Ep. 291 INTERVIEW – Ken Trupke
Success Begins in the C – Suite INTERVIEW with Business Consultant and CEO of Protrainings, Ken Trupke. He has developed a method of helping motivated leaders understand where they’re stuck and put the systems and structures in place to align their team around key targets, improve communication, and get things moving forward again.
Get ready for an unfair advantage over your competition. This is The Sales Edge podcast. Where globally recognized sales expert and trainer Joe Pici helps you sharpen your skills for booking more appointments and closing more deals. And now here’s your host Joe Pici.
Joe Pici (JP):
You know, in the world of sales. We’re always talking about that. But today we brought on an expert, somebody who understands to see. Go see ooo how cells work L operations work. This is ongoing calendar. As well. As you know, we’re going to talk about those things today. But before we get to our guest, on a walking, you to the sales that podcast number 292 (291*) and that’s exciting. And we’re just so excited about having can on, but, you know, thank you. Thank you so much for our sponsors Pici and Pici, which is a speaking coaching training company right now. We’re specializing in helping companies recapture lost. Revenue, negotiate higher fees can find. Target market and sell more virtually as our web-based membership platform every Thursday night. And I’m out there doing a live coaching or training that ecourseware especially want you to go to sell more virtual e.com. Take advantage of the free webinar, 9 Essentials of sales success, and we want to thank you. You are the reason why we’re growing around the world. So let me talk to you about Ken. I’ll tell you about the personal part in a minute, but let me just tell you what he does professionally. You know, he helps clients Focus, their teams to increase sales and grow profits. He’s been working for over 30 years doing this. He has developed a method for helping motivating leaders, understand where they’re stuck and we all know that companies are stuck right now. He’s the guy that goes in and fixes them. He helps them with their systems or processes or structures making sure everything aligned. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today.
Their key targets, improving Communications, and actually turning things around for them. He specializes in executive leadership, sales and operations, especially in distress. In turn around situations, can has been a full-time or fractional CEO and CIO of several organizations and serves as a senior consultant at PWC and Arthur Anderson, welcome back Ken.
Ken Trupke (KT):
Great to be here. Thanks so much for having me. You know and just to be clear in the intro I served past tense with PWC and Arthur Andersen Arthur Andersen. I don’t even think is a thing anymore. That was a while back. So there’s great experience in those those are big organizations. So.
Well, we’ve known each other a couple years now and and our relationship is not just clients to each other but also friends and and I know that Ken I’m sorry sales boot camp and brings his team. He’s become a fixture. People actually call me up and say, Ken is the best they’ve ever seen at reaching out to people before they get into boot camp and setting up appointments. So tell me why you do that.
Well, it’s a great question. I appreciate that. And it’s great to hear that people have noticed that, but it’s because it’s all about your network. It’s it. People are the solution to every problem. Somebody knows what you need. Read, whatever it is that you need. And so, the bigger your network, the better chance, you’ve got at solving some problems quickly and every opportunity that I’ve ever gotten and I think that ever exists in the world comes from another person. So if you want more opportunities, you need to know more people. So before we go to the boot camp, I’m going to connect with everybody, I know is coming and once I get there, I’m going to connect with everybody, who’s there just to build a network and it’s not, it’s not for it’s a reciprocity thing. It’s not just for me. It’s actually how can I serve you and I’m confident that.
There’s an opportunity, something will come around, but that’s not the point. The point is to reach out and be of service to people and continue to build that Network. And one of my favorite things is to be able to meet people that I can then connect to someone else. So it’s not about me. It’s about how can I connect people? That I know that, you know, each other. So that’s that’s the point of all that and it’s amazing because you’ve done it now, you’ve been doing it for two years and people now know about that. Don’t even know you because the word gets around. The word. This word. There’s this guy Ken from Michigan. He’s gonna call you as soon as he’s gonna call you and he’s Gonna Save coffee with you. Yes, that is true. Yeah. So yeah, basically, anybody who’s a guest on your podcast, I’m gonna contact. So. Yeah. And I’m gonna call him because what else would you do? Knowing the Joe Pici system. So yeah, pick up the phone. Well, let’s get started here. You know, you have this whole CEO and Co o thing. I want to start with you on the subject that’s really near and dear to you.
About leadership. I’d like you to speak into the importance about have having great leadership in a company today. Yeah, again, good question and my take on that, is that everything starts and ends with people. Every, every problem that you have in your business is probably a people problem for, it said that business is easy until people get involved. The good news though is that people are also the solution and so you’ve gotten it starts at the top. You’ve got to have leaders that understand that, if the people are the solution, and that empowering people training, people coaching people up getting the best out of people and making them feel part.
