Shawn Massey, CCIM, SCLS

Workshop Looks To Put Goals Onto One Page – Andy Meek

I have been working with Michael since this past January and I think this workshop will be an excellent opportunity for any business owner or someone looking to start their business!   Shawn Massey

Author, business coach and strategy expert Michael Synk has a metaphor he uses to distill some of the most important elements of what he shares with business owners in need of a focused growth plan.

It involves pushing sand and moving rocks.

Pushing sand gets down to the nitty-gritty of running a business and encompasses the day-to-day tasks that must get done – things like making sales calls and taking orders. But, continuing with Synk’s metaphor, pushing sand doesn’t do as much to improve the future as it does to simply maintain the current course.

“You’ve got to find a rock,” said Synk, the founder of In-Synk, a company that provides business education and coaching services. “Something that if you move it, it improves everything about your business and gets you closer to the goal. Strategy is about figuring out the rocks. Most people don’t do that. They think tactically. ‘We can make better sales calls. We can make more sales calls.’”

During a day-long workshop next month, sponsored in part by The Daily News, Synk will help business leaders figure out how to identify rocks, how to move them and in the process take their business to the next level.

The In-Synk Plan Forward Workshop, to be held Oct. 18 at the University of Memphis, springs from the basic idea that most companies spend a lot of money and time thinking big thoughts about the future but don’t relate them back to what to do about it now.

In other words, there won’t be any thick, 100-page binders of workshop material that attendees will take home next month, because those are the kind of things that end up collecting dust and aren’t readily actionable. Instead, Synk teaches workshops that involve participants walking away with a one-page plan – something that’s digestible and, even more importantly, ready and easy to be put into action.

“We basically teach a strategic format that helps come up with a strategic plan,” Synk said. “But we also teach everything related to executing that plan. And that’s the big thing. We help you figure out the long-term goal 10 years down the road and relatively shorter goals for three years and one year, but the key to execution is the next 90 days. You’ve got to get your 90 days related to the long-term goal somehow.”

Synk has spent the last decade as a business educator, coach and consultant. He also is certified by Gazelles International to teach and facilitate the highly successful Four Decisions curriculum.

The Four Decisions model is a strategic planning model popularized by the book “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” and offered through Gazelles International. It refers to the key decisions that leadership teams have to get right in order to grow, and those decisions are around people, strategy, execution and cash.

Next month’s workshop is organized around those four decisions and teaches the participants how to address them better and then coordinate them into a one-page strategic plan.

The workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Fogelman Executive Center at the University of Memphis and finish by 5 p.m. At the end of the day, attendees will leave in part with a baseline strategic plan and a checklist for execution.

In addition to The Daily News, other sponsors of the event and the decision points those sponsors are tied to include Adams Keegan (People Sponsor), Century Wealth Management (Strategy Sponsor), Decosimo Certified Public Accountants (Execution Sponsor) and Triumph Bank (Cash Sponsor).

The workshop is $500 per person, $400 per person for teams of four or more, $400 for Young Presidents Organization, Entrepreneurs Organization, Vistage, Clarity Council and Society of Entrepreneurs Insight Group Members. To learn more, visit or, call 488-8172 or email

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Shawn Massey, CCIM, SCLS is a partner with The Shopping Center Group a 3rd party retail real estate advisory firm in their Memphis office, an adjunct professor in the graduate real estate program at The University of Memphis, in 2013 Shawn will join the faculty of the Homburg Academy teaching on-line real estate classes world-wide and is also co-founder &Chairman of the Board for the Memphis Business Academy charter schools (K-12th grade) in the Frayser area of Memphis.  

For all your retail real estate needs (tenant representation, landlord representation and property, investment & land sales) I hope that you will choose The Shopping Center Group and me to represent you and your business.  We understand that representation is a privilege and that you have a choice!

The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.  They should not be considered the opinion of The Shopping Center Group, LLC in which I am associated.


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