The quality of a chain is dependent on the strength of its individual links.

How strong are the links in your company?

  • Is your business consistently profitable?
  • Are you different than your competitors in ways that matter to your customers?
  • Do you attract the best employees and get the best out of them?
  • Is store-level execution flawless?

Every company strives for sustainable profitable growth (EBITDA). But the inability to translate Vision into an executable strategy that consistently delivers results leads to underperformance. No matter how brilliant a company’s strategy, it still must be executed. Poor execution undercuts even the most brilliant strategy. Great companies invest in their ability to execute. Working harder to improve the efficiency of a strategy that doesn’t have the right PEOPLE to execute it or the right SYSTEM to support it is ultimately futile. In the end, its people that transform your strategy from words to numbers. But people are only as effective as the system they work within. You need a System that effectively facilitates and supports your strategy while optimizing your workforce. People look at highly successful convenience store brands and think they can achieve the same results. What they don’t understand is the System behind those brands that enable them to do what they do - deliver results. Unfortunately, too many companies are more familiar and comfortable with strategy planning than they are with strategy execution. What about your company?


The right people, with the right skills, in the right positions, fully engaged performing at optimal levels towards a common goal.


Processes and procedures that cost-effectively and efficiently deliver results by maximizing organizational performance.


Success has never been more transient. Opportunities are becoming constricted. With increased competition from non-traditional c-store players like the Dollar, Drug and Grocery store industries, and employee related costs accounting for approximately 48% of a company’s direct store operating expenses (NACS SOI), you must prepare your organization to WIN. Gaining a competitive advantage through a distinct point of differentiation has never been more important. With scarcer resources than your rivals, you need to continually outsmart your better financed competitors, and the time to do that is now. If not now when?


Winning is about being different than your competitors. Winning is about having strategic fit between your resources and opportunities. Winning is about not being guided by industry dogma. Winning is recognizing that familiarity is the enemy, and that good is the enemy of great. Winning is about unlocking your company’s true potential by transforming your human capital into financial capital resulting in market dominance. Have you prepared your company to win?


A great System delivers speed, flexibility, focus, consistency and results. All of which has never been more important than today. A fully aligned and optimized System ensures that all company departments and job positions are connected at the hip towards achieving the company’s goals, and behave as one-team, not two: headquarters vs. field. And that the company’s goals and the employee’s goals are mutually reinforcing. Here’s fifteen LINKS that comprise a SYSTEM of a high-performance, Top Decile (10%) organization. How does your company’s LINKS line up?

1 Customer-focused:

Consistently delivers a buying-experience that creates differentiation resulting in a competitive advantage.

2 Alignment:

Connects company, departmental, and employee goals, leading to consistency, transparency, compliance, predictability and organizational efficiency.

3 Compensation & Benefits:

Facilitates high-performance based on results vs. tenure.

4 Recruiting:

Attract the best talent to execute your strategy. Without better talent you won’t outperform your competitors.

5 Selection:

Identify and select the most talented people. Talented people ARE the competitive advantage.

6 On-boarding:

Prepare new hires for immediate success.

7 Training & Development:

Drives higher performance, productivity and profits.

8 Career Advancement:

Opportunities to grow and develop your workforce, which in turn grows and develops your company.

9 Communication:

The oxygen that keeps your organization and strategies alive.

10 Recognition & Reward:

What gets recognized and rewarded gets repeated.

11 Metrics:

Key metrics that drive the behaviors which produce the desired results. If you don’t get the metrics right, none of the other required behaviors are likely to follow.

12 Strategy Development & Execution:

A dynamic and fluid strategy that: 1) identifies and creates uncontested competitive space in an overcrowded marketplace, and, 2) is executable. What’s the point of having a great strategy if you can’t execute it, or a half-baked strategy executed well?

13 Leadership:

Provide a clear sense of direction while inspiring followers to achieve their potential.

14 Innovation:

The skill set that distinguishes the most successful organizations from the rest of the pack

15 Celebrate:

Recognize and reinforce organizational and personal achievement.

The future is something you create, not something that happens to you!

Employee Performance Strategies, Inc., and our division, Convenience Store Coaches, specialize in helping convenience organizations maximize their financial results by optimizing their workforce. That’s why we focus on the entire organizational infrastructure chain: PEOPLE and SYSTEM , vs. a single link, i.e. training. That’s how we’re unique from other companies; we focus on the entire chain, not just a single link. The strength of an individual link is dependent on the strength of each link in the chain (organization). And unlike other companies who deliver and run, we hang in there and support our strategies from development, to implementation, right through store-level execution, by partnering with you every step of the process.

We’ll help you identify your blind spots, while challenging conventional wisdom, which will help you stay ahead of your competition. Consider us a valuable one-stop, single-source resource that can help your team perform better in order to compete more effectively.

We’ll help you WIN by strengthening all the Links in your company, not just a few!

We’ve helped the best companies in the convenience industry sharpen their skills and take their A-Game to the next level. We can do the same for you. Are you ready?

All that matters is whether you care enough to start from where you are!

