will be talking about why companies fail to bring their goals to fruition, the importance of mental preparation before implementation, his vision to reality framework, and how any business can apply this and much more. To achieve key goals. You need good people. One of the biggest challenges companies face is trying to find top talent, particularly to fill critical leadership roles. 

Jane Singer  01:51

Nowadays, having the right people can really determine a company's success or failure. That's why top corporations and even small enterprises rely on Asianet consultants to help them fill key positions. Since 1988. Asianet has been working in partnership with its global clients to help them make the right strategic hires, they have a well earned reputation for being able to fill even those difficult to fill positions. So if you need to recruit new talent, or you think you might be doing so soon, head on over to their website, that's Asianet consultants.com. I'll also leave a link in the show notes. Now let's hear what Curtis has to say about how we can get from vision to reality. 

Jane Singer  02:34

Curtis, it is really great to have you on a seat at the table. I think that what you're talking about today is something that's really going to touch the hearts of just about everybody who's listening, because we will face this situation. Most business leaders have a dream or a vision of what they'd like their business to be like or what they'd like the outcome of a project to be, however, many failed to achieve what they're aiming for. Based on your experience. What do you see as the key reason or reasons why they're failing to bring these goals to fruition?

Curtis Jenkins  03:06

So the number one thing that sticks out for me is when I work with all my clients for the first time, is that they do have a vision, they do have big dreams, but they keep it to themselves. And so when I asked them to articulate their visions, or their dreams to me, they're able to not in a way that I would say real clear. And that's what I work with them on. So they keep the vision to themselves. And they don't make it exciting painting an exciting future for the people that are working with them. The second step is that they don't create goals that clearly line up to the vision. And so you got to take that next step to so first you got to have the dream, but then what are you going to do about it? And then how do people line up to it? How does your budget line up to it? And you got to make this part of your daily routine, the systems and habits that you put in place? You know, there's a quote out there that says people don't decide their futures. They decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.

Curtis Jenkins  04:07

Yes. Yeah, that's so true. And I think you're right, nobody really thinks about it. So I'm really glad you brought that up. Because people tend to be looking at something that's so much bigger than that. And so I think it's great that you brought that down to something that's a lot more tangible. Now, most business leadership knows that you need to prepare in advance of taking on new projects or new ventures, you suggest that they also need to be mentally prepared. What should they be doing for themselves and for their team members? How do you think they should be preparing?

Curtis Jenkins  04:43

So the first thing and this is more around the business leaders mind right? And I think everything I've talked about is around the business leaders mine is you have to understand that what got you to the point that where you are won't necessarily get you to where you're going to where you're trying to get to. So what the old tactics or everything that you looked at in the past may not be what you need, because you're trying to level up, right? So I would say, you got to open up with some trust, get yourself a mentor, or coach, somebody that's going to provide a level of accountability. 

Curtis Jenkins  05:21

There's an exercise I like to do with leaders, and we look at what you're doing. And then we say, Okay, what do we need to stop doing? What's wasting your time? What are the things you're doing that you can keep doing? Because these are good things that are solid? ideas or actions that support any vision? And then what do you do when you need to start doing what needs to be different? What actions do you need to take? So yes, stop, keep going, or start. I like to run through that exercise.

Curtis Jenkins  05:54

I think that's really great. And you know what I love about it. It's something that in a sense, anybody can do. And yet most of us don't do, because until you mentioned it, I hadn't really thought about it either. And it's a tough exercise, when you need to try to look at it. But on the other hand, I can see how valuable that would be. Now, in your opinion, why does so many business coaches fail at helping entrepreneurs or business leadership succeed? What things? Are they doing wrong? What are they missing out on?

Curtis Jenkins  06:26

I think one of the things that business coaches do, and what I've seen in even talking to people that have come to me after having previous coaches, is that the business coach sort of has this peanut butter approach, okay, and they just want to basically say, look, follow my formula, and you'll be successful. And so if you've ever worked in corporate America, and sometimes you work with these large, these large consulting firms, they bring in an army to create a lot of paper and tell you what to do, and then they leave. 

Curtis Jenkins  07:01

So what I do, the first step I do is I have the business leader take my visionary scorecard. And it helps to give me an idea of where on the spectrum of my visual realization framework experience, where they need the most help, then we follow it along with an interview to let's dive deep on to not only where the scorecard told me that you need the most help, but you talk to me about where do you think you need the most help? If I think I can help them, I'll help them, or I'll recommend someone else, otherwise, a deep dive into the two or three areas that make the most sense. 

