Recently, Petra Coach hosted a Coaches’ Corner – a session of live Q&A – with Certified Petra Coaches and Accountability Coaches Chip Gallent, Marshall Martin and Erin Laney.

You can find the full recording here.

To augment the recording, below is a brief recap of questions and answers from the session.

Q: What are the stages and triggers you look for before making a key hire to get you over that next hump? How do you hedge your bet on making that hire?


  • If it’s just starting up, there’s always moving from 0 to having some value in the market
  • $0 -3M – If look at a FACE chart you’;; see your name or a few names on EVERYTHING – running all operations
  • $5M – By this time you’ve hopefully stepped your game up and probably made a sales hire
  • $8-10M – By this time, you’ve blown through your original resources, are past sorting receipts on the kitchen table, and are having to formalize the finances of the organization. That’s an example of a key position to get you grounded.

Leaders have different skill sets so it’s not one size fits all. Some leaders are great in finance while others are more idea guys, so that opens different needs as you grow.

Intuition leads the way. Don’t wait until you’re having problems. Recognize where you’re falling behind and can’t cover. Be less reactionary and more proactive.

Think: As a leader, where are you going to get the best bang for your buck in getting capacity back for yourself? Some key positions are CFO, a second sales person, HR, COO – be mindful of some of those. Have a bench and always be interviewing to end up with the right person.

Develop your people to pace with the business to avoid having to make excess hires. You have to be able to duplicate the work as you go through growth processes.

“Every time you double, you’re going to break half your people and half your processes.” It’s really true and be prepared


Q: In light of all the Zoom and video conferencing how are you seeing communication change both internal and externally?

Some companies think it’s the best thing they’ve ever done, while others say it’s awful because they thrive on in person relationships

Oftentimes in person, some of the dominant personalities overrun the room, but on a video call or breakout rooms for some reason people feel like they can’t sit quietly – they’re expected to be an active participant. The indirectness of virtual communication can also help more soft-spoken team members feel comfortable speaking up.

When companies are together in person, they grab a coffee and a meeting breaks out, but when you have that on video it’s awkward. There has to be more structure to the meetings because people don’t want to spend any excess time like they would in person. They want to make it as short and efficient as possible.

It’s hard to replicate the idea flow of getting in a room together with a white board.

Where people could get better is in their external messages. When you speak to your team it’s a different tone and simple things like charisma, lighting and talking TO your audience – the things people master for TV and film – takes a lot more effort than chatting with your team. Not having this skill is hurting some on the marketing side.

Q: Time to start planning for 2021. What are the big issues we’re seeing and how are the plans differing from what you initially thought?

It’s time for the annual reset and the One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP) – the gift that gives back for the next 4 quarters. We set our annual key initiatives – 6-8 things over the next 12 months to move the business forward – but what often gets left behind is this is a time to reset ourselves.

We need to be mindful of what we’re doing with our people to keep them on track on a personal growth level. We’re all a little out of our rhythm right now, but so goes the person, so goes the business. We need to develop the WHOLE person to get the best results in the new year.

Answer the question: what do you want? Don’t let your logic stifle what your true goals are. Once you define it, then you can set out and figure out how to achieve it.


Q: How are you advising organizations to combat the fatigue we’re all dealing with?

We have to take time to take a break and step away from the screen. Set some boundaries.

It’s easy for us right now to just keep working – especially working from home. You have to make yourself “go home.” Do simple things like change clothes after work to turn the “work” switch off.

Make yourself “commute” home. At 5, go to the store and drive back home. Give your body and mind the shift change. Honor the “going home” because it is easy not to.


Q: There’s a lot in the new around reemergence for COVID over the next 6-12 weeks – what are you advising how to prepare in the event this does effect us again in a major way?

If you didn’t get it right the first time and mitigate risk, go full remote. Wash your hands, take your vitamins, stay away from people. Take care of yourself. Have a plan.

Resource for Preparedness:

We’re not out of the woods yet so we’ve got to stay focused and stick to the basics. Don’t give up but it all comes back to executing on the basics. Better to be prepared than having to react.


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