The perfect solution for Startups & Small Businesses to make business improvement – business as usual.

 Waymaker Podcast: S1:E16

Listen & watch ‘Leadership Torque | Essentials Leadership Curve’

In this episode we talk about the latest offering from Waymaker – the Essentials Leadership Curve.



Essentials Leadership Curve

Well welcome to LeadershipTorque, the official Waymaker Podcast I’m your host Craig Hindman and with me is Stuart Leo, CEO founder of Waymaker how are you?

I’m making way Craig i’m making way wow wow that’s good

no that’s brilliant hey stu i’m not going to ask you about how your day was or your weather the weather or anything like that on the gold coast because uh we’ve got an announcement to make in this episode so i wonder like something special to tell our listeners so i’m just wondering whether or not we just dive straight into that let’s do it okay stewart

that was blank pause for drumroll what’s the what’s the big announcement now it feels bigger than what it really is this is big this is great so um we have just had so much wonderful feedback from customers around the world on waymaker’s leadership curve and the diagnostic that goes with that one of the best bits of feedback is people love the way you can make sense of the business through the curve and and start applying the seven questions and growing um but for smaller businesses it’s being too much information and so for startups and small businesses um they’re like okay how do we how could you make this simpler for us um love the seven questions love the curve love the ability to track our progress and and then turn things into goals make it simpler so huge announcement we’ve done that we’ve we’ve gone back into the get the digital gaffer tape and

