It’s been another busy year for the team at X5 Management and as we continue to grow and support more clients, we are preparing for an even busier year going forward.
While we wrapped up our fiscal year on August 31st, I am always planning months ahead, which I have done for many years, but the past year and the new fiscal year seem different in many ways.
I must admit it is hard to believe that we have just concluded seventeen years in business, as we gear up to launch into our 18th year of business in October 2023, the momentum has been building for some time, and we believe that our consistent focus on supporting the Edmonton business community and our valued clients has been well received. My hope and vision back in 2006 were simple: Build meaningful relationships in life and business and do our very best to add value to business clients and their teams. Make it about the client and not about us. Serve as the guide and not the hero.
Heading into a New Fiscal Year
There are many things that I am excited about, but a few are high on the list.
In late August we added two new team members to X5 Management, and we now have six team members that can support our clients’ needs and our continued growth. This added capacity is key to our future reality, and we have plans to add additional team members by early 2024. Our philosophy is finding more WHO’s to help us. They are talented individuals with proven skills in essential areas of our business. This ranges from Executive Coaches, Facilitators, Trainers, our highly skilled administrative support. All are key to our future success!
I keep saying that I love what I do and in fact can honestly say that I love what I do even more than I did five years ago. At times it can be hard work, but it’s incredibly gratifying! I want X5 to make a difference with every client that we serve. I am excited for X5 to be able to support more clients and we value the relationships that have been built over time.
My colleague Kris Schinke and I are excited to be very close to launching another book, How to Stop the Revolving Door, and we anticipate helping many business owners and decision-makers in this time of an employee revolving door. We have included five strategies that can positively impact employee and business results.
Another exciting journey in the year ahead is the launch of my third book, which should be available by early 2024. This is my biggest book project that I have ever undertaken.
LUNCH WITH LEADERS: Real Stories of Pivotal Moments for Today’s Executive.
Some of X5 Management’s Accomplishments Last Fiscal Year
This ranged from acquiring new and amazing clients, and of course, continuing to support longstanding clients and deepening our impact within their businesses and teams through coaching, training, and strategic planning.
Adding more team members that bring experience and skills to X5 is exciting for me. I feel privileged that they want to be part of our team.
How is X5 Management Managing to Grow?
Many people ask me this question and there is not a simple answer.
I take pride in the fact that X5 has been serving business clients since the fall of 2006 and that the momentum of doing what we do professionally has attracted new opportunities.
I do believe that we are good at what we do and are constantly striving to be better. We consistently “show up” and are very responsive to our client’s needs, which is our branding strategy, whether it is on social media, local events, fundraisers, or networking opportunities.
We are also focused strategically and operationally. Our investment in marketing has been a key factor as well, and we have put time and resources behind enhancing our website, and optimizing SEO so that more businesses know what we do and how we can help. We have put systems and processes in place to ensure we are efficient can respond effectively to every customer enquiry.
While I love what I do, I must admit that I am a focused entrepreneur and try to balance my time on weekends and evenings for fun activities too but rest assured X5’s future is on my brain all the time. After all, it is a key catalyst for my own future reality with my beautiful wife, Bonita, as we grow older together. In addition, with more team members working with X5 I feel morally obligated to do what I can to grow a bigger future reality for everyone.
This model illustrates how we help our clients, and at any given time, a prospective client may contact X5 for any of the services that we offer. The most popular service is based on what the client needs at that time. We know that as our relationship with that client evolves, they may request one of our other services to support their business. That works well for both the client and X5. We don’t rush that process!
We take pride in the fact that our services can be tailored to every client in any industry, be that home building, manufacturing or transportation, IT, just to name a few. All our services truly complement an organization’s business needs, its teams, and the challenges they may face in terms of growth, communication, employee engagement, succession planning, leadership development and strategic planning.
We also provide tailored training and consulting solutions to meet specific business needs and have the flexibility to offer services virtually or in person. We also promote the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, which is a training grant that subsidizes two-thirds of the training costs for eligible applicants. These are all important factors in our growth momentum.
Our Strategic Plans for the New Fiscal Year
While we do this for some of our clients with facilitated Strategic Planning sessions, we also take our own advice and go through the process.
We ask ourselves, what we did well in the past year and what can we improve upon, or change, in the year ahead.
We also identify four or five strategic priorities that we will focus on in the year ahead. This focus is key and invaluable as it avoids chasing shiny objects in the next three to six months.
We try to stay the course, notwithstanding that when unique opportunities present themselves, we must be flexible and nimble and take advantage of the opportunity.
X5 Management is looking forward to continued growth in the year ahead, including the opportunity to help businesses ALIGN LEADERS AND TEAMS TO ACHIEVE. That is our proud slogan and really our purpose.
What Motivates Mike Mack?
My purpose is my motivator. I love making a difference in people’s lives and the fact that I get to do that professionally every day is incredibly gratifying. I am always thinking, how can we help more businesses and their teams?
While our own business growth comes with that, it isn’t just about our revenue, in fact, it is common practice for me to take a call with a client in the early morning, late at night or on a weekend. I never think about getting paid for that as the priority is supporting them. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy business growth and enhanced revenue to strengthen our business model, but for me, it’s about my LRT philosophy (LIKE-RESPECT-TRUST).
I believe that if we serve as the guide and allow our clients the opportunity to be the hero and win in their business, and that motivates and inspires me to get up every day!!
Speaking of what motivates me: A person that motivates me professionally (providing me with a motive for doing something) such as writing this blog, is my invaluable and committed colleague Kris Schinke. She likes to challenge me to do things that I may sometimes not think of, like putting this blog together. Thanks for the challenge and push from time-to-time Kris, and for your incredible contribution to me and X5 Management.
What I have learned in 17+ years of changing times
Fortunately, I have learned many, many things over the years.
My top five learnings that still hold today:
- Relationships matter in business and life. They always have and always will.
- One can’t do everything. Relying on a great team and outside wisdom and advice has gotten easy over time. The more I seek counsel, the stronger X5 becomes, and we can add greater value to our clients. I find the right “who’s” to support me.
- Leave nothing to chance. A long-term client may not always be our client. Continually add value to them, and never assume what you did last year is enough for the year ahead.
- Recharge and rest. I love to work. (Likely deemed a passionate workaholic) My wife Bonita has been a tremendous support to me, and when we plan a vacation 3-12 months out, at the time, I may think how much work we have to do, but when the vacation days arrive, it becomes a blessing that we take the time to relax and recharge. I have found that I always return from a vacation wiser and more creative.
- Embrace change and maintain momentum. When the winds of change start blowing (FYI …. they never stop blowing), go with it and leverage that momentum. The spring of 2020 and the lockdowns of -in-person meetings due to COVID-19 forced X5 to pivot to a virtual world that ended up serving us well. We upgraded the lighting in our home offices and purchased better cameras, and enhanced internet connections.
Here’s to more gratifying years ahead for me and the team at X5 Management.