Curtis Jenkins  07:41

And so the other part to that is, I don't leave you, I guide you, and guide you to the point where you feel like it's your ideas that you're coming up with, and the things that you need to do the aha moments come for you. Because people are more motivated, when they are feeling like they're contributing to the process, not just being dictated to, and the programs that I use, I stick around for a while. And in some cases, I've even invested in the companies because I believe in the company. So when I say invest in the companies, not just my money, but my network, right, open up the people that I know that can help. So I think most business coaches if they don't take an approach on finding out really what the issue is, or issues are, and then determining whether they can help or not. And then guiding I think if they did those things, they would be very successful.

Jane Singer  08:35

It's a good point you bring up because I think you're right, there are too many people that do things that are very formulaic. And I think it's important that you pointed that out that really, if you are hiring someone to be a coach or a consultant, it should be a lot more customized to what you're doing in the specific challenges you're facing. Now, tell me a little bit about this scorecard that you mentioned. I'm curious about that.

Curtis Jenkins  09:00

Sure. I have what's called a visionary scorecard. So first, let me define what I call a visionary. Right? Okay. It's somebody who has an extraordinary life because they took their vision to reality. And it's a play on word vision in there, right? And so the idea is that, as a result of being a visionary, you've taken your business to seven and eight figures from where you were, you have more money, you have more time, you have more support. And I mentioned time, but time is such a precious commodity. In fact, that's my currency. That's how I measure things. 

Curtis Jenkins  09:34

And so I want to create a movement of visionaries. So their scorecard you can find on my website, www.cl JA soc.com. It's about 33 Questions takes about three to five minutes to complete. And it just asks you questions on the realization framework experience, so it's five parts to it around your vision around your people. All around your cash flow around your planning and around the portions of realization and accountability. And you take the scorecard, you find out where you are. And the next step you take is to have a consultation with me to say, hey, you know, what can we do to bridge this gap between where you are and where you're trying to go?

Curtis Jenkins  10:22

Right? It sounds like it really is reaching people where they are, and trying to then build that ladder, so to speak, to get them from where they are to where they hope to be.

Curtis Jenkins  10:34

Yes, exactly.

Jane Singer  10:37

And it's an interesting way to do it with a scorecard. Because it makes it more tangible for people. I think sometimes people are asked questions. And they're just they become too vague. I don't think I'm phrasing that very well. But it's not concrete enough for people to make it actionable.

Curtis Jenkins  10:56

Right. Right. And that's why there's a number of questions, right? It's a total of 33 in the five categories. Now, I didn't want to make it too long, right? Who wants to take a long time? The areas that helps you to understand where you stand within the spectrum?

Jane Singer  11:10

Yeah. So now, I just was curious, from your point of view, as someone who's done a lot of coaching, what should people expect? I think that sometimes people go into a coaching relationship or consultancy relationship. And either they don't know what to expect out of it. So therefore, it's very difficult to understand if they're actually getting out of it, what they hoped for, what do you think are some misconceptions around that? What are some of the things people should know?

Curtis Jenkins  11:39

It's more about what you should do. And that is, first, when you start to identify what your specific issue is. And you can articulate that issue work with the coach to see if they can help you. And I mentioned this earlier, so forgive me for repeating it. But this is so important. Okay, once you do that, one of the things that I find is that the business owner doesn't see the true value in the coaching, right. 

Curtis Jenkins  12:06

So if you have a set of goals that you're trying to accomplish, come with those goals, right, and especially if those goals will give you more business and their monetary, then look at what the coach is costing you. Okay, and if that coach is going to bring you the value, that's going to get you to where you are, and it's just a fraction of where the goals are, then I would say, if it's a match, go for it, right, versus just looking at the cost in a blanket way and saying up, that's too prohibitive. Right. Right. So and then sit down and go over what expected outcomes are and agree upon them so that you have something to measure the coach by. 

Curtis Jenkins  12:52

Because if you don't do those things, you don't you don't know where success is, right. And you could have been wildly successful and still not satisfied, because you don't have anything to measure against. Or you could have just spin your wheels spent your money, and you're no better off than when you were when you first started. So you got to have clear out outcomes, and they need to be agreed upon.

Jane Singer  13:14

I think that's really important. Because we don't really look at it that way. I think that a lot of times people will engage with a coach or a consultant. And they're thinking this person either will come in and fix everything for them. Or they haven't really just thought about what they want the outcome to be, as you're pointing out. So if you haven't determined your end goal and determined it very quantitatively, it's very difficult to benchmark if you're actually getting there. So I think it's good that you brought that up.

