What Was I Thinking?
How to Make Better Decisions So You Can Live and Lead with Confidence
A new book from LCBC Pastor David Ashcraft, and Rob Skacel of True Edge Performance Solutions.
Learn to embrace risk and to live your life to the fullest potential, in order to both run and finish the race with no regrets.
Download this free “What Was I Thinking” companion worksheet.
DOPE Model Application Guide book companion worksheet >
About True Edge Performance Solutions
At True Edge Performance Solutions, we know the human side of business performance, and the business value of high performing people. We work closely with business owners and executives to accelerate individual, team, and organizational performance.
We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, so our solutions are tailored to fit the needs of your organization … respecting your values, culture, goals, and other particulars of your situation. We help good leaders and organizations become even better, sharper, and more competitive.
We understand organizational and team dynamics and can help your organization become stronger and better aligned. From the use of various assessments, performance management tools, and group-based trainings and retreats, we can help your people interact more effectively with one another and tackle new and bigger challenges.
Individual coaching and other professional development experiences for emerging leaders through seasoned executives.
Leadership Transitions and Succession
We help boards, business owners, and executives proactively plan and navigate the complex challenges of leadership and ownership transitions.
We can help you get the right people on board, accelerate the alignment of the individual with the organization, and minimize the risk of failure.
Our experts help you solidify important internal and external bonds, guide you through a variety of internal conflicts, and enable you to restore impaired relationships.
Culture and Strategy
We help organizations assess and enhance the workplace environment, and boost the alignment of culture and strategy.
See our approach in our brief videos designed to sharpen leaders and their organizations.
The Sharpening Stone video series >
Frequently Asked Questions
While we work with leaders at all levels in a wide variety of industries (including non-profits), our most common entry point is with a business owner, key executive, or rising star in a small to medium-sized privately held business. Most are highly accomplished individuals intent on continually bettering their leadership skills and the performance of the enterprises they lead.
Running an organization successfully requires more than just “business sense.” Ultimately, it’s the people who drive organizational performance. So, the most effective leaders are acutely attentive to the ways human beings think, feel, behave and relate to one another when they’re going about their work. Psychologists are experts in human behavior (typically accruing 5-7 years of formal education after college before beginning their professional careers), with extensive training in evaluating behavioral/relational issues, and helping people to grow and change. Our psychologists also have executive experience. That combination equips our team with a deeper understanding of the complexities of human behavior in organizational settings — AND the ability to translate that perspective into strategic and practical value.
Over the years, we have worked with around 200 different organizations in a wide variety of industries, including: professional services (e.g., CPA, architectural, engineering, law), construction, heavy and light manufacturing, healthcare, senior living, agribusiness, real estate, non-profits, church/ministry organizations, education, retail, residential services (e.g., plumbing, electrical, junk removal, etc.), food service, hospitality, large events, grocery, tech services, logistics, marketing/advertising, aerospace/defense, automotive, insurance, professional associations, waste/environmental, and others. So, while we work more in some of these industries than others, our clients value us most for our expertise in the “people stuff”—assessing & developing leaders, improving organizational culture/performance, teamwork, conflict management, governance, succession, and the like. Every enterprise relies on human talent to some degree, so we may offer something of value to any organization that wants to grow people and shrink people problems. We respect that our clients are bright and capable people — experts in their specific fields/industries. While we consistently strive for a deep understanding of the challenges and industry-specific issues that our clients encounter, we’ll never pretend to know your industry or job better than you do. Our goal is to come alongside and fortify people– not to displace them nor to foster dependency on us for things they should be relying on internally.
What role do you play in succession planning? I already have a CPA, attorney, and financial planner, so what’s left to cover?
