Houston BBB Presents Awards of Excellence

On Tuesday, October 12, the Houston Better Business Bureau hosted its awards gala, honoring recipients of the 2021 Awards of Excellence.

Annually the BBB sponsors the contest to highlight the great work being done by the small business community in the Greater Houston area.

Judging for this contest is done by members of Silver Fox Advisors. Our advisors spend hundreds of man-hours reviewing the packages submitted by business owners, selecting winners in each of the various categories.

In the cover photo, are Silver Fox Advisor members (from L to R), Donnie Roberts, President, George Connally, Herb Kalman, Mark Miller (judging chairman), and Rich Hall. Not picked is Joseph Tung who co-chaired the judging team with Mark.

Congratualtions to all the winners. You can see more details on BBB’s website.

Going for Bold in Business

Being an entrepreneur is a special journey. Founders of new companies face a changing world with so many challenges. Yet every year, hundreds of brave souls step out from their comfort zones and launch new businesses.

On Thursday, October 28th, the Silver Fox Advisors will host some special guests. We are excited to bring Jon Pierre and Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin to speak at our monthly Lunch and Learn.

You may know this couple as stars of HGTV series Going for Sold and Two Steps Home. They are based right here in Houston. This power couple have made a giant leap forward with the interior design and remodeling business they opened as husband and wife.

Join us at 12:00 noon to hear their story of overcoming great odds to grow their business from simple start-up to reality TV superstars.

This program is a live webinar. Seats are free, but you must preregister.

Building Trust at Work – Improving Team Results

Trust is a critical element in our everyday lives. The relationships we enter are centered on trust. Whether we are going to work, shopping online, or meeting a stranger, trust becomes the yardstick for how far that relationship may go.

For those of you in a significant relationship with a life partner, trust means everything to that relationship. Break the trust and the relationship bond shrivels and dies.

Bob Burg is famous for coining the phrase “know, like and trust (KLT).” His teaching says we only do business with people we know, like and trust. It’s a progression of experience that gets us over the goal line. You visit each of the three stages before you are ready to make the bigger commitments.

The same is true at work. We spend most of our waking hours dedicated to work. Trust in the workplace should be a vital part of success and reward. Yet managers seldom focus on building trust to build a great team. Instead, they focus on the tasks at hand. They agonize over process and procedure to get things done.

Yet employees struggle to perform at the higher levels of success.

If I can’t trust my boss, why should I give much effort to the task? A low or no trust situation is like meeting the clerk at the convenience store. I don’t have much vested in that transaction. I give the clerk my money to buy my gas or pack of gum. If I watch them put the money in the cash register…end of relationship. It doesn’t require a high level of trust.

However, when I take a job, I expect a lot more in the way of trust from the boss. He/she needs to drive that train. They need to be the ones demonstrating how trust is going to work in that situation. Once I can determine the level of trust I am going to get (remember know, like, and trust), then I begin opening up my trust bank to give back.

By the way. The whole notion of trust is just like a bank account. Deposits must be made for funds to be available from which you can spend. I must get trust to give trust.

But as a leader, that model shifts in a big way. YOU must be the one making the deposits in your people. Show them trust and confidence, then they will begin to pay it back.

join our team graphic

The Trust Gap

Trust is never mentioned by my coaching clients as a ‘top of the list’ goal. Often, they have been introduced to leadership frameworks that are intended to build a certain leadership culture or change an old one. They engage me for helping direct those leadership development efforts.

With the focus on conceptual principles, leaders forget the value of simply building trust. When we start doing the coaching work, we inevitably run head-long into the issue of low trust.

They acknowledge a sense of no trust, yet they are stuck when challenged to think about ways to build better trust.

Talking about trust gives way to more frustration about how to get there. After all, think about how you chose your spouse (if you have one). Was there a specific, tangible set of criteria or did you just ‘know.’?

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

That is why I like the Team Trust Model as the answer for practical and tactical ways to build trust. Since the model is really a process of logical thought about the dynamics of how trust can be built, a leader can craft a methodical and measurable system for gaining better trust within the team.

team trust model

Building trust is a process to answer a list of key questions. The questions might be obvious or subtle, but they are questions, nonetheless.

