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Meet Wayne Kurzen of The Kurzen Group in Alpharetta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wayne Kurzen.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a farm boy from Ohio — I was working at age 6! I attended The Ohio State University where I majored in Economics. At OSU, I enrolled in Air Force ROTC and that was the beginning of a 20-year fantastic career as a pilot, commander and faculty teaching leadership. Following the Air Force, I was a Delta pilot. During my Delta days, I owned several businesses. In one instance, my then wife who was an interior decorator came home from a window treatment trade show with a 50-page glossy catalogue of decorative drapery hardware. She said, “This stuff is great, but you have to buy it in Europe!” For some reason, I wrote them two letters and the net result was, “you are now the exclusive US distributor…”

They thought they’d become rich, and I thought I’d be on the cover of Inc. Magazine! We did end up with 22 foot displays in the former Home Depot Expo stores.

As I approach retirement age at Delta I ended up buying a business coaching franchise which I operated for 5 years. Following that, I was an independent business coach, and four years ago I found what I was looking for – a way to help small and mid-sized business grow – and grow while at the same time having peace of mind, fun and time for other passions. And that was the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

EOS is a complete business operating system that contains a set of simple, practical of tools to help leadership teams get better at three things:

• Vision—getting everyone in the organization 100% on the same page with where they’re going, and how they plan to get there

• Traction®—instilling focus, discipline, and accountability throughout the company so that everyone executes on that vision—every day

• Healthy—helping leaders become a more cohesive, functional, healthy leadership team– because unfortunately, we find leaders often don’t function well as a team.

Many years ago, I read a book called “In Search of Significance” by Robert S. McGee.

McGee makes the point We all have compelling, God-given needs for love, acceptance, and purpose. I believe one of the ways we fill those needs is to make a difference.

My personal goal in life, is to make a difference – in my family, my community and specifically in the lives the business owners, their employees – and actually their families.

The thing that gets me going every day, is the knowledge that what do in helping leadership teams implement EOS, is that I know that I am helping them achieve something much bigger than just a fat wallet. It is something that doesn’t happened overnight – but rather it is a journey. And the destination of that journey is what we call this The EOS life. It goes like this:

Do what you love,
With the people you Love
Make a huge difference
Be appropriately compensated,
With time for other passions

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t think anything worthwhile is really easy. And because of my belief in a God that is actively involved in my life, I believe that I must grow through challenges in order to become the person who is able to help others.

Starting a business is very challenging and has an element of risk that not all are willing to take. But you start and the first challenge is to “sell something”. Getting clients and not only clients but getting the right kind of client that truly understand the value that you have.

Early on, money was tight. It was not always easy to “give first” and focus on doing the right thing, regardless of the financial impact.

Please tell us about The Kurzen Group.
I help leadership teams of entrepreneurial organizations implement a complete business system with a set of simple, practical tools called EOS.

I have personally witnessed many dramatic changes in businesses that embrace and run their business on EOS. In 15 years of working with small and mid-sized business, I have never seen anything that has equaled the positive change that occurs when an organization embraces EOS. The tools that the leadership team learns to use are simple and easy to understand — that does not mean they are easy to use. It takes work, commitment and discipline. One of the biggest benefit to EOS is that it gives the leadership team the tools to determine if they have the right people in the right seats.

And what to do if they are not the right people in the right seats.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Favorite memory from childhood was playing basketball in our barn. One Sunday we had 25 guys show up to play. And that was with a single hoop. Christmas time was always exciting. My family was not rich, but we didn’t know it! I am the oldest of four kids.

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