re-patched the wires and uh and developed a new waymaker leadership curve called essentials and waymaker essentials leadership curve is for startups and small businesses who want the simplicity of a single framework a single curve framework to um hit the big rocks to grow their business excellent stu this is me so i’m uber interested yeah great and i’m gonna i’m gonna ask you lots of questions uh as a customer as well yeah far away but maybe just like let’s just backtrack a little bit for a second and just talk about for those that are listening for the first time just to explain a little bit more about the the leadership curve and what it is so then we can talk about what the essentials version of this is yeah good question you might be listening for the first time what is waymaker’s leadership curve it’s a way of making sense of everything going on inside your organization business and in making sense of it you can begin to build clarity in um what you’re doing while you’re doing it and that comes from understanding that the business or the organization is a a bunch of systems a bunch of things working together it’s never in isolation so it’s how well your vision aligns with the market you’re talking to and how well that aligns with the strategic position and growth you’re making how well that aligns with the the business model that’s creating the value proposition for the customer and then how well you can go out and develop a customer journey and a customer experience and then how well you’re building the employee experience to attract and grow talent and and all of those things are mushing together every day every minute inside your business and all we’re doing is helping you pull those big pieces of the jigsaw apart and get a handle on that and then the seventh area is the area of execution which we help you turn ideas initiatives and stuff into goals that individuals become accountable and responsible for so so waymaker’s leadership curve is a way of looking at a business dissecting it into a bunch of different parts and then going okay how do we build the skills the people and the systems the process and the tech to improve all these parts together on the journey to market leadership whether that’s been the best hairdresser on your street or the best financial advisory firm in your neighborhood or the number one tech startup in the world that’s what we help you do and it’s the investment in skills and systems across vision market strategy business model customer experience sales marketing service and employee experience that gets you there and and so waymakers leadership curve is a methodology and a way of making sense of your business and i should stop right there otherwise i’ll talk for too long because because i i’m getting excited so uh like with the original leadership curve there are once you ask all those certain questions and there’s obviously a whole lot of variables then that and and indicators that then come into play when it actually comes to um sort of measuring that’s right where you’re at as an organization and so the essentials uh version of the leadership curve is i guess maybe evaluating those and then breaking those and then you know pulling those then into smaller little bite-sized chunks yeah yeah you’re exactly right so um sitting behind those seven areas of the business six functions and the capacity execute um which we call waymakers seven questions um a bunch of curves and two to three hundred variables or activities um and that’s a lot to take in you know you to be frank if if you’re a startup or a small business you really don’t care that much yet and uh you’re more interested in the big rocks and getting your handle around the big rocks and so we isolated um the 27 biggest rocks across those two to 300 based on the data we’ve had coming through the diagnostics over the last um hundreds and hundreds of assessments that have been made and put put those into a framework so that you could look at a single page a single curve the big rocks um and and take your diagnostic we will still help you through the software ask and answer the seven questions but you’ll just simply do it on a single curve with just focusing on the big things that matter so stu do the other variables still get an activity still get measured as part of the diagnostic agnostic if i if i’m a startup i’m a business small business owner um look maybe one day i want to you know dive deep into the 300 odd do they still get measured we don’t measure all um so in in simplifying the diagnostic down we’ve simplified it down to some somewhere between 40 to 50 questions um so the diagnostic essentials diagnostic will take a business user three to seven minutes compared to the full diagnostic somewhere between around 15 to 20 minutes and so it’s much faster much easier whilst we don’t ask all that detail we still statistically ask enough to cover the core areas yeah and to reveal um those growth engines um and we should be focused so it’s it’s actually about saying look you might as a startup or a small business um you may not need all that detail but you still need the big rocks you still need the stars in the solar system but you don’t need all the planets and the moons um and if i can use that analogy so so it’s a really quick way of analyzing what are the essential big rocks we should be looking at across our skills and systems around these areas so we can plan the most valuable course of action into the future can you give us an example of a couple of the big rocks that you think are important as a small business startup yeah so um when you log in and take your diagnostic you’ll see the curve um and you’ll see early on in the curve we’ve taken the idea of problem solving and purposeful straight out of the vision curve so the most important skill on the vision curve is about problem solving you know does this organization solve a customer problem um yes or no and you’ve really got to attack that and then how do you articulate that problem um how how do you then translate that problem into purpose for your organization so you if you get that right that’s kind of like the big rock at the start of the vision curve going it’s ha you can’t really build a vision for your organization if you don’t have clarity of purpose and you can’t really have clarity of purpose if you don’t have clarity of problem solving okay so problem solving and purposeful sit right on the start of the essentials curve um everybody needs to get that right and it and if you just do that you can go a long way is that making sense yeah it is yeah and obviously that then goes like all the way through to i guess a unique solution that of course that we’re offering to the problem right yeah you’ve got to then translate that into your business context and market yep you’ll see big rocks on the on the system side of the essentials curve like performance metrics if you don’t get your foundational analytics and performance metrics right whether you’re a hairdresser or a financial planning firm or a real estate company you’re never going to be understanding are we growing or not and so you can go and develop the most sophisticated dashboards in the world later but at the end of the day what are the top three four five performance metrics that matter to this business where’s the source of truth around that who owns the goals to improve each one of those and how are you tracking that on a regular basis and if you’re not doing that um well pack up go home um because that’s that’s the essential activity that you’ve got to get right so the essential curve is about stripping things back and giving business owners and and their leaders the ability to go well what what really matters most what’s essential let’s get those things right and then from there we can get deeper and deeper and deeper so stu as a existing waymaker customer who’s already taken the diagnostics with 300 odd variables can i can i get a high level view through the essentials as well yeah what’s what’s super cool is every existing user gets the essential um leadership curve uh released straight into the instance of waymaker yeah so all you’ve got to do is click on your menu top left choose diagnostic and then click on the essentials tab and you’ll see all your past data on however many diagnostics you’ve taken from whichever quarters and you can go and check your essentials leadership curve great so it’s it’s the diagnostics i’ve already taken mapped on an essential scope correct yeah so yeah you’ll see it and you’ll i may find that i just want to look at that yeah we when we were putting this together we were thinking it’s kind of like the executive summary of the diagnostic you know it’s like the dashboard on a monday morning yeah or even if you’re a leadership team like you might have you know might be more than than a couple of you in the business and maybe it’s just a small leadership team um at the end of the day this is kind of the stuff that matters you know it’s it’s problem-solving it’s defining purpose it’s articulating the ideal customer it’s understanding your business model it’s getting your basic brand foundations right it’s defining your customer journey it’s building your cultural foundations the early genesis of your strategic plan it’s putting in place regular customer research it’s putting the basics in place for the ability to update and manage digital communications in your web or mobile you get in the picture it’s it’s you know what if these things aren’t right you know forget about everything else because these are the essential things to get right and so yeah you could as a leadership team just track this um because getting this right and the the 27 activities on this curve plus the other eight to ten magical questions we ask that helps the algorithms work their magic

getting this right is going to set you up for success in many other things you know it’s kind of like pareto’s principle you know don’t know it tell me okay okay so um uh well the very very very high level version is um you know 20 uh it’s the 80 20 rule uh all right

so basically the 80 20 rule you know you get this 20 right and the 80 is going to get mostly right without really looking at it and so as you grow your business you might grow and expand and and hey move up the curves but the essentials leadership curve is going to help every leader and we’ve really designed that for startups and small businesses just just to keep it simple and get get 15 to 20 things right in six to 12 months and you’re going to get most things right um so stu new i’m a new business owner i’m i’m staring i’m still staring at 27 variables that i’ve got measure and stuff like that do you want to just to put it in some context because as you sort of look at the curve you see that well these are actually all things that i’m kind of doing anyway it’s just sort of helping me make sense of it um so it sounds overwhelming but actually when you look at it it’s not no and and it shouldn’t be overwhelming um you’re right it’s a bit about how do i make sense of the work i’m doing yeah and look personally i’ve always found this in in business and work it’s um i i you know i went through university and postgraduate courses and worked in corporations and you know nobody ever could really step back and articulate the box of the business that you’re working in very well it was very hard to get the abstract and wrap your wrap your arms around it and i’m going to get a little bit philosophical for a moment please there’s this idea um in transformation and change that goes all the way back to aristotle around form and substance um and you know the the form and the substance are two different things tell me about the table stew

