Address the cracks before it's too late.

published2 months ago
2 min read

Howdy, Zack here.

Do you feel the cracks in your foundation?

Daily fire drills. Unaccountable people. Off-track projects. Missed metrics. Unhappy customers. Office politics. Shall I go on?

As an executive coach, I often come into companies that have blinders on. They'll acknowledge some of their dysfunction in our first meeting, but there seems to be a protective mechanism that prevents them from addressing or even seeing the cracks in their organization.

It has something to do with your distance. If you're a parent, you know what I mean. You're with your kids day in and day out, and you don't see their growth. When you visit a relative who hasn't seen your kid in 6 months, they always share how much they've grown. The changes occur so slowly that you have trouble recognizing the overall shift.

This phenomenon is similar to the boiling frog syndrome, which you've probably heard about before. If you want to boil a frog, you have to put it in cool water and set it to cook slowly so that the temperature change is so gradual that the frog doesn't even notice what's happening. In the context of our work, conditions deteriorate over time, and instead of seeing them and doing something about them, teams often adapt to those unstable conditions until they hit their own boiling point. That's when people leave, big mistakes are made, and irreversible damage is done to their organization and people.

As a lifelong entrepreneur turned executive coach, I know firsthand what having both kinds of foundations looks like. I also know that hope is never lost if you're willing to fix the cracks. And I'm not saying to patch the cracks but to fix them, creating a solid foundation that sets you up for success in your business and life.

Deep growth comes from building a solid foundation. In my coaching company, Top Teams, we discuss 7 Building Blocks. In EOS™, there are 6 Key Components™. In Ninety, there are 9 Core Competencies. The weaker you are across the board, the more challenging it will be to have sustained growth, and the peaks and valleys will be more pronounced.

How do you know how strong your foundation is?


  • Try taking a step back to become more aware of your surroundings.
    Imagine yourself as an outsider looking in. What do you see? What do you like? What don't you like?
  • Talk with trusted peers outside of your organization.
    Give permission to trusted professionals who interact with your organization to be entirely honest with you.
  • Take an assessment to evaluate your Building Blocks or what Ninety calls Core Competencies.
    I recommend Ninety's free Baseline Assessment or my Top Teams Assessment.

Just remember:
By strengthening your foundation, you can sustain deep growth on multiple levels — personally and professionally, in and outside your organization (your Circles of Impact).


  1. SongBook Max or Model 2 — Tivoli’s craftsmanship is next level.
  2. Tesla Coil Creator — The kid in me kind of wants one. If you buy one, let me know.
  3. Nikon Zf — The perfect sibling to my D850? Moss green it is.

Until next Wednesday, look at your foundation's present strength.

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