Finding the Focus to Grow Intentionally

These We Run on EOS™ stories reflect the honest statements and experiences of businesses that wanted to share their EOS® story. While we believe the stories are true, neither EOS Worldwide, LLC nor its affiliates or representatives have independently verified any information provided. The success of any business including those operating on EOS is dependent upon various factors, including individual efforts, business judgments, market conditions and other factors beyond our or any EOS Implementer’s control or influence. For these reasons, these stories are not necessarily representative of all companies operating on EOS and results are not guaranteed. Your experience and results may vary.

The information presented is therefore intended for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Through the years, Dawn Kane, Visionary and co-founder of Hot Dish Advertising, and Greg Lindberg, co-founder and CFO, recognized that their business grew in spurts. Founded in 1999, the agency, which supports franchise and branding marketing efforts, experienced periods of intense growth that inevitably would plateau (sometimes for reasons outside their control).

Dawn recognizes now that this common problem – aka hitting the ceiling – affects many growing businesses. At the time, she and her now Integrator™, Jen Campbell, learned to simply power through these growing pains. Dawn attended conferences and workshops for additional pointers on running her business better.

Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy

More than a decade ago, Dawn attended a conference where a speaker gave a crash course in the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. She immediately loved EOS® and took what she’d learned back to the agency to use.

“It was a half-day workshop, and the presenter handed out worksheets,” Dawn recounted. “It all sounded so simple that I thought I could wing it and do it myself. That didn’t work out so well.”

Dawn quickly learned that “simple” didn’t mean easy. While she still saw the value in the system, she put it to the side and focused on the trenches. Then a few years ago, EOS came up again, this time during discussions with a partner company.

“We were meeting with a colleague during one of our growth curves,” Dawn said. “And she asked, ‘Are you running on EOS? You seem to be doing so well.’”

This company used an EOS Implementer® to learn how to run on EOS. Listening to her colleague explain the process, Dawn realized an EOS Implementer could help them finally get “simple” right. After conferring with Hot Dish’s other leaders, they asked Professional EOS Implementer® Pam Kosanke to show them how to run their business on EOS correctly.

“We knew we needed someone to help us figure out what we didn’t know to get to the next level,” Dawn said. “Otherwise, we’d continue the cycle of growth spurts, hitting the ceiling, and getting stuck.”


Pam walked the leadership team through exercises like identifying their core values and finding ways to hold people more accountable. She taught them how to use EOS Tools to become better leaders within the organization. Most of all, she asked them hard questions and kept them on task during sessions to keep moving forward.

“In the early days with Pam, the whole team would leave a session completely mentally exhausted and drained,” Dawn said. “She challenged us to think about our business and our people differently.”

The leadership team used The People Analyzer™ to view their staff through a different lens. It became apparent that they didn’t have the right people in the right seats to get the company where they wanted to go. And they started to see the full picture of why they kept getting stuck.

Only then did the team realize they had a series of “people problems” that held them back each time they plateaued. If left unaddressed, they would continue to haunt them and hamstring any future growth.

Dawn and the rest of the team learned the difference between liking someone as a person versus that person being good for the business. They realized they had a lot of likable people who didn’t fit their current roles. Some weren’t even a good fit for the company. While some people simply needed more training, others kept the company from growing.

“Those were difficult conversations, but they needed to happen,” Dawn said. “It also forced us to clean up job descriptions. People needed to truly understand what was expected from a role and what success looked like in the agency.”


Instead of a typical organizational chart, Hot Dish leaders rebuilt their job descriptions through the lens of The Accountability Chart™. This approach allowed them to focus on the structure necessary to do the work before plugging in people.

Sometimes the team struggled to only list general roles for a seat and avoid having a specific person in mind. Pam facilitated those discussions, reminding them of the importance of each step. She encouraged them to stay focused when the conversations wandered off track.

Then, just as they finally started to get somewhere, COVID hit.

Dawn knew they needed EOS more than ever. The team continued to focus on running the business efficiently while learning how to run things remotely.

They kept their attention on team health. Dawn noted they experienced a good bit of change as the pandemic made people rethink their relationships with work.

In addition, the leadership team focused on how they cared for their people. They worked hard to create a structure and environment where everyone felt they had a voice.

And as the agency grew, the team finally learned how to overcome hitting the ceiling (again). This time, when the team felt stuck, they used the Delegate and Elevate™ tool to identify tasks to delegate off their plates.

At the same time, they became more intentional about how they promoted people instead of relying on seniority. Instead, they ensured someone had the right skills to be successful in a new, elevated role.


“I’m proud of the agency’s growth, but I’m more proud of the people who work with us,” Dawn said. “Ever since starting EOS, we’re attracting individuals with great experience. The team that stayed on continued to want to learn and grow within the agency.”

By focusing on each individual’s development, they make sure people have the right skills, whether they stay with Hot Dish or move on. Regardless, Dawn hopes they feel like they’re contributing and making a difference.

Dawn said the company created an intentional structure for recognizing and supporting teams. They’ve also added a #Kudos Slack channel for employees to recognize each other. People leaders in the agency have the tools to be successful through learning opportunities like mid-level-manager training.

Plus, they’ve created “safe havens” for employees to talk about difficult issues or have hard conversations. Their employees have opportunities to have their voices heard through department Level 10 Meetings™, individual conversations with their managers, and all-agency meetings each Friday. In each setting, leaders intentionally focus on solving problems. They reiterate that if they don’t talk about an issue, they can never get better.

“Interestingly, we’re seeing more clients who run on EOS,” said Dawn. “Most have just started, and they’re tapping us to ask questions since we’ve been on our journey a bit longer. I didn’t expect that. I also find that we connect better; maybe we have the same mindset.”

Why We Run on EOS

“We’re more deliberate about the new clients we bring in and ensuring we have the right staff to support them,” Dawn said. “And we’re hearing how happy our clients are with the results. They tell us how smart and thoughtful our team members are. These are all things you want to hear as a business owner.”

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