not today not today okay but in real simplicity if you’re building a house you know it’s it’s the form work the the timber and the walls that the form that’s forming up the structure but that’s not the substance of the house the home is the substance of the house and and when you live in that home the emotions and the life and the mum the dad the children the visitors the neighbors the cats the dogs the sunshine reading the book in the morning the substance of life starts to come alive inside the form and so what we’re talking about with waymaker’s leadership curve is getting your hands around the form how do i begin to form my business the substance of your business is what you do with that form just like go and buy a new home um and you move into that home it’s it’s not home yet it’s just a house yeah it’s it’s what you do with that house that determines the next 10 to 20 years of joy or sorrow within that home uh does that make sense um and so if we get that idea of form and substance right waymaker is a way of understanding the form of a business so that you can do something magical with the substance and and so as you think about that leadership curve it’s a way of getting your head around all these abstract conceptual things that need to happen inside a business and think i can now form my business i can put the slab down i can put the walls up i can put the windows in and i can understand how that works and if i can understand how that works i can improve the design of it and as i improve the design of it i’m proving proving the design of this business for a purpose which is a benefit to customer and b benefit to employees and owners and and when you think about it like that form substance um we just help you get the form right so you can do something magical with the substance that’s that’s beautiful virtual hugs virtualized awkward now a couple of questions around the curve just um for those uh that haven’t seen it or whatever jump on waymaker.io sign up for a free trial you can like check it out really quickly but just is is this are the elements on this curve are they uh sequential first do a then do b then do c or is it more just like a here are the elements and here’s where you sit yeah it’s it’s it’s um i’ll use the term generally sequential right um so it’s it’s not literal um but there is a comprehensive order to it so you know for example let’s take the first four steps in the skills on the top of the essentials curve which are problem solving purposeful ideal customer business model comprehension so um there is a general order to that okay what problem are we solving in the marketplace cool therefore what’s the purpose of our organization awesome therefore who’s the ideal customer customer okay therefore now how do we put commercial value around this in a business model and i could keep going the one after that is your brand foundations therefore how do we express that um through purpose and personality into the marketplace as a brand if i go to the systems side um the first three or four steps are customer research okay well yeah does anybody want this thing this problem that we’re solving yeah does anybody actually have this problem yeah yeah so did i come up with this problem um or did i go and talk to customers and listened and identified a problem therefore there’s a gap so customer research is the first system to put in place um how do i how do i keep doing research through maybe you know an email to existing customers or a regular check-in with customers the next system is around web and mobile content management how do i get my content whatever that be a shopping store or a professional service promotion or blog content into a digital form to get it out to people the next step is analytics and the analytics foundations okay well if if i’ve now opened up a digital shop front um how do i track my customer through that digital store what are the basics and now what are my core performance metrics um you know so it’s i’d like to refer to as a general comprehension you know but you could probably pick the first two or three up and do them all at the same time but if you’re not layering those concepts on top of each other then you’re not getting the form quite right and so i like that analogy of house dig the foundations put the slab down put the walls out stick the drywall on paint it stick windows in whatever you do got that out of order but you know what i mean you know it’s not let’s design the roof yeah now um let’s drop a foundation in and realize oh wow gee this is a this roof actually isn’t supported by these foundations so and i think i think that’s really great and i think the point to my question there is it’s actually something that you could jump on right at the start as if you’re if you’re a new business owner if you’re in startup mode if you haven’t gone to market yet this is actually a really great tool to help you that’s through that process it’s not something that you do once you’re up and running necessarily no it’s something you have to wait for no not at all that’s right yeah i think it’s not something you have to wait for yeah yeah sorry to cut you off i think that’s a really good point um yeah don’t wait till you start in fact um before you open the doors in fact uh i think you’re halfway up the curve almost halfway up the curve before you open your doors um so yeah uh so if if you take this and you’ve opened the doors and you’re like oh wow i haven’t even thought about some of this stuff yeah it’s time for a time for a good long hard look in the mirror um and have a good talking to yourself and and get the foundations right or you could chat with us and we’ll have to happily connect you to a away maker advisor stu where does uh the leadership essentials curve fit in the waymaker suite well this is a bit exciting yep um we’re actually going to release a new license type for startups and small businesses to access um the curve um and then everything else we provide so so you can just work on waymaker’s essentials curve translate that into your strategic roadmap so you still get access to the roadmap still good access to goals still get access to your company profile and dynamic business plan you don’t get access to all the other stuff which hey you don’t want anyway because you’re just not there yet yeah so we’re going to introduce a new license type rather we have introduced a new license type for that which you can get just jump onto the website uh waymaker dot i o you can see that at slash pricing um and on sign up just choose what you want um just give me the essentials or hey give me the full buffer and and from there we’ll take you through the journey um through the software is it a hard thing to upgrade in you know 18 months two years when i want to start measuring those that is a really good question and no it is not all you do is go to your admin section and change your license from essentials to business user and you’ll turn on all the other curves what you’ll need to do is then take the full diagnostic um but every time every quarter or you’re running your diagnostic it’ll serve the full and you’ll start populating data across the full so yeah if you’ve gone from startup and now you’ve got a sales team and you’re like okay i really want to continue the journey of building clarity and depth in our sales team to best practice then yeah turn on the full diagnostic work on your sales curve out of the customer experience toolkit and keep championing on until you hit that point of uh number one in town awesome so this is excellent news for startups and small businesses uh that you can jump on and not get overwhelmed by everything all at once um it’s also excellent news for people that are already on the waymaker platform and just want to see a a much more high level uh less detailed overview of where 100 um so yeah jump on have a play give us your feedback um uh you know tell us if we’ve um missed something or if uh if you want us something added in um uh tell us what you would like and hey um our team will make it happen excellent so existing users go check out essentials leadership curve uh on uh waymaker.io and you can just have a look at that straightaway and for any new users stu is just having a meltdown which is fine because i’ve got my spiel so you’d cough away and i’ll do my spear for new users i was trying to hold it i couldn’t you couldn’t do it this is good this is this is called a hook in marketing what’s going on right now for new users sign up for the free trial waymaker dot io and just choose essentials in the sign up process and you’ll get the essentials diagnostic it sounds like a pretty good way to achieve more by doing less