Curtis Jenkins  13:43

And that's why I do an initial hour. Because everybody doesn't know how to do this. Right? entrepreneurs know their business, they know the thing that they have, they know their product or service. But sometimes these things escape them. And so if that's not their strength, let's spend an hour in let's come up with it. And to me, that's when I see the biggest aha moments because that's when you open your eyes to possibilities open their eyes to possibilities because they get to see oh, wait, yeah, that's what I wanted. I just couldn't see it. I couldn't articulate it. But I see a path now I see a certain future. And that's the excitement that I give to an entrepreneur. But that's the same excitement that I want them to give to their team.

Jane Singer  14:26

Yes. Yeah, that's very true. Now, in your book, vision to reality, you talk about the realization framework. Can you explain what that is and how we can apply that to our own businesses?

Curtis Jenkins  14:40

Sure, sure. So the realization framework experiences five steps and it's just an easy way that I say small businesses can learn how to behave like big businesses. So the first one starts off with visualize, so it's, let me just see what they are in the knowledge. Yeah, okay. Visual Eyes, evaluate, calculate, clarify and realize, and it's a loop as well. So, don't think that once you get the realize you stop, you got to keep going if you're going to keep growing. 

Curtis Jenkins  15:13

But visualize is what we talked about before being able to develop and come up with a bright future, what is it that you're trying to achieve? What's the dream, and let's get that down into words so that we can get you and the team excited about it. But not just just the words, we got to create a strategy tied to that vision. And we got to come up with a set of objectives, I like to do things in threes and fives, where we got three to five good objectives that we're going to meet, and then we tie them to concrete goals. And then we make sure that everybody has a role that's going to drive to that vision that like you can actually see your daily actions leading to it. 

Curtis Jenkins  15:56

And that leads to the next part, the most important part, one of the most important parts right to a business. And that is evaluate, evaluate your people. Look at where you're trying to go. And then look at where you are. And answer this question, can the people that you have in your current business ecosystem get you there? Whether it's your team members, your employees, your customers, your suppliers, your mentors, if you have anybody in that business ecosystem, and evaluate whether they can get you there? If not, then let's fill the gaps let's either upskill our people, let's replace our people, let's add people, but you know, let's figure out what people need to be there in order to meet that goal, and then tie those objectives that they have to those people. 

Curtis Jenkins  16:44

The third one is calculate. I'll start off with a startling statistic 82% of small businesses fail, because they didn't understand cashflow. Why, and this is the lifeblood of the organization. And whenever I'm talking to someone about their business, most business owners that I've talked to, when I say what are your major problems is I need more money. We all need more money. But how much do you need. And when are you going to give that money back if you're going to get with an investor or you're going to borrow the money. So the first one is an accountant, accountant will give you that view of your books, and make sure that everything's classified, right, because we're talking about a vision, a vision is going to need a budget. And it's going to need some financial forecasts. And you're going to need that anyway, especially if you're trying to go after investment. So let's evaluate that cash flow. 

Curtis Jenkins  17:42

But the biggest thing is people don't understand what the numbers and measures are telling you, they tell you a story of numbers to tell you your story at any given time. Number four is clarify clarify with a good plan. And you know, my profession is rooted in project management. So getting a good plan together, bringing that vision to reality, and coming up with a plan that allows the activities and we talked about this earlier that you do something daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually as it moves towards your vision, and you can see the progress and you pivot. And we go through a series of risk analysis to see because all of its managing risk, right? 

Curtis Jenkins  18:24

Who knew that it was going to be a pandemic? Alright, so now that you know, what would you do different if you could prepare for another pandemic? And these are the kinds of conversations we have and then go into realize there's two parts. And I talked about the first one earlier, it's the measures, how do you do your customer measures, your financial measures, your sales measures? And employee measures? Do you have a lot of turnover? So what are the key measures that you need based off of where you're trying to go that we need to focus on and it gives us an indication whether you are on track or not. 

Curtis Jenkins  18:59

And then the second part to that to realize is building a system of accountability is where a coach or an advisory board, which is what I help people build as well, not just me, but you know, I told you about my network of people that, hey, let's bring them on, let's bring on your network, key people that are going to help you grow. Like just like a big business that has a corporate board of directors, small businesses, to me should have business advisors, okay. And it's a little bit different from a legal perspective. And it's less daunting, but just have it meet on a regular basis. And make sure that you open yourself up to trusting someone else that's been there and done that. So that's the visualization, the realization framework experience.

Curtis Jenkins  19:45

I think that's really important. You brought up so many great things, because we don't really think about that. I think when you're talking about a large corporation, so much of this is in place, not that large corporations couldn't do with reevaluating what they're doing, why they're doing it and so forth. So I think a lot of what you brought up in your realization framework could be a good exercise, even for a large corporation. But certainly for smaller to medium size enterprises, we tend not to think about that, right? It tends to be a bit more scrappy. 

