Posts by: Hal Levenson


Leadership Development: Vulnerability Redefined

Practicing Vulnerability in Leadership

I just finished reading Brene Brown’s 2019 book, Dare To Lead. For years, she has done fascinating research on vulnerability. Her universal message is that vulnerability is actually a strength not a weakness as some, like me, would tend to think. As the leader of a business and a man in his 50’s, vulnerability was not a quality that I felt comfortable admitting, to let alone expressing. For me, I’ve always wanted to be the strong one which meant having all of the answers, armoring up (Brene Brown’s words) and being known for giving, not receiving. This notion was so pervasive for me that my team would sometimes joke that I was in “Mr. Fix It” mode when an issue came up. In these instances, before my team even finished […]

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What Should You Do with Excess Profits?

What Should You Do with Excess Profits

What should you do with excess profits? It’s a great problem to have but it can also be difficult to navigate. Imagine your business is pushing out excess profits (business owners often dream of such times). What should you do now that you find yourself with a robust bottom line? Here’s 3 Suggestions for What Should You Do with Excess Profits 1. Place one-third aside for your owners or shareholders as a return on their investment. Make sure you include yourself in order to establish personal financial independence and stability. 2. Keep one-third with the company for future investment. Make sure you properly capitalize the business areas that need attention and will produce results. 3. Put the last third into an employee profit sharing pool. Your people are your greatest […]

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Artificial Intelligence – Are You Ready for a Braver New World?

preparing for the rise of Artificial Intelligence in business

Have you spent time thinking about or preparing for the rise of Artificial Intelligence in business? It may sound like the distant future, but the dawn of AI in business is just a few short years away. Change is inevitable. There are many kinds of changes that can transform your business environment – market, economic, political, workforce and ownership transition, just to name a few. The one kind of change that I find fascinating and perhaps a bit terrifying is the development of Artificial Intelligence or AI. Within the near future, autonomous cars will fill the streets, manufacturing jobs will be taken over by AI powered robots, “virtual assistants” will work alongside humans in fields such as healthcare, customer service and education. Heck, I already see a robot named Stuart […]

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Pain Relief in Business: Return on Investment vs Return on No Investment

Return on Investment vs Return on No Investment

There’s lots of talk about Return on Investment but what about your Return on No Investment? Not sure what I mean. Let me explain. In November 2018, I heard that Tony Robbins, the inspirational coach was coming to Newark, NJ for one of his “Unleash the Power Within” weekend seminars. It sounded intriguing so I signed up. The theme of the weekend reflected one of Tony’s famous quotes: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” While at the seminar, I started thinking about my approach with clients. I often used Tony’s quote with those who were struggling with financial, strategic or organizational issues. I clearly saw that they were held back by their limiting beliefs and referencing his quote was the […]

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Both Sides of the Coin: Fundamental & Behavioral Disciplines

Fundamental Disciplines & Behavioral Disciplines

In my role as an advisor, I’ve encountered many owners who are frustrated with their company’s lack of growth. Oftentimes, they feel that if only their sales increased, then all would be well. That may be the answer in some cases, but through Trilogy’s deep analysis, we often find that the root cause of their challenges lies in both the Fundamental & Behavioral disciplines of business. Fundamental disciplines are the tangible aspects of your business that make up the day-to-day building blocks consisting of: Operations Management – steps and procedures that are updated and constantly improved to drive quality, efficiency, increase revenue, control costs and mitigate risks Financial Management – reporting and analysis, KPI’s, budgets and forecasts People/Organizational – internal structure made up of employees whose skills and experience align […]

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Thinking About Transitioning Away from Your Business?

Transitioning Away from Your Business

Are you thinking about transitioning away from your business? There’s a startling statistic out there for us baby boomers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 National Population Projections, all baby boomers will be older than 65 by 2030 which means that we need to be preparing for retirement…NOW. At Trilogy Partners, we’ve seen the trend of business owners who are seriously contemplating the transition out of their business whether by selling, merging or shifting from the top role. I commend those owners who have the courage and foresight to recognize that their business will or should outlast them. It’s a hard pill to swallow. When owners come to us looking for support and guidance, they often think we will start with the typical process: 1. Reviewing both company and […]

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Staying Focused for Success in Business

Staying Focused for Success in Business

I’m often asked about the secret to success in business. I’m tempted to run off a list of points like understanding your financials, finding a mentor, taking calculated risks, filling a need in the marketplace, etc. While those elements have undoubtedly helped in my 30 years of entrepreneurship, the secret to me is a simple concept – Staying Focused. Staying focused is a simple concept, but adhering to it is another story. As a Visionary and Entrepreneur, I naturally generate new ideas each day. These ideas are not burdensome to me, in fact, I thrive on them. I truly believe that each one has merit and would love to see my concepts come to light. More idea generation means more forward movement and growth. Makes sense, right? This is where […]

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Utilizing the Power of Choice in Business

Utilizing the Power of Choice in Business

Let’s examine the power of choice as it relates to our business and personal lives. One of the greatest benefits of my business is that I get to work with talented people who are part of Trilogy’s Alliance Partner team. Our seasoned Alliance Partners deliver high-touch, quality, personal service to support our clients’ needs. I’m excited to share my thoughts on The Power of Choice written by Denise Yosafat, a member of our team. Making choices in one’s life can be daunting. I’ve seen people, including myself, stall at moving forward out of fear of possible repercussions. In business, especially, making the wrong choice can be devastating. So how do you get over the fear while ensuring that your choice is sound? In her book, Denise surmises that making a […]

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Sustaining Accountability within Your Organization

Sustaining Accountability within Your Organization

Let’s look at some tactics for sustaining accountability within your organization. I’ve written before about the importance of Accountability. Everyone seems to know what it means in theory but putting it into practice is another story. Below are four key tips to sustaining accountability that organizational leadership must follow: Trust and trustworthiness – Trust is a two-way street: Being worthy of someone’s trust and taking steps to trust someone. One does not truly exist without the other. And, they form the foundation upon which accountability can be built. It takes time to build trust but without it, an organization cannot evolve. Open and honest dialog – Having a dialog that gets to the point, stated in a respectful manner and staying focused on the issue and not the person are […]

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Accountability in Business: Changing Mediocrity into Excellence

Accountability in Business Changing Mediocrity into Excellence

I hear about ‘Accountability in Business’ over and over. To be clear, I hear the concern about accountability not existing in organizations and the desire by owners to embed it into their culture. But what exactly is accountability? From my perspective, it is the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Accountability in business starts at the top. Leadership defines the culture of the organization. If leadership is unwilling to confront issues or uses passive-aggressive behavior and empty threats to derive change, then the organization’s culture will shift toward mediocrity. On the other hand, an organization can move towards excellence when everyone: Naturally & respectfully challenges the clarity of an answer Defines an action with identified responsibilities and due dates Clearly states expectations for individuals and groups Implements consequences for missed commitments […]

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