On Leadership and Business

By Tom Birchard

Bi-weekly articles with my latest thoughts on leadership and business. I'll also include some of the favorite things I've read, watched, or listened to.

Bi-weekly articles with my latest thoughts on leadership and business. I'll also include some of the favorite things I've read, watched, or listened to.

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Drawbacks to Having All the Answers

Quick Note: We're set to close on our 3rd business acquisition next week. Within that same period of time it's very possible our daughter will make a slightly early arrival and be born. Needless to say, life will get even busier than usual. I'll likely take a…


What Got You Here Won't Necessarily Get You There

If you've done something the same way for a while, and gotten good results, it's easy to think you can keep plugging away and making progress. This works fine if you're in "Sustain" mode, but likely not if you're in "Growth" mode.This newsletter is about lead…


8 Expectations I Got Wrong in My New Venture

As I was getting ready to start my new venture as President & CEO of Southeastern Home Services, I wrote an article titled 8 Lessons I'll Take With Me From Ingersoll Rand/Trane. In writing this, I realized I had far more than 8 lessons I could write about…


Coping With an Overwhelming To-Do List

At Southeastern Home Services, we're 1 month into acquisition #1 (Mario's Air Conditioning & Heating), and just over 2 weeks into acquisition #2 (Pro-Team Plumbing). And we're gearing up for acquisition #3 in the next 45-60 days. I think it's safe to say …


Zooming In and Out in Leadership

Sometimes my newsletter articles are prompted by a topic I've been wrestling with and thinking a lot about lately. Other times it's something I feel like I've "figured out" and can bring some value by writing about it. This is 100% the former. As a leader the…


Planning vs. Improvising

I figured I'd start this post with a life & business update for those interested. If you aren't, no offense taken, feel free to skip down to the "Planning vs. Improvising" Section.Let's start with personal...Ashley, Rory, and I (along with our 4 dogs and …


Some Thoughts on Metrics & KPIs

I've spent some time this week on target metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). The focus has been for a residential HVAC business that we hope to acquire in the near future. Unfortunately I can't get into specifics here, but I'll walk through the tho…


The Biggest Dichotomy in Leadership

This article will likely be shorter, as it's somewhat stream of thought on something I've been pondering lately. Let's start with the definition of "dichotomy"


8 Lessons I'll Take With Me From Ingersoll Rand/Trane

Way back in May 2006 I graduated from college with an engineering degree. I then started my career with Thermo King as a Design Engineer/Project Manager. Nearly 16 years later, Friday March 4 is my last day with the company. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I did som…


Demanding AND (not or) Supportive

I recently stumbled across a short blog post by Ravi Gupta titled Demanding and Supportive. Check it out! It's had me thinking a lot lately about my own leadership style and how I approach both of these aspects, so I thought I'd write an article on it.Gupta m…


Leader Standard Work

My last article was on Demystifying Lean | Revue (getrevue.co). I broke down some of my favorite tools in the Lean toolkit. The moment I hit send, I realized that I'd forgotten perhaps the most important one of all! So consider this a bit of a makeup.Leader S…


Demystifying Lean

Most of you have probably heard of Lean Manufacturing. It likely brings visions of Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers. Your eyes might glaze over thinking of all the data, templates, and meetings associated with Lean. You probably roll your eyes at all t…


3 Universal Business Priorities

I posted a Tweet on this that seemed to generate a lot of support and agreement so I figured I’d write a slightly longer article here without the 280 character limit to break it down even further. In my career with Ingersoll Rand/Trane I’ve worked in several …


Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics

Do you ever find yourself talking to someone in a business or other setting and it just feels like what you’re saying isn’t sticking, and possibly vice versa? Perhaps it feels like you’re talking right past each other. Or maybe your words are making contact w…


Lessons for High Performing Teams from Watching Gonzaga Basketball

Originally posted April 2, 2021. Also for any basketball fans, this one didn't age well as Gonzaga got blown out by Baylor in the national championship game a few days later hahaFrom conversations I’ve had, I know I’m not alone in enjoying this year’s NCAA ba…


Probabilistic Thinking

Originally posted March 20, 2021Probabilities are inherent in many decisions we make every day, and the ability to recognize this and do some quick mental math can be a superpower. Many people, myself included, just filled out an NCAA tournament basketball br…


The Red Queen Effect

Originally posted January 23, 2021My wife Ashley regularly makes reference to old Disney movies and then gives me a hard time when I’m not familiar with what she’s talking about. She questions what kind of childhood I was leading if it didn’t involve constant…


Lessons from George Bailey Applied to Business

Originally posted 12-26-20One of my wife Ashley’s family Christmas traditions is watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. We maintained that tradition this year watching the movie a couple nights ago on Christmas Eve as we experienced our first white Chris…


Staying Organized to Stay Productive

For most of human history, access to information has been a limiting factor related to decision making and just getting things done. Only recently with the advent of the internet, mobile technology, social media, etc. has that access to information rapidly in…


Pushing Forward Amidst a Crisis

Like all of you, I’ve seen a lot of really insightful articles written and videos released during this difficult time. Some of advice being given is quickly becoming common sense, topics like being transparent as leaders, erring on the side of over communicat…