Jane Singer  20:16

I mean, on the one hand, it's leaner and meaner, that's sort of good. But at the same time, nobody is really doing that kind of formalized planning and structures. And and you pointed out it, if you don't have that you're sort of out there running hither and yon, but you don't actually have planned out where you're going, and you might not be doing things efficiently. Or you might be overlooking a lot of different things that you need to do. And they don't get done because you hadn't thought about it. So I think this framework, yes, a framework is a good way to put it, people need to structure.

Curtis Jenkins  20:49

Yeah, exactly. And it just makes it easier, right? Because the mind, the human mind, we we don't want to spend any extra cycles. So I just tried to make it so that it looks like it's going to happen and, and the civilization, you know, the logo that I created, really resembles a bridge, you're just kind of going from here to there. And let me guide you over the bridge and help you be successful.

Jane Singer  21:14

Yeah, I think that's really important. And I think that, you know, as we've been talking about, you don't think about that, when you are a smaller business, because you're just trying to stay alive. Typically, you're more focused on how do I get to the end of the month or the end of the quarter, whereas a larger company has other things in place, right, they have different kinds of financing different kinds of safety nets, they have their own problems and pressures to I'm not trying to say that they don't. But for a smaller business, it just tends to be more of the hands on stuff. 

Jane Singer  21:47

And the planning sort of gets pushed from good idea to what we'll do it next week. And we'll do it next month. And it's not as structured. So I think that what you're bringing here, to the to our audience and to the table, is the concept of putting together and if I'm understanding you correctly, and correct me if I'm misunderstanding is a structure that's on the one hand, it gives you that framework, but it's simple enough, that you don't end up getting caught in trying to figure it out, and then it never gets done. And you just become frustrated.

Curtis Jenkins  22:21

Right? We're absolutely right.

Jane Singer  22:24

Yeah, Curtis, how do people connect with you, I think a lot of people would love to get your book realization framework has got to be a tremendous asset for just about anybody who's in business. And I know a lot of people would love to be able to reach out to you. So where do we find you?

Curtis Jenkins  22:40

Yep, so the first thing, if you want to work with me, go to my website, www.cljassoc.com. Okay, and from there, you'll find everything but connect with me professionally, on LinkedIn, Curtis L. Jenkins, okay, socially on Instagram, or Facebook at the Curtis Jenkins, okay. And you can always find my book@amazon.com, Barnes and noble.com or wherever books are so

Jane Singer  23:12

well, wonderful. I'm going to put all of those links in the show notes so that people will have the exact link. I know a lot of people will be very interested in your book. And I want to thank you so much for joining us here on the seat at the table. It's just been a pleasure to have you on the show.

Curtis Jenkins  23:26

Thank you very much, Jane for having me. And I will just leave you with one more thing, okay, I have a course coming out How to Be a Millionaire wonderful. And it's going to be an online course that mirrors the book. And you can go through the exercises. So if you aren't able to be coached directly by me, you will have a wonderful resource to do that. And when the online class becomes available, like I said, in less than a week, you'll be able to go through the entire process on your own. And hopefully that'll help before you can get a chance to talk to me. So just wanted to share that with you and your audience.

Jane Singer  24:04

Well, thank you so much. And definitely I think a lot of people would find that interesting. So you'll be able to find that on Curtis's website is Well, again, I will have all the links in the show notes so people will be able to have an exact way to find you. And thank you again for joining us.

Curtis Jenkins  24:22

My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Jane Singer  24:24

I'd also like to thank our sponsor, Asianet Consultants, Asianet is a specialist in recruiting top talent in Asian markets. Since 1988. Asianet has been working in partnership with its global clients to help them make the right strategic hires. They have a well earned reputation for being able to fill even those difficult to fill positions. 

Jane Singer  24:44

Learn about how they can help you find the best talent by heading over to their website Asianet consultants.com. That's https://www.Asianetconsultants.com. I'll also leave a link in the show notes. 

Jane Singer  24:56

Thank you for joining me here on the seat of the table. If you enjoyed this episode or learn something from it, I would love to hear about it. If you'd like to support the show, please hit the subscribe button. And if you can take a minute to leave a review on Apple podcasts or other channels, that would be fabulous. 

Jane Singer  25:12

Don't forget to check out our podcast website seat.fm. That's seat.fm. If there's something you'd like to share ideas, suggestions or comments, please feel free to reach out. I would love to hear from you. 

Jane Singer  25:28

Thank you again for joining me and being part of our international community. I'm Jane singer, and I'll see you in the next podcast Episode.

The number one thing with new clients
Why so many business coaches fail
What is a visionary scorecard?
Some of the misconceptions about coaching
The Realization Framework
Evaluate your people and ecosystem
Importance of planning