The best way to understand what makes EOS Implementer Mike Wolfgang successful is to look at his time at Western Graphics in St. Paul, Minnesota.
When Mike stepped in as the company’s president and COO in March 2014, the company—and the entire printing industry—was struggling. So Mike made several key changes: He created a client-focused culture. He demanded that people hold themselves more accountable to deadlines and costs. He fostered a collaborative environment in which teams relied on each other and recognized each other’s value. And to top it off, he started a friendly process-improvement competition in which departments invented ways to boost productivity and lower costs.
The result: Western Graphics measured up to 8% growth at a time when the printing industry as a whole was contracting up to 20%.
Mike’s leadership at Western Graphics points to a consistent theme throughout his career: He helps organizations achieve transformation through greater accountability.
Tried And Tested Accountability
Growing up in an entrepreneurial household, he frequently helped out with the family marina and assisted his stepmom with her executive search business. He got an extra dose of real-life accountability training when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1989 and was deployed on numerous operations. And eventually, his peers nominated him to be a Marine One crew chief and fly President Clinton across the globe.
After serving 10 years in the Marines, Mike decided to bring his leadership skills to the corporate world.
In his seven years as technical supervisor at Thomson Reuters in the Twin Cities, he built the company’s digital printing operation from the ground up and led a 40-person department that produced over $1 billion pages a year. He then moved his skill set to smaller companies who were more nimble in making changes to achieve growth, taking the helm as president of CGS Publishing Technologies International in 2006, then Securian Financial/Vivid Print Solutions in 2010.
While leading these companies, Mike’s a-ha moment came when he learned about EOS as a management and growth tool. He decided to give it a try, and the experience was life-changing. By seeing firsthand the cultural transformation and bottom-line results that EOS can deliver, Mike found a new calling in life: He would bring its power to other companies and entrepreneurs.
Passionately Deploying EOS
Mike is now the proud owner of M1 Core Traction in Irvine, California, where he helps companies in Southern California, Las Vegas, and Hawaii realize the benefits of EOS. Key to M1’s success: Mike can speak from personal experience about the challenges of trying to run and grow a business at the same time. Entrepreneurs trust his experience and feed off his contagious energy. And business leaders from multiple industries appreciate his ability to help them regain control of their operations while also enjoying a more well-balanced life.
Today, Mike’s passion is helping businesses deploy EOS to achieve “Real. Simple. Results.”
His clients call him a “lifesaver” and credit him with helping them transform their businesses through greater discipline and accountability—not surprising for a Marine who was once accountable for the life of a U.S. president.
For his part, Mike remains humble about his many experiences and successes. “Nothing is more important than gratitude, which is why my family does a gratitude exercise every night at the dinner table,” he says. “If there’s one thing that’s even more important than accountability, it’s being thankful for what you have.”
Thanks to Mike, dozens of entrepreneurs have a lot more to be thankful for. Well done, Mike!