Hello, I’m Frank
I am an executive consultant specializing in crisis intervention, innovation, and rapid achievement of vital corporate objectives. I developed a non-combat adaptation of Military Special Forces as the vehicle for accomplishing extreme performance in those three areas.
Throughout my career, I have worked closely with executives and trainers across all industries to form, train, and lead elite teams with specialized skills to serve as rapid-response resources for achieving high-value corporate objectives that are beyond the reach of conventional methods. This includes single-discipline, cross-functional, and multi-company task force teams. Typically, each team will be chartered with one pivotal task at a time to the exclusion of all else. The scope of tasks will vary from resolving a local corporate crisis to creating innovative products, services, and/or methods in national and international markets.
I just released my book “Corporate Special Forces” which describes a five-step methodology for sponsoring a cadre of corporate special forces teams and developing a high-performance mini-culture that thrives compatibly within the traditional culture.
A few highlights of my journey from autocratic boss to mentor of super-achievers will follow.
“Take This Job and Shove It” was the favorite song and the prevailing attitude of the employees at the truck maintenance facility when I took over as branch manager in my twenties. I managed the employees the way I had always been managed: autocratically. I soon realized my leadership style had its shortcomings. This realization began as a mild curiosity about effective leadership. It evolved over the years as if by destiny until it became an obsession that eventually resulted in an unconventional methodology that produces stunning results for the organization and exceptionally high morale for the participants.
But the road of search and discovery was chaotic. It bumped and rambled through many ‘trial and error’ experiences and a few but significant ‘trial and success’ breakthroughs. That journey was sometimes like a speeding car on the interstate but more often like an ox cart slogging through the mud on a dirt-road detour.
My most catastrophic failure became the unrelenting impetus for designing, testing, and refining the methodology that became my most rewarding life achievement.
I purchased one-third interest in a service bureau providing data processing services for a large and impressive national clientele. The company was in trouble due to obsolescing technology. I assumed the office of president with the mandate to turn it around. The programmers and systems analysts resisted my attempts to upgrade to new technology because they had written all the software for the older technology. They feared the new mainframe would make them expendable.
The software contained embedded hooks that only the authors could untangle. I failed to obtain their support so the conversion stalled permanently. Fourteen months later the company crashed into bankruptcy. That failure hammered me emotionally and financially.
The journey to recover my self-esteem and rebuild my core value system appeared on the surface to be disoriented at times. I took a sabbatical from business, attended a seminary, became ordained, pastored a church, and conducted weekly services at a maximum security men’s prison and a medium security women’s prison.
I read voraciously about leadership, motivation, and performance.
I returned to business, developed a client base as a consultant and trainer, wrote courses, and taught classes in leadership and teambuilding.
I developed an expertise in maximizing organizational adaptability in competitive markets, mentoring potential high achievers, demonstrating managerial effectiveness in times of transition, and utilizing experiential training methods adapted for business from Military Special Forces and civilian emergency response teams.
Eventually my client base included both for-profit and nonprofit organizations ranging in size from small businesses with one hundred or so employees to Fortune 500 companies with worldwide operations.
Nearing retirement, I sat down one day and began writing a letter to that young corporate president who, thirty years ago, let the data processing company go into bankruptcy on his watch. I felt that telling him what I had learned and how that knowledge would have saved his company and the jobs of all the employees would somehow erase the scars that failure had imprinted on a remote compartment in my bank of memories.
The letter kept getting longer until it became a book. At some point it occurred to me that there might be other executives out there who are facing a crisis that is beyond the reach of his or her conventional tools. Maybe some of those executives are like I was in that they need the benefit of some unconventional and very powerful methods but they don’t have thirty years, or even five years, to discover the tools and learn how to use them. So my contribution to those executives is telling my story in a how-to handbook entitled “Corporate Special Forces.”
My story is also for the hundreds of thousands of undiscovered heroes who are stuck in a ho-hum job and who yearn to express their talents, to make a meaningful difference in pursuit of worthwhile goals, to feel the excitement of doing important things others can’t do, and to enjoy the camaraderie of those with a similar desire to commit, to risk, and to achieve. I know from experience that there are few joys in life that can equal the thrill of watching people who have the zeal and the talent to become super-achievers but have been obscured in the corporate sea of faces suddenly be given a challenging opportunity and then catch on fire and come alive and make a difference that matters.
Maybe my retirement will be dull and boring but I don’t think so. As long as our nation needs the energy and genius of our vast reservoir of underutilized employees in order to be innovative and adaptive in a world economy, I’ll still have work to do.