A Final Thought:

Never before have so many things been changing so rapidly. The most important question for any organization is this: “Are we changing as fast as the world around us?” The only thing that can be safely predicted is that sometime soon your organization will be challenged to change in ways for which is has no precedent. Your organization will either adapt or falter. Organizations that are not adaptable to change will be rendered irrelevant by those organizations that are. You’re either going forward or backward – but you’re never standing still. We’ll help your organization move forward with an actionable roadmap to the future!


We first used EPS to help improve the performance of our people. Since then every company in my Study Group has used their services. They are the best!

-Greg Parker, Owner & CEO, The Parker Companies – Study Group company

CSC’s Leadership Academy had a very positive impact on our company. It really helped our store managers hire and retain great people and improve customer service. We now have customers calling us with compliments versus complaints at a ratio of 4-1!

-Shawn Davis, Owner, Stinker Stores – Study Group company

EPS helped my organization improve our communication skills and methods. This process has helped us improve how we all work together, resulting in greater employee and organizational productivity.

-Judson Pope, Owner & CEO, E.J. Pope & Son, Inc. – Study Group company

I wanted to thank you and express my overwhelming satisfaction with the seminars you delivered at our retailer convention. Your seminars were excellent, and in fact generated the highest level of attendance of all the seminars at our convention

-Mike Gallagher, U.S. Retail Training Manager, ExxonMobil

In addition to myself, I had 100-store managers along with 20-supervisors and 3-District Managers also attend your sessions. They all left with a feeling of “I got it now!” I call it the “A-Ha affect.” Thank you for helping us better understand our workforce, and more importantly, how to improve their job performance. Our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries of what you taught us.

-Chris Tiller, Director of Operations – Flash Foods

You were outstanding! Your ability to take a topic and excite people and give them ideas that they will retain and use is fantastic. Looking forward to having you back next year.

-Paul Rankin, VP Marketing, Unite Refining

Just a quick thanks and appreciation for the two outstanding seminars you recently conducted for my organization. Your professionalism, energy, enthusiasm, and sense of humor made a lasting impression on the entire PDI organization.

-Jim Cornette, VP of Professional Sales - PDI


Terry McKenna

Terry McKenna is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author on the topic of human capital optimization - transforming human capital into financial capital. Terry’s expertise lies in the people side of business; people issues like, Employee Recruiting, Retention and Engagement, as well as, Leadership, Customer Service and Brand Differentiation and Organizational Design (OD). Terry’s most recent book, Hire the Best C-Store Employees – Interviewing Tactics for Hiring Employees Who Can Actually Make You Money, was a #1 seller at the NACS annual convention. Terry writes a monthly column for National Petroleum News (NPN) and Tobacco Retailer and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, as well as the Harvard Business School corporate training video, Benchmarking Outside The Box. Terry serves as a facilitator for Study Groups: CEO/Owners and Operations Study Groups.

Terry is principal and co-founder of Employee Performance Strategies, Inc. (EPS), and its division Convenience Store Coaches, both founded in 1997. EPS is the leading authority in helping organizations maximize their financial results by optimizing their workforce. EPS develops high-performance workforces through training, consulting and organizational design. EPS is unique in that no other company has the depth and breadth of experience in understanding and relating to retail operators and their employees like EPS, due to their extensive history and exclusive focus on the retail-convenience industries.

Prior to founding EPS, Terry worked 17-years with Mobil Oil Corporation – U.S. Marketing Division. While at Mobil, Terry led the development and implementation of a national customer service strategy, in addition to leading the achievement of ISO-9002 certification for customer service for convenience stores for Mobil’s Singapore marketing affiliate.

Linda McKenna-Welch

Audiences are captivated and entertained by Linda’s eye opening approach to business solutions. Linda sets herself apart with her real life experience specifically in the c-store industry. It’s Linda’s solid grasp of frontline execution and not just theory that audiences love and respect.

Linda’s presentations reveal the “how to” approach to business success, as opposed to speakers who theorize and tell stories on “why” organizations should do something. This emphasis on “how to” leaves participants motivated, and equips them with the required skills and knowledge to take specific actions to become more profitable.

Linda is well known for her contagious high energy and enthusiasm. But most importantly what makes her style unique is her ability to communicate and connect to all levels of an organization and ensure organizations leave with ideas that deliver results!

Linda is the Dean of Convenience Store Coaches Leadership Academy – a year-long leadership development program for store managers and supervisors. Linda is also co-author of the book “Hire the Best C-Store Employees – Interviewing Tactics for Hiring Employees Who Can Actually Make You Money”. Linda’s expertise in building customer loyalty through relationships has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, as well as The Harvard Business School corporate training video, Benchmarking Outside The Box.

Linda is Principal and Co-founder of Employee Performance Strategies, Inc. (EPS) and Convenience Store Coaches (CSC). Prior to launching EPS and CSC, Linda spent thirteen-years with Mobil Oil Corporation, U.S. Marketing Division.

Want to Strengthen your Organizational Links?
To learn more about aligning your People and System, contact:
Terry McKenna: 910.458.5227 -
Or, leave us a message at: 888.788.9090, ext. 2100 and Terry will get back to you
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