Your accountant, attorney and financial planner all play important roles in succession planning, whether you are aiming for an internal sale (i.e., to family members or current employees) or an external one. Those professionals will work to ensure that you cover the necessary bases with respect to the financial aspects of the transition. But there’s more at stake than moving money and shares. You’ll want to be sure that the next owners and managers are prepared to lead and run the company successfully AFTER you leave. Think about it—If your business depends on you for its success, then an external buyer is not likely to pay top dollar unless you come along with the sale (Remember: you wanted to exit the business, right?). Likewise with an internal sale (where the transition is likely structured in a way that the new owners must pay you over a period of several years through the profits of the company), you may not get your money out if the business underperforms. That’s where we come in – we help you with the leadership aspects of a business transition, so that your enterprise is attractive to potential buyers and is positioned to run successfully/profitably even after you leave. Depending on the particular circumstances, this may involve things like assessing and growing the talents of employees who will remain with the company when you exit (i.e., building your bench strength); helping you to “let go” of certain duties; strengthening systems and processes, as well as other interventions designed to position your organization for a healthy future after the shares switch hands.
We do. In fact, over half of our clients are family-owned businesses. When the realms of business ownership, daily work, and family overlap, a unique set of rewards and challenges come into play. In our experience, most business families are aiming for both a healthy family and a high performing business, despite that the interests of “family harmony” and “business” can sometimes be difficult to align. Our team is attuned to the needs of business families, and equipped to improve and reinforce both business performance and family functioning.
Our board and management teams tend to trip over each other. Can you help us clarify the board’s role in relation to management’s?
This is a very important issue, and one that we encounter often in both non-profit organizations and equity corporations. Too many organizations attempt to put their boards to work without first adequately defining the board’s role nor its “rules of engagement” with those in management. First, you must determine if your board is advisory or fiduciary in nature. Many privately held companies have advisory boards – where the board gives advice to ownership and/or management, but is not really in a position of authority over management. Where there is a fiduciary board (as generally found in non-profits and publicly held companies), the board’s primary job is to govern. In such cases, management operates under the authority of the board. The job of governance boils down to ensuring that the organization does the right things in the right ways. That requires the board to: clearly articulate what the organization is to achieve; set parameters for how those results may or may not be achieved; clarify rules for the board itself; determine who will be held responsible for compliance with the board’s expectations, and insist upon systematic, credible monitoring data to address the expectations the board has established. We help boards (whether they are advisory or fiduciary in nature) clarify their roles, improve their functioning as a “body,” and interface more effectively with management — and ultimately bring more value to the organizations they serve.
Organizationally we were struggling to gain our footing. Through our work with True Edge to define our core values we were able to firm up cultural norms which created great clarity as we determined who to hire or promote. And, importantly, within a month or two had a direct positive impact on our financial performance.
Rob custom designed and conducted a 12-month management training workshop series for our management staff. The sessions were informative, insightful and interactive. Our managers particularly liked the “real world case studies” which Rob often used to illustrate some of the topics. The workshops also provided an alternative but quite effective forum for our managers to interact with and gain further understanding of each other.
I have been using Rob as a personal executive coach for several years and he has helped me develop into a better leader, manager and executive. He is not afraid to give you honest and challenging feedback. He has coached me through some difficult situations and looking back at those experiences, his coaching was very instrumental in attaining the best possible outcome. Rob and True Edge Performance Solutions has done so much to help me improve professionally
Rob and the True Edge team have helped us with a simple and effective performance management system. Today I feel more in touch while spending less time in the company.
I have been using True Edge Performance Solutions for Executive Coaching for only 18 months, and my experience is not what I expected, but so much better. What I appreciate is their emphasis on getting to know me as a person – my values, my strengths, my “why” – and as a result – tailor a program that has helped me be a better leader. I truly underestimated the impact that I can achieve long-term and am thankful for the guidance I have received from the True Edge team.
True Edge Performance Solutions has played a significant role in our success!! Rob has assisted us over the years with leadership training, employee development, talent evaluation and hiring decisions. He is a very effective coach and willing to have the difficult conversations needed to move a leader to an even higher level of performance. I would highly recommend True Edge to anyone interested in improving the leadership culture of an organization.