When the leader effectively and systematically answers all of the questions his/her team may have, then trust begins to evolve. The process naturally fits the KLT method. As employees, the more we know about the work team, the better we are equipped to like what we’re about. If we like it, then we can begin trusting it.

At the Core

The Team Trust Model is here to promote trust at work. It does so by inspiring people to invest their discretionary effort. Every employee comes to work with a certain capacity to deliver. However, this overall capacity is divided into segments. The first, and most basic level, is the bare minimum. We agree to deliver our bare minimum effort to keep from getting fired.

It’s the lowest of effort expended. It keeps things moving at an acceptable pace. But it won’t set records.

Discretionary effort, on the other hand, is that extra effort; the 110%. Employees all have the ability to spend this extra. The question is whether they want to.

For leaders, the challenge is to inspire folks to do that on a regular basis. Come to work and give the extra all the time.

When the team setting is right, people never question the willingness to give it all.

A New Series

The preceding message is the start of a series of articles presenting the dynamics and power of the Team Trust Model. Over the next few weeks, I will be diving deeper into this approach for practical and tactical ways to improve your team’s performance while building a more rewarding work experience.

This article first appeared at DougThorpe.com. If you found the content helpful, please share it with your social media contacts.

CEO Education Workshop – Starting Soon

You still have time to register for our next workshop in the CEO Education Series. On Wednesday, May 19, this week, we are hosting a panel for “Increasing Profits/Understanding Costs.”

Silver Fox Advisors Herb Kalman and David Neuberger will be the guest speakers.

This is offered as a service to the business community. There is no charge to attend, but you must pre-register and seats are filling fast.

Lead by Example-Where Passion Finds Purpose – May 27 Lunch & Learn

The Silver Fox Advisors announce their guest speaker for the May 27th Lunch and Learn Webinar. This month we are honored to have Mr. Tyson Voelkel, President and CEO of the Texas A&M Foundation.

A 1996 graduate of Texas A&M University, Tyson Voelkel has served as president and CEO of the Texas A&M Foundation since 2016. In his role, he provides direction for the management of the Foundation’s $2 billion in net assets, serves as principal liaison with the university, and leads university-wide fundraising activities. He also successfully oversaw the Lead by Example campaign, the largest higher education fundraising effort in Texas history, which exceeded its goal to raise $4 billion for Texas A&M students, faculty, colleges and programs within a nine-year period.

Born and raised in Brenham, Texas, Tyson holds an undergraduate degree in industrial distribution from Texas A&M, a master’s degree in international relations and national security from the Bush School of Government and Public Service, and an MBA from Rice University.

Prior to working at the Foundation, Tyson led a Houston-based consultancy focused on building, managing and advising ultra-high net worth family offices. A U.S. Army Infantry Officer for more than 12 years, he twice served as a Company Commander in the 82nd Airborne Division in combat operations in Iraq, earning two Bronze Stars. He also taught leadership and ethics at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Today, Tyson still serves as Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

CEO Education Series – Part 3

Increasing Profits and Understanding Costs

Join us on Wednesday, May 19 as another panel of Silver Fox Advisors take on the subject of cost accounting.

Every business has costs to operate, produce goods and services, and ‘keep the lights on.’ But are you identifying and managing those costs effectively?

Your ultimate profitability will be impacted by the proper control of operating costs.

While there are many different ways to allocate costs to multiple lines of business, you need a framework to capture those costs, analyze them, then decide on how you want to apply them to your business accounting.

Our panel of experts will tackle these and other topics during a FREE virtual workshop.

You must register in advance.

When: Wed May 19, 10:00-11:30 CT

Where: Virtual Workshop

How Rebel Athletic Challenged the Industry Giant

Silver Fox Advisors Lunch & Learn

Thursday, April 22 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM

Every entrepreneur hopes that one day, their business will take off, get the exposure they want, and create an industry impacting success. The word for this is ‘disruptive.’

Disruptive means that the giants who command big market share are caused to rethink their approach.