To the team is. Win in business. And I know you’re, you know, football coach from back in the day and it’s Sports is a great analogy for business because it takes the whole team. Everybody’s got different roles, but you got it. You win together and you lose together. There’s no, there’s no winners on the losing team. And so we’ve gotta get a pull everybody together, get everybody aligned and that’s that’s the leaders job to leaders job. It’s the conductor in an orchestra. You don’t need to be able to play the trumpet. Nobody’s asking you to play the flute. You got to be up there conducting, those things. And in Empowering people and leading people. And that’s that’s the role of the leader. And so too, for business to win. You’ve got to, you’ve got to really understand your role as the leader and how you serve your team. Not how they serve you.
All right. So in your career, I would like you to address this during this answer here. What is a fractional CEO but now, you know, whether your fractional or your your in are embedded in there. Tell me what you see as your role as a CEO of a company.
Like so just to address the fractional part, fractional just is something that I’ve done, we can use to call it fractional that’s becoming more popular term. But the idea is you’re kind of time-sharing talent. So maybe you’re a smaller company, who can’t afford a full-time high level, Chief Operating Officer. So maybe you bring somebody like me and for a day a week or a couple days a month, or maybe it’s more than that. So it doesn’t have to be full time, but you probably don’t need it full time. You also probably can’t afford it full time so you can slice.
Here a week and then a couple days a different company during the week and and then that it’s a way to get Talent. You might not have access to buy kind of slicing it up into into fractional pieces. So that’s where that comes from. And I’ve already forgotten. What was the other question second part was as, as your role as a CEO CEO, but, you know, we’ll get to the separation of what they are butter. What is your role? What is it that you do as a CEO? Well, great question, so it’s too To that conductor roll. It’s to figure out what everyone is doing. Figure out what everybody should be doing and then get those things aligned. When I come into a company initially, whatever the timeframe is in those leadership type roles. The first thing I do and you know, this is your sales process. Its Discovery got to ask a lot of questions, got to talk to the leaders, got to talk to everybody on the team, depending on the size of the company. I might literally talk to everybody on the team and and just
Understand what they see and what their perspective is on things. And I’ll usually ask to help people kind of frame up their answers as what should we stop doing. What should we start doing? And what should we keep doing? It? Just helps people kind of pinpoint. What’s good and what’s working and what’s not working, but you got to understand what’s going on. You got to do an assessment of where we are and what the issues are. And then really sift through that, because you can get a lot of answers from a lot of different perspectives and you get a Sif that Through to get down to what’s really going on here. Where are the real issues? And what’s really happening that really needs to change and then bring that to the people that brought me in typically that could be if it’s co old be a CEO or if it’s a CEO role. There’s a there’s a border owners or something and say, Here’s what I’m seeing. Here’s here’s the plan and then then communicating that both up and then back down to the team. Here’s what I saw. Here’s what I heard. Here’s what I think, we need to go and this is the
Land because communication ultimately is where most companies struggle and that’s the place you got to start to to fix. Is it when people know what to do, people come to work, they want to do a great job, but when they don’t know, they’re just going to guess and do their best. Nobody’s coming to work trying to wreck things. They want to do their best, but you’ve got to help them know what winning looks like. And that’s, that’s through communication, but it all starts with that, Discovery process. You guys got to understand what’s going on and you do that. Just like in sales by asking a lot of questions.
Well, the other day we had a sister named Meridith on who she was talking about. So many changes that are out there in today’s economy, from a sales perspective. Like, I’d like you to from a internal business perspective. What are some of the challenges companies are facing today with with what we’ve lived through the last two years.
Yeah. It’s a, it’s definitely there’s some big challenges from the to
These last two years and I’ve always believed that, that culture is what drives companies if that’s what winning teams have that losing teams don’t have. And again, you see this in sports. There’s teams that perpetually win and there’s teams that seem to perpetually lose and there’s something in the culture of those organizations that leads to that. And so maintaining that culture and growing healthy, strong winning cultures during lockdowns and pandemics. And remote work has been very A challenging and and now it’s apparent that that’s not going away. At least the work from home remote, work, dispersed workers, kind of thing. And so the challenge for leaders is really to figure out. How do we create a cohesive healthy culture when people aren’t coming together? Physically anymore, when we’re spread out because when people get off on Islands, gets back to that idea that people are trying to do their best, but if they don’t know what that is, they’re going to kind of guess and go off in different directions. So to get everybody aligned it’s a lot easier to do.
