Meet Larry Reines – a USA Swimming certified coach, a TAB Certified Executive Coach Facilitator, and a TTI Success Insights DISC and Driving Forces Certified, Consultant. The skill sets that started in his formative years have been expanded upon and honed to manage international business concerns with up to $60m in sales.
His journey has offered the culture of small and medium businesses without corporate silos. Larry’s benefit from this path was to gain visibility of how communication is imperative cross-functionally. The pleasure of working without the barriers of middle managers to protect their domain and a focus on communicating is a key to his success in helping companies grow or turn around.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Larry Reines: I am a Trusted Advisor/Growth Strategist –
I tell CEOs the hard truths that no one else will because everyone else is afraid to. I am the enemy of the status quo. Growth is our goal!
I help business owners in 4 areas:
- – increasing their sales,
- – generating higher profits,
- – enhancing employee productivity,
- – protecting your work/life balance.
The goal we have is to pull a business owner from working IN their business to working ON their business. While most business owners are surrounded by stakeholders who advise them, we bring an outside perspective that only can come from a Trusted Advisor.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Larry Reines: Great Question –
Businesses can thrive in 2022. It really comes down to being prepared. Like any journey, there needs to be a destination or what I can “The North Star”. A business needs to have a clearly articulated “raison d’être” a reason for being. A strategic plan is based on the combination of both components.
Having a plan is less about accurately predicting the future, and more about setting regular goals, tracking your actual progress toward those goals, and making changes to your business as time passes.
There is no silver bullet or magic pixie dust that will ensure success except knowing your business and looking at its vital signs (KPI’s) regularly. This is a result of spending time working ON your business not IN it.
The takeaway from the past 2 years is quite simple.
WRITE IT DOWN. It’s a dream if you never write it down. This is fundamental since the written word has more meaning since you see it and work it through to a logical end.
UNLESS YOU START WORKING ON IT, IT WILL NOT GO AWAY. This is for the procrastinators. So many are busy working in their business that the lasting change, the plans will never be made.
Companies that plan grow 30 percent faster than those that don’t plan.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Larry Reines: Businesses should focus internally to start. Stephen Covey, in his book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” This was part of Habit 1.
We are not able to control our disruption but we can control our response to the disruption.
It is for this reason, I strongly believe that a plan/strategic plan/action plan, or whatever you call it, be developed, be worked, be changed as needed.
One of my clients was producing garments. The factory was retrofitted to make masks. The result was s a 100% new supply chain and customer base. The response to the disruption is as important as the disruption itself. This is more drastic than i think we will find in the future, but it is evident that change is the only constant.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Larry Reines: The response to a virtual workplace was one of the major changes we faced. True, there were some people that jump in with both feet, but for many, it was as if we entered a cold shower.
Learning the nuances and best practices for a new form of communication was the major challenge. Since I work with business owners on foundational issues for their business, reading the body language was a big challenge. Business Development was more challenging as well in a virtual/hybrid world.
Adapting to new technologies has been helped me overcome the disruption.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Larry Reines: When the pandemic started, it was 2 weeks to flatten the curve. Then an off the rail response that had moving goalposts has altered society and the economy. The advice I most wanted to hear, was, “plan your work then work your plan, do not look at the results but look at each accomplishment”.
A good friend of mine reminded me, “keep chopping the wood, and soon you will have a woodpile”.
This year, I will cherish each step of the process as a victory so, in the end, it’s not possible to lose.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Larry Reines: My work experience was in the fashion industry and we were always dealing with the “Trends”. This means always altering and changing to be in sync with the street. What happened was a pendulum would inevitably swing too far from the center causing an abundance of perishable fashion that needed to be discounted.
In the past 2 years, we have swung so far into the ether that there will be a movement back to the human touch. While Amazon is great for the next-day delivery of basic consumer products, people will want to seek new products. The confirmation bias we have from 2 years of buying online will bring back some live shopping. After all, we have bought slippers and pajamas, but now a generation will want to get dressed and go out.
People will go out and experience new things that they did not know they wanted to experience because they have been restricted.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Larry Reines: I spend too many hours a day in front of the screen. The restrictions on travel, on meeting live, as well as the reticence of meeting others live has resulted in screen time. This is for work, play and family.
Birthdays – sporting events – meetings – conferences – networking activities – religious activities have all moved to a screen if fear of COVID is near.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Larry Reines: Stories are a great vehicle for communicating and engaging an audience.
People remember a story that relates to a situation. Sharing from experience is a powerful tool that offers content for an “action” and the results of those actions. Sharing real-life examples helps visualize a situation and logically shows why it is necessary.
A construction safety inspector had to monitor the safety of sites. Some workers were not wearing a hard hat. He tried to tell them, “That is against the law, and is very dangerous, put your hard hat on!”… that was met with little success. When he would tell them “I see you’re not wearing your hard hat. You know that is dangerous and if something falls from above and hits you then you would be severely injured if not killed. We have given you a hard hat so you avoid injury or worse.” Of course, the compliance was worse when there was a story that persuaded them to act.
The visual and the sharing of rationale was a more effective manner to have a team comply.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Larry Reines: We find obstacles in all aspects of our life. One of the gifts we had living in the United States was that there was consistency in society. The rule of law prevailed and we all knew the ground rules.
Our current challenge is how some governing bodies are altering the agreement that we had in respecting the law. While we knew if someone committed a crime, there would be a predetermined consequence. Currently, that has changed and we no longer have a consistent standard.
Businesses invest when they see stability and we are far from stable today. This instability is the challenge as businesses are uneasy to invest with such uncertainty.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Larry Reines: NFT’s have been something I was looking to understand. One of my friends was hired to work with a company that was building products for NFT’s – and he was unsure of what it meant. My son came to me 2 days ago to ask about NFT’s and is following his favorite products. He is listening to Gary V share all that he is about NFT’s.
It is something and I am not sure what it is. I am determined to learn.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Larry Reines: The job market has lost all equilibrium. It is so difficult to even put a reason on it. More likely there is a confluence of reasons, maybe like the perfect storm.
It goes back to the instability I was talking about before. Economic – Social – Health – Politics – Activism
Politics has invaded the workplace. Consider how an activist board can have a CEO fired. Consider how Congress can approve paying people for not working. Consider how minority status plays into whom is hired or fired. Consider how a Mayor can demand a business pay for healthcare for every single worker in the city. Consider the ramifications of all of those issues and how they affect the overall economy.
- An activist investor firm demanded that Peloton fire its embattled CEO John Foley.
- Congress paid unemployment to workers well after society opened back up.
- CEOs of major corporations are using race quotas to hire foregoing merit as a qualification. (United Airlines – Coca-Cola)
- NYC Mayor de Blasio enacted a vaccine mandate for private-sector workers,
- NYC DA Alvin Braggs said several serious crimes, such as some cases of armed robbery, are being reduced to misdemeanors.
It’s not the companies that are creating a problem all of a sudden, it is activism and lawlessness.
We need the rule of law and the activism to stop. The American experiment needs to continue where all men are created equal.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Larry Reines: After the last question, I am happy to pick a superpower.
My superpower would allow me to have unlimited hours in the day! I imagine that I would spend more time with my kids, and be able to have more time to get to know my clients so I could work on a more personal level.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Larry Reines: My success is based on how many businesses I can help this year. Currently, I am expecting to bring on a partner that will be able to handle the planned increase.
I have personal goals that include a give back to the community (which I can not share in more detail), I am working on the Closter Improvement Commission, part of our local government, and hope to run for the local School Board.
My family goal is for us all to be safe and thrive at school, in the pool and be active in our religious community.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Larry Reines for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Larry Reines or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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