Allow yourself to be surprised.
Dave Verbeten is a Business Owner with broad Senior Level Experience in sales and marketing, operations, global business development, general management, business turnarounds, and the sale of businesses. He is a hands-on Advisor in business growth and has focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses through difficult transitions.
His corporate experiences include leading a number of business units for such companies as Allied Signal, Avery Dennison and Tenneco Automotive, ranging from technology start-ups to $750 million divisions. Serving in a variety of roles, over the 25 plus years, Dave has deep experience leading divisions and teams through significant organizational and strategic change resulting in record setting growth and profitability. He has lead Sales and Marketing teams from 25 to 500 in size and orchestrated positive growth in every situation. Dave was the Chief Commercial Officer for new ventures and was instrumental in launching a high-quality aggregates business in the Upper Midwest. As a partner in an Interim CEO Consulting Firm, Dave was key in doubling the revenues of the business over 2 years and sourced the firm’s largest fee-based client at $2 million. He is now the Owner and Senior Business Advisor in his own firm, Game Changer Business Results. Dave is a collaborating consultant for 3D Results working on strategic planning, sales training and leadership development for client companies.
Dave has succeeded in moving his teams to achieve major turnarounds in the US, Asia and Europe. He has re-organized large multi-unit divisions into customer focused, fast-moving enterprises, created vibrant businesses from new product concepts, and moved the uninspired toward a high performance mentality.
- What is it about consulting that first drew your interest? I had over 25 years of successful corporate leadership positions in various leadership positions, from Sales and Marketing, Operations, Quality Management, and significant years running Divisions for large Corporations. I wanted to take that to other business people with the notion of helping them achieve their goals and objectives. Consulting was a perfect way to fulfill that desire.
- Make a prediction and describe your vision of the business future relating to Game Changer Business Results. Many business owners need a trusted advisor – that aligned advocate for the owner and their future. We go beyond just being an advisor. We get into the details of the business providing business strategy, and assistance in the execution and accountability to get things done. I expect that the need for business advisors – really good business advisors – will continue to grow.
- Without naming names, tell us about your favorite client and why you enjoyed working with them. We always say that not everyone is open to change. The only favorites are those that are open to change. They accept the advisors’ ideas, our pointed questions, and when appropriate, they accept critical reviews of the owner’s approach to leadership & leading the business. Just as important, great clients are those that engage in the discussion about next steps and not simply accepting the strategies of the advisor. Strategies need to be tailored to the ability of the business owner to apply them.
- Describe your work style. I love what I do and am frequently reviewing and researching better ways to advise and better business methodologies that can help my clients. I am really dedicated to the welfare of my clients and the betterment of our own company. I really enjoy putting on seminars and workshops that help business owners. My partner (Bonnie) and I spend a tremendous amount of time making sure these events are top-notch for our attendees. I would say we assume a “whatever it takes” mentality.
- What is your proudest moment? There are probably a lot of smaller achievements I could say make me personally proud, but at the end of the day, its watching our family grow. Between Bonnie and me we have seven kids and currently 5 grandchildren. It’s nice to carry on the families’ names.
- What’s it like working for yourself? I would expect most business owners could relate to this: It’s not easy working for yourself. One of our major efforts is to support our clients because it’s easy to give up on yourself. There are good days and not-so-good days. Busting through the “not-so-good” days requires a lot of mental tenacity. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Who most influences you? My Mom and Dad first and foremost. They have both passed on, but the influences and memories remain. Bonnie, my wife, does as well. She keeps me grounded.
- What bit of wisdom would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs? Many entrepreneurs that we meet are tremendously emotionally charged about what they want to do. That is great and it fuels passion. However, it can push them to move too quickly into the game without a game plan. So, have someone, a third party person that preferably has done it before that can help the new business owner plan first. No one goes out onto Lake Michigan in a sail boat or even less of a ship without knowing specifically what to expect going out and coming back. Seek someone that will help you build your PLAN.