When you can literally see everybody talked to everybody, see that somebody’s. Maybe a little off track over and talk to them casually. Whenever he’s remote, you got to be much more intentional about that. And it’s just, that’s that I would say, is the biggest challenge right now is to keep people focused and aligned through your communication and kind of a sidebar to that is just to reduce the fear. There’s there continues to be so much anxiety and so much fear about what’s happening. And what’s the future and what’s going to change and then society and with politics and you can say, well, let us know. I need to do with business, but people are people and their life is one whole thing. We Try to separate work from home, but when you’re literally working from home, that gets even harder, but even before that, your one whole person and what affects you outside of work, you bring that to work. If you’re having a problem with some kids or your money or something, you’re going to bring that to work. So now there’s all this fear and anxiety around society and pandemics and what’s going to happen next with. People are bringing that to work and sort of help them process that and to help them reduce that anxiety both. So they can be better. Err in their life as a person but also so they can bring their best to work because nobody’s they’re best at work. When they’re stressed out, whether that’s dressed up, are about their finances or stressed out about a global pandemic, stress is stress, and it affects how you work. So, that’s a kind of a ancillary challenge to the culture. Come another part of that culture, that that leaders are responsible for. You’ve got to reach out and take care of those things. And we, I don’t know that anybody’s quite figured that out yet. It’s still too early, but that’s the challenge.
All right, so as the captain of the ship, Were the head coach of the company you’re with? Okay, what’s some of the things that you’re working to implement some things that you see? You feel You’re getting some traction with you’re gaining ground with that. Maybe you can help the audience with understand. Hey, you know, these are some of the things that were working on to try to pull our culture together to become more effective.
Yeah, again, great questions. So I would say on that one, What I’ve Done successfully with the company I’m working mostly with Right now, but also just in general, historically is defining that culture. If you’re going to say, this is who we are, and how we behave and what we’re trying to accomplish. Well, it’s really helpful to have that written down and not some mission statement with, you know, cut and paste words off the wet off some website, but actually, what you were trying to do in simple language that, everybody can go, okay. I get what we’re trying to do and so that you can prioritize off that and then in the culture you get a defined, those core values, how are we?
And you behave what is important to us? What makes us unique and and how it works here versus some other company. And when you can get those things defined and get that written down. It really helps to get people at a draft in behind that. It also is going to help us some self-selection. Some people are gonna say, hey, you know, what, if that’s what we’re trying to do, or if that’s how we need to behave, this isn’t for me, and that’s okay, but when you can document that and reinforce that what it allows is for people to self-select and you end up with the people, Who buy into that vision and who buy into those values. And now, you can start really building on that healthy culture and and that’s what’s going to drive results. Because when people can work together, it’s a lot more effective than people not get Sports analogy, if the football team knows the play, and everybody’s doing their job, you’re going to, you’re going to gain some yards. And if somebody doesn’t do their job or doesn’t know the play, it just doesn’t work. And so you need, everybody aligned. And so working on that that core purpose in those Values to make sure people are clear, is really critical.
This morning. Oh Dark. Thirty after I get off my stationary bike. We have about 10 to 4 and I went on. I was check my email. But before I get on my email, there was an article that flashed up and it was about the Super Bowl champion, Washington Redskins. What was that 92? If I help? And they were so good. So rehearsed so culture driven that during the Super Bowl game. I’m the offensive lineman were telling the defensive lineman, what play was coming where was going to go? And they said we’re just going to out execute you.
Yeah, and you can’t stop us for sure. Now, you still have that when you get things dialed in you can you can kind of do that. Even in business when you when you know what you’re doing and the rest of the team knows and everybody’s aligned you’re going to get some wins. You’re going to execute in a way. That’s very effective.
You said something. I put you on the spot our last sales boot it actually, had such an impact, it changed the way. One of the other companies were in there were dealing with their salespeople and it was something like this and an incorrect me. Here. We do things this way. Can you say it the way you said it?
Well, it’s probably a riff that I that I borrowed it from Seth Godin, which is People Like Us do things like this and that’s a way of dialing in the culture to say here. We do things this way, and if your people like us and you belong here, then this will resonate with you and you’ll fit right in and if it doesn’t, that’s okay, but then you can’t be here because this is the way we do things here and that’s again gets back to documenting these things. Writing it down and making sure people are aware of it and know it. But part of the reason we do appreciation. Every morning is in the daily, stand-up is that’s part of the culture that make it better is one of the core values and
And recognize each other. And so we’ll start our stand up with good news and appreciation and it’s a chance to for people to appreciate each other but also reinforces that core value like, oh, yeah, people like us do things like this. One of our core values is make it better appreciate people. So every day we’re going to appreciate people because that’s a core value. So we’re trying to find ways to live these things because you don’t ever want your core values to just be that thing that’s over on the wall that people need to go over and read to remember what it says and even then it doesn’t really matter or make sense. You have me live in these Things they got to be real and you got to reinforce them.
So well that statement there was a company in the room that I been working with and a cautioning them about allowing people to operate outside of their culture. And when I put you on the spot and you said it and it wasn’t coming from me, it came from somebody that was at their peer level, which was CEO of a large company. They made some changes, okay. And that way. And one of the people that was off the reservation is no longer in the reservation. and they’re better for it.
