Michael Troyer, president of the Strategic Management Associates, has been actively committed to giving back to the business and education communities in Green Bay for years. When Michael heard about the Mentor-Protégé program, then, it was no surprise that he was an enthusiastic and immediate supporter.
What might be slightly more surprising, however, has been his active, vigorous and ongoing personal involvement in the program. Despite playing an active and direct role presiding over a leading management firm, serving on the board of directors of Baylake Bank, presiding over the Bay Area Workforce Board of Directors, and playing a leadership role with the St. Mary’s Business Task Force, Michael found the time to participate as a Mentor.
After interviewing and selecting a Protégé, he was quick new opportunities to move her business forward. As he described in a recent interview with the Mentor-Protégé program,
“The protégé’s business had been in operation for a number of years. The owner is from a very entrepreneurial family and it was reflected in the quantity of ideas that she had “in play” as she sought to grow her business. After spending time learning about the business, I was able to utilize a number of business counseling tools developed while working with other small business clients. I used them to guide her thinking in terms of building and growing the business in more discrete stages.”
Through his weekly meetings with the Protégé, his first step was to help her in narrowing down her focus, allowing the emerging entrepreneur to concentrate her energy on a handful of her most rewarding opportunities for growth. Particularly, he helped her zero in on boosting sales volume through a four stage approach: focusing her attention on developing a strong internet retail presence, creating an attractive, appealing holiday-related retail outlet for her products, continuously improving the quality of her products, and building a customer base to whom she could sell her product.
Michael’s advice was heeded, and the effects for the Protégé have been dramatic. With increased sales, she has been able to expand rapidly, boosting the economy while creating new jobs to meet increased demand.
Michael’s commitment to the Mentorship-Protégé Program has had a direct impact on the community. Through assisting his Protégé, new money has been brought into Green Bay, and a major step has been taken towards helping to produce the next generation of local business leadership.
After spending so many years as a teacher and educator, however, Michael couldn’t resist an opportunity to go further, concluding his interview by sharing invaluable advice to other perspective Green Bay entrepreneurs:
“One must learn to listen by putting oneself in front of one’s employees for that express purpose.
One must learn to ask in order to keep in touch with all that is going on, since employees usually don’t offer without being asked.
One must work to identify what will engage the employees of the firm – only with that engagement will they give all of their discretionary effort to the firm.
One must think in terms of the 80/20 rule. One must ask “Of the long list of things I need to get done today, which of them represents the 20% that will achieve the greatest impact for my time and effort (generate 80% of what I could achieve if I achieved the entire list).
All the other “things” need either to be delegated or be reconsidered as to their importance. We have to constantly push ourselves to be productive by focusing on the key issues of the day, the month and the year.
One must daily prioritize ones opportunities and select those that will have the greatest impact in advancing the business.”
On behalf of Green Bay and the Green Bay Packers, we are deeply thankful for the opportunity to have Michael as a mentor, and are indebted to him for the investment he has made in our community and our future. Thank you Michael!