Firstly, what is the Waymaker Leadership Curve?

The Waymaker Leadership Curve is the heartbeat of the Waymaker platform. By asking and answering the 7 Questions – businesses big or small can get an objective view of the health of their organization and begin to make real, measurable changes to grow their business.

The Waymaker Leadership Curve is a way of making sense of everything going on inside your organization. In making sense of it, you can begin to build clarity around what you’re doing – while you’re doing it.

How does it help?

Your business is a bunch of complex systems and processes working together at the same time. Each system is never working in isolation. How well, for example, does vision align with the market you’re talking to? And then, how well does that align with the strategic position and growth you’re actually making? And how well do those things align with the business model that’s creating the value proposition for the customer? How does the customer’s journey and customer’s experience align with the experience of the employees in your organization so you can attract and grow the right talent?

All these things are continually interacting in real-time, every minute of every day inside your business.

Waymaker takes all these aspects of your business and helps you identify and obvserve how these things are impacting your overall objectives, helping you identify gaps, plan your roadmap and deliver on your goals.

How is the Essentials Leadership Curve different?

Waymaker Essentials Leadership Curve

For a Startup or a Small Business, you may not care or have the headspace to process hundreds of datapoint within your business. Well not yet! For now, what if there was a way to just view and measure the most important elements – those things which will make the BIGGEST impact on the growth of your business?

So rather than two to three hundred data points, we’ve isolated the 27 most important data points that matter at this stage of your business development. These will help you plan the most valuable course of action to shift the needle on your business.

The Essentials diagnostic takes just 3-7 minutes to complete.

Can existing Waymaker users take advantage of the Essentials Curve?

Yes. Simply select Diagnostics from the menu inside Waymaker and click on the Essentials tab! You’ll see all your past data mapped on the Essentials curve. Consider it an executive summary of the Leadership Curve. Get these right and you’re well on your way to achieving alignment in your business.

The Essentials Leadership Curve is the 80/20 Rule in action!

80% of your results are going to come from 20% of your input. In other words – focus on 20%, and much of the rest of your business will be right. The Essentials Leadership Curve is going to help leaders of startups and small businesses keep things simple.

Essentials Leadership Curve is our entry-level offering on the Waymaker Platform. We have introduced a new license type which you can view on our pricing page here. You can start on Essentials and when you are ready, simply upgrade to the full diagnostic.

So how can I get started on the Essentials Leadership Curve?

Sign up for a free 30-day trial at Waymaker.io

  1. Once you’ve signed up, take the Waymaker Essentials Diagnostic.
  2. Take the Customer Experience Marketing Playbook in Waymaker Academy
  3. Set your goals.
  4. Use the information from your marketing diagnostic, Customer Experience Marketing one-page canvas and turn your CX marketing into a digital one-cloud dynamic plan inside Waymaker using the goals you’ve built.

You may also like…

Get started

Performance intelligence software for holding plans, people, and performance accountable. Achieve up to 77% better goal performance with Waymaker.io