Absolutely. And in that person’s probably better for it because they are truly not a fit somewhere. You’re not having fun either. It’s not good to go. You know, you know, you don’t fit in and it’s a struggle and some people hang in there because they don’t feel like they have better Alternatives. But once they get out, I’ve had people that have left organizations. I’ve worked with that came back and said, you know, I was the best thing that ever happened. That day that I quitter that day. That I got fired. I thought it was the worst day, but it turned out to be the best thing because I’ve found an organization where I really click and I’m having a great time. I’m succeeding. I’m doing well kind of thank you so much for firing me was the net of the message. But yeah, because if you’re not if you’re not a fit, it’s not good for you either. So it helps the organization to have the right people there and it helps the people that aren’t the right people, for that company to go somewhere else. Yeah, everybody’s made differently and we all can Thrive somewhere. So, if you’re at thriving, where
You are now take a hard look at that and maybe go somewhere else because if you don’t eventually, your leaders are going to come around and go, you know, you don’t really fit here. And so either make that choice voluntarily, or it’s probably going to be made for you at some point.
When did you go into this Owning your own business and going into do CEO work with companies. When was that?
Yeah, that was probably 12 or 13 years ago now and it’s been a series of mostly referrals. So, you’ll appreciate that as a sales guy and that comes back to building the network. And so, I was had been had a long run at one company, an injection, molding plastic, injection, molding company. And then when I left there, I started a series of enormous eiements and some of them were month.
Also love a years-long. Sometimes one at a time sometimes multiple things at a time. And so it’s been that series of things. It’s just evolved into working that way. Good. What is your firstly what is your favorite leadership book? I would say Val, shall prosper. It’s by a Daniel Rabbi Rabbi Daniel Lapin. It’s probably right here. There you go. Yeah, great book about how it what it takes to be successful as a person as well as business. Gives you a great perspective about what business is and what we’re trying to do and why it works and why it’s important and and serving people, it starts with service that your job is to find things that other people need done and go do those and he calls the he calls money certificates of appreciation and you do something that someone else values. They give you a certificate.
Of appreciation with a president on it. And and that’s the reason you can’t get those unless you serve somebody and the more you serve the more of those you get. And so when you look at people that have a lot of those certificates with presidents on them, they have served a lot of people and and it really helps you to focus on how to scale yourself. And how do I, how do I reach more people and help more people? So I would say that’s that’s a great go-to. That’s that a lot of people have not read or heard of so great. I like to promote. Note that one. So we’ll back up to that. Is anything by Jim Collins? Good to Great. Oh, yeah. Idea following any of those and people it’s kind of cliche but they are genuinely good books and he’s got some great Concepts that that I use every day. Yeah, and if I can throw a third one in I know this is a favorite of yours. Never split the difference by Chris Moss. Oh, yeah. Also a great great book. That’s so practical because it’s so much about people and relationships and communication. So helpful.
I know this that I know that you’re in a CEO role, but I know you’re also open to speak for organizations to whether it’s virtual or live keynoting to do trainings. To do coaching. Can you tell these folks? How to get in touch with you?
Yeah, absolutely. So the, the, the easiest kind of one step move is go to KenTrupke.com You can get my contact information from there. My phone number always available for conversation. Six 1682 to 2998, call or text. I will get back to you will get Nothing on the calendar. I love making connections with people because you just never know you. And I don’t expect that, that contact is necessarily going to be fruitful directly but indirectly and by that, I mean, I’m going to know somebody that can help that person or they’re going to know somebody that can help me. Maybe we can do something together, but that’s less likely, but that’s okay. Or they’re going to know somebody that can help me. Maybe we can do something together, but that’s less likely, but that’s okay. And so I’m always open to having a conversation because everyone has a network that maybe has some overlap with your network, but probably has a lot of new people in there and it just builds you up again. That’s where opportunities come from and that’s for solutions to problems come from as bigger Network. So please reach out KenTrupke.com or give me a call?
Fantastic hey team. This has been great. We’re going to be moving Ken over to sell more virtually.com. And by the way, let me promote cell more virtual e.com., Go on here. Check it out. You may want to be a member. But right now we’re offering a free course, non-essentials, a sales success, whether you’re a member or not. It’s going to pop up right on the sliding. Just register it. Free 96 is a sales success, but right now, take out your phone, put in sales agent, a text box, text it to five, five, six, seven, eight. Take you to Pici and Pici, which will take you to a splash page. There are the nine Essentials there. There’s so much more information there, folks, at this is an asset. You can you like it, share it and write a comment. Thank you so much. And let’s move over with can to sell more virtually
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