- If you could re-do any aspect of your life, what would it be and what would you do differently? I don’t know that I would re-do anything. Not everything was perfect or rosy. Then again, I learned a lot from all of the good and the not-so-good. I clearly didn’t do everything right. Prior relationships could likely have been better. Certain business decisions and career decisions maybe were not so well thought out. But, I am here now with all of that prior learning and hopefully applying it in the best way for myself and others.
- What separates you from other consultants? Great question but hard to answer. We’ve had a number of clients that have looked at other business advisors and for the most part they all come back and tell us that we are the most comprehensive and thorough in our approach. We have a great methodology that allows us to know when to be rigid and when to flex with the business owner’s situation. We “wing” nothing!!! All of our advisors live by our motto: “No Judgment–Just Results”. And, I and Bonnie, insist that anyone who wants to be an advisor in our company must exhibit three primary attributes: 1) have solid prior business acumen; 2) have ultimate humility – it’s not about them, it’s all about the client; and 3) be able to show evidence of business development.
- Describe your most memorable Advisory moment. We need nothing more than a Thank You! When a client gets to where they want to be, then we know we did our job! We have had clients that doubled and tripled revenues and profits, they have been able to take much wanted vacations, extract themselves from roles they did not like or were not particularly good at, they have made acquisitions, major transformations in their businesses, expanded and introduced new products, and in many cases we’ve guided them through very difficult personnel decisions. In the end, the memories come from knowing we did the “RIGHT THING”!
- Favorite Vacation: Our vacations typically revolve around family. BUT, we like to explore new places – mostly warm! I like the opportunity to absorb things intellectually. So, the places we have gone to or wish to go to need some adventure to them.
- Relaxation when not working: I typically vegetate watching a good football game. I played high school football and college Rugby. Crazy game! My Mom and Dad attended one of my rough Rugby games and firmly declared that they just could not witness another! I guess I understand. Aside from that, I enjoy reading and talking with thought leaders in the industry. I want every day to be a day of gathering. It can be knowledge or relationships. Giving and Gathering is important to me.
- Top Desert Island wish list: Haven’t given it any thought! How does Wisconsin sound! Is that an Island? Just give me access to Packer games.
- Most Prized possession: This is a trick question. My first pair of cowboy boots. They almost got sold at a garage sale. I retrieved them, and still have them. I might put them on tonight!!!
- Favorite Hobbies: Running and working out. I’ve been lazy lately, but do miss it. I have to lose 10 pounds.
- What keeps you up at night? Mostly, I wake up around 4:00 am and start thinking about my day and client commitments. Can’t sleep much past then. I guess I just want to know that I’m doing the best I can for my family, friends and clients.
- All-time favorite song/band? Band is easy. It’s the Beatles. All-time favorite song. You won’t know it: It’s called “Sometimes” by the Carpenters. It is often a request when I sing at weddings.
- Favorite Books: “Lincoln on Leadership”. What I am reading now: “The Road Less Stupid”
- Best film in my opinion: This is really hard. I’m really an action movie guy. I’m not sure I have one. Just movies that can inspire and show me the better side of people.
- A word that describes you. Heartfelt!
- Something about you that nobody knows. I have several recognitions from the companies I’ve worked for. I won’t bore you with the list. On the other hand, I was elected to the All Wisconsin Rugby Team back in 1979. I’m a former wedding singer. I’ve got the worst voice in the family, so I’m not sure how I got the wedding gigs! I can’t wait to have a lake house property with Bonnie and relax on the shore loving family and each other.
- President of Game Changer Business Results and Verb4, Inc
- Former Owner and President of Peak Performance Action Coach
- MBA – Lake Forest Graduate School of Management
TOP 20 Action Coach Business Coaches in North America
- B.S. in Economics and Political Science from University of Wisconsin
- MBA Lake Forest Graduate School of Management
- Turnaround Management Association
- Enterprise Success Group
- Various VP/GM roles with
- Allied Signal
- Avery Dennison
- Tenneco Automotive
- Berlin Packaging