Bob Weiler is the managing founder of Brimstone Consulting as well as a best-selling author of the book “The Core 4: Harnessing Four Core Business Drivers to Accelerate Your Organization.”
At Brimstone Consulting, Bob Weiler oversees a “global leader in business consulting dedicated to driving valuable results through enduring change that transforms organizations, develops leaders, and accelerates growth.” The company works together with its numerous clients to “develop high-performance teams, align their organizations, and drive positive change.”
Throughout his career, Bob Weiler has been no stranger to leadership. He has partnered with several CEOs and leadership teams who want to implement “large-scale change initiatives.” He collaborates regularly with C-suite executives on “methods to address short- and long-term results, while achieving alignment and developing leaders.”
With “The Core 4,” Bob Weiler offers his knowledge and expertise as support for other executives and companies who want to pursue positive change. According to Maura Dunn, a former HR executive at General Dynamics Electric Boat, “I wish I had read this book years ago.” The book “provides a common sense, simplified approach to guide leaders seeking to move their team or organization forward.”
Meanwhile, Eric Norris, President of Arbemarle Lithium says of Bob Weiler that he and Brimstone Consulting are “the real deal—smart, insightful, and able to inspire major change.”
Check out more interviews with global thought leaders here. You can buy Bob Weiler’s “The Core 4” book here.
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Bob Weiler: Our people. Many of us have worked together for decades and in multiple contexts. We’ve hiked the wilderness together, traveled around the world together, and spent time everywhere from boardrooms to Bali.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Bob Weiler: Have a passion for what you do, have a passion outside of work, and surround yourself with exceptional people.
Also important is taking time off to reset and recharge. Over the past few months, I have heard many people say they are too busy to take time off, or that they don’t want to take time off because travel is limited. Put these excuses to the side and take time away from work.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Bob Weiler: When we begin working with clients, we often start by having people share their Journey Lines — their journey, including pivotal people and events. We use Journey Lines because they help to bring people together and establish trust. They also help people to develop empathy.
I bring up Journey Lines because there are many people and many events that have impacted and shaped my journey and who I am today.
In very different ways, three people gave me the confidence, knowledge, and kick necessary for me to leave Grand Circle Corporation and found Brimstone are: my wife Wendy, my brother Peter, and Alan Lewis, Founder and Chairman of Grand Circle Corporation.
And, as I said earlier, Noel Tichy has placed a significant role in my journey and in my life.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?
Bob Weiler: Jim Collins asked if good companies could become a great company and, if so, how? His research found that leadership — Level 5 leadership — can transform a company from a good company to a great company.
We have seen the same thing in our work — a great leader distinguishes a great company. Great leaders energize, engage, and they ask for help. They take the time necessary to align their team and get everyone in the game.
Jerome Knyszewski: What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?
Bob Weiler: As Jim Collins says, productive change begins when you confront the brutal facts. For a leader to “restart their engines,” they need bring their senior leadership together and align around the brutal facts. Then they need to share these facts throughout the organization and get additional points of view. Ask for input, ask for ideas — engage the organization.
Jerome Knyszewski: Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
Bob Weiler: Start by looking at your market realities, understanding your customer needs, and understanding where you are vulnerable. Once you understand the competitive forces, customer forces, and external forces, you can quickly make assumptions and see opportunities.
I also recommend taking an agile approach to strategy. An agile approach is iterative and engenders collective ownership within the leadership team and across the organization. It accelerates execution, enhances employee engagement, and drives performance and profitability. It also identifies barriers to alignment, fosters communication, increases engagement, increases trust, drives better decision-making, improves operating discipline, promotes individual leadership development, and builds the capabilities of high-performing teams.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Bob Weiler: Leaders tend to underestimate the value of an aligned leadership team and organization and the time necessary to maintain alignment.
Focus is typically put on the challenge of moving from strategy to execution. Many leaders do not recognize that an aligned leadership team and an aligned organization can mitigate this challenge and create unstoppable momentum.
Jerome Knyszewski: Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?
Bob Weiler: Understand what success looks like to the client and help the client achieve success.
When we begin working with a leader, we ensure that we understand their goals and their definition of success. This takes time, it takes listening, and it takes a lot of question-asking, but it is critical. If we truly understand what the client wants to achieve, we can help them succeed. Success is the ultimate Wow! Customer Experience.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.
Bob Weiler: As with anything, it starts with why. Companies using social media and engaging on social media need to know their why. While brand building may be a common thread for companies, each company has its own why.
Social media can be risky when companies are not clear on their why or don’t stay true to their why.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Bob Weiler: Listening to your customers and listening to your team is critical to the success of a business. Not listening is the single biggest pitfall I see CEOs and founders make, not just when they are starting out but also throughout their tenure as a leader.
Leaders need to take the time to seek input, ask questions, and engage their customers and their team. When doing so, they need to really listen to the insights and ideas as well as to potential criticism.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Bob Weiler: This is one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking questions I have been asked.
The number of children who are homeless and who do not have enough to eat is staggering. If I could start any movement, it would be to ensure that every child has food and shelter.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Bob Weiler: Brimstone can be followed on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and via the articles written by Kate Lee and others in our organization.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
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