This month at our regular Lunch & Learn program, we are honored to have such an entrepreneur speak to us.

Karen Noseff Aldridge is the Founder and President of Rebel Athletic, which she started in 2013. Rebel is focused on designing and selling custom couture Cheerleading Uniforms in the Allstar Competitive Cheer industry.

The company has grown to include a School Cheer Division, a Dance Costume Division, a Retail division selling athletic wear, uniforms, warm-ups, practice wear, shoes, bags, cosmetics, and accessories to girls and women who love to sparkle.

Rebel also manages and operates its own vertically integrated production facility by controlling all aspects of its production and distribution channels.

Rebel Athletic apparel was featured in the Netflix mega-hit documentary Cheer. The show chronicles Corsicana’s Navarro College Bulldogs squad as they prepare for the National Cheerleading Championships.

More than 70 percent of Rebel’s employees and executive team are women. Clients include some of the world’s biggest squads, such as Canada’s 1,200-member Cheer Sport Sharks, as well as professional teams like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

This will be a live, virtual event. There is no charge to attend, but you must register in advance.

Why Every Business Should Have a Multiyear Business Plan

The Silver Fox Advisors are presenting a webinar to answer that question, review the elements that a good plan addresses,  and how to construct and use a multiyear Business Plan.   

The webinar will be presented by a panel consisting of two bankers with over 50 years of commercial and SBA lending experience, a CPA who specializes in appraises businesses, and a former CFO and Business Operating Executive.  All have helped their clients raise capital, as well as, assisted business owners grow their businesses. 

The webinar reminds us how our businesses are rudderless without a business plan.  It is like taking a road trip without a roadmap or GPS.  We may or may not reach the destination we intended in the most effective way.  Has your leadership team bought into the desired destination and more importantly, agreed on how to get there?  The webinar will discuss how to use the planning session as a team-building process, the only way to allocate capital, and truly define what success means for your team. 

By embracing the elements presented throughout the webinar, you will gain confidence that you can reach your business goals. 

When: Wednesday, April 28, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Where: Via Zoom Webinar

Cost: FREE

Registration: Click Here

CEO Education Series – A Business Plan . . . Your Guide to Success

Owning a business is work. But to what end?

As Stephen R. Covey famously said, “we must begin with the end in mind.”

Having a business plan can get you to that proper end result. Now is all planning perfect? Likely not. But if you want to grow and manage your business with a good outcome, you have to have a plan; a business plan.

Join us on April 13 as four of our Silver Fox Advisors share their experiences and views on drawing up the right business plan. It’s not as hard or daunting as you might think.

We’re sharing tips, hacks, and ideas for getting a good business plan in place.

Live webinar, Tuesday April 13th at 10:30 AM CT/ 11:30 AM ET

The panelists are:

Dick Hendee, Bill Herman, Herb Kalman, and Gary Henderson

March Newsletter

March is a busy month here at Silver Fox Advisors.

Education Series

We are launching our 2021 Education Series on March 16. The Education Series is a program featuring various advisors and associates of the organization, bringing you topics and information to help you as a business owner/leader.

The first session for 2021 will be titled “The Science of Selling in a COVID World”. Two of our members, Rich Hall and Mark Miller will be presenting. For more on this informative session, read the link below.

There is no fee for this series, but you must pre-register. We will begin at 10:00.

Lunch & Learn

Then, on March 25 at Noon, join us for our monthly Lunch & Learn event. This month, Mr. Brian Greene, President and CEO of the Houston Food Bank will be speaking on “Understanding How Nonprofit Organizations Are Different So You Can Be More Helpful to Them”

This is a virtual webinar. There is no fee to attend, but you must preregister.

Blog Articles

Please feel free to browse our library of articles, studies, and messages written by our members. Visit SilverFox.org

Need an Advisor?

Is your business running exactly as you hoped it would? Are you struggling with turning the corner or getting to the next level of success?

Think about contacting an advisor. We here at Silver Fox Advisors are proven business leaders with decades of practical experience, ready to come alongside you and your business. Contact us today or read more at SilverFox.org.