Over 75 Years of Business Leadership Lessons!
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Stop winging it and Start growing your business!

Managing a business can be overwhelming—sales challenges, lead flow, talent scarcity, vendor issues, etc. What if there was a better way? Great news...there is, and we can help make it happen - Success Guaranteed!

Growing a Business? Doug & Russ can help, guaranteed!

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75 Years of Business Leadership Experience

Freedom = Strategy + Operating System + Execution Culture


Doug Tenpas - Second In Command & Russ Sorrells - Visionary

Leading, building, and growing a business isn’t easy. It can be lonely at the top. Coaching alone has its limitations – impact, experience share, & ideas. How impactful could two coaches be in implementing a business operating system versus an individual coach? The answer is 1 + 1 = 100. The impact is exponential and way more fun!

Doug has a rich background that includes being a father to four daughters, mayor of a 50,000-person city, taking a business public, and building another to over $150M in annual revenue before exit. He is all about execution in his Minnesota nice way. Above all, he is a genuine human being.

Russ has built, bought, and sold six businesses throughout his career that began as an engineer at Cummins Engine Company almost 30 years ago. He has also enjoyed raising three daughters (all still teens – please pray) and mentoring many business leaders. Bottom line, we get it. We have walked a mile. We are here to help. We are super excited to join forces to maximize the impact on the businesses and leaders we serve. Visit www.ownyourcategory.com for more information.

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Why implement a business operating system?

Russ explains the fundamentals of implementing the Pinnacle business operating system in this video.


Availability is limited. Schedule a call to check availability and see if your company qualifies for the program!


"Russ began working with me and our local leadership team in Q4 2021. Initially I wanted an outside partner to help us with our sales planning for the upcoming year. Well I can say we got that and much more. Not just mapping out numbers, goals, getting buy-in, etc. – we developed the who, what, why, when – true action items. It involved our entire team helping develop our plan. This is a work in process, something we continue to work on daily, weekly, monthly. But having implemented items along the way, creating more accountability and buy-in – I am proud to say we are a top performing market in our entire bank. Russ’ continued support is appreciated and helps us keep climbing to the Pinnacle."

Steve Sherrill
Market Executive

"If you have the opportunity to work with Russ, my strong feeling, based on the results we experienced, suggests that you will do yourselves an excellent service to grow your business by partnering with him. Please feel free to call on me for a more candid conversation."

Gene Bressler
VP of Sales - ATC Automation - Retired

"We’ve been working with Russ for over 18 months now. I can say with confidence that Russ and the Pinnacle platform has completely transformed our business and we continue to get better everyday. Russ is patient, professional  and intentional, always going above and beyond. Investing in Russ and Pinnacle was one of the best decisions we’ve made and we are excited to continue the journey. "

Tim Kane
Chief Operating Officer - Belrose Storage Group 

"My husband and I have worked with Russ for almost two years using the Pinnacle system to help us and our leadership team set an intentional and strategic growth plan for our small business.  Russ has been instrumental in giving us tools, strategies, and a framework of accountability to solve issues we’re facing, which has been invaluable.  His dedication to our success is evident in his willingness to go above and beyond.  He is readily available to answer our questions, provide guidance, and offer support whenever we’ve needed it. From the very beginning, Russ took the time to listen to our specific needs, challenges, and aspirations.  He helps us focus on the goals that will produce the biggest impact for our team and customers, and he guides us in creating a list of actionable steps that have consistently helped us progress forward.  While we usually come to Pinnacle meetings with a list of challenges we’re facing, we leave our meetings with Russ feeling a renewed sense of hope and determination.  His belief in our company’s potential is evident, and that energizes us for the work we have ahead of us each quarter.    Russ’s professionalism, expertise, and genuine concern for our success have made a significant impact on our business’s growth.  We wholeheartedly recommend his services to any business in search of expert guidance and support. "

Laurie Yutka
Business Development, Yutka Fence

FAQ's About How Own Your Category Helps

  1. Team Advantage - Creates Clarity & Alignment at the top.
  2. Competitive Advantage - Organizes your business in a way that keeps the main thing the main thing.
  3. People Advantage - Makes it easier to attract and retain top talent.
  4. Profit Advantage - Companies that have a system are more profitable over the long-term.
  5. Scaling Advantage - Companies with a system are more effective in duplicating processes, helping them better manage growth.
  6. Exit Advantage - Businesses with an operating system and documented processes command a higher multiple on exit.

Capital Equipment Operating System Implementation (CEOS) – Implement a framework to eliminate chaos & complexity, grow (people, impact, influence, revenue, & profits), and free leaders to work on the business instead of in the business.

  1. People 1st Powered by Culture. No sustainable business has been built alone. As leaders, we must find, hire, grow, and empower good people. Many have thrown up their arms in pursuit of talent but those with a relentless focus on culture are building something where people self-select. They want to be a part of what we are building because the people that work here won’t stop talking about it. Culture is an obsession with a common purpose reinforced by meaningful values that are never compromised for short-term or personal gain. I & Me stand no chance versus Us & We.
  2. Communication is the heart of leadership. Our team wants to know where we are going, and our job is to remind them daily. Where are we going? Why we are going there? Who are we, and what do we stand for? On repeat! By far, this is the biggest issue for my clients. We solve it by getting clear on the questions above and weaving them into our issue-solving-focused meeting cadence.
  3. Keep score. Have you ever played a game without keeping score? Did you give your all? Of course not, because you had no concept of winning or losing without knowing the score. Imagine showing up to an NBA basketball game in the middle of the 3rd quarter, and there are no scoreboards to indicate the score. The game might have some exciting fastbreaks and dunks, but we will quickly lose interest if we don’t know the score. This is exactly what we do to our teams when we don’t keep score in our organizations. Yes, it takes discipline to turn in the numbers and populate the weekly scoreboard, but we do our teams a disservice expecting them to care when they don’t know the score. We must keep score – weekly & monthly.
  4. Accountability builds great organizations. After we have identified what winning looks like and are keeping score, we are now able to work as a team. Teams are accountable to each other. They are committed to the organization's overall success and take personal pride in a job well done. When we fall short, there must be consequences because there will be no accountability without them.
  5. Hire Adults & Be Adults. I have tried to find other ways to more eloquently state point #5 but have not. Our society and organizations avoid direct communication at the peril of the entire institution. Adult conversations involve respect, dignity, and truth. We must lean into difficult conversations that challenge team members to do better when necessary. All growth requires effort.

Step 1 = Hire & train good people
Step 2 = Communicate the Vision & Empower Them. Make It Their Own
Step 3 = Measure Progress versus The 7-3-1-90 Plan
Step 4 = Build a Culture of Accountability
Step 5 = Treat People Like Adults And Expect Them To Behave Like Adults

Capital Sales Mastery is about building an elite sales team that works together to exceed company goals & objectives consistently. How?

Level I - 

  • Establish vision & values for the salesperson—the foundation for future growth.
  • Learn how to navigate your company. Understanding the internals is as important as the externals.
  • Understand the fundamentals of the products you sell. Knowledge = Confidence
  • Know your customer. What are their needs, aspirations, and challenges? And how do you meet them where they are?
  • Know your industry. What are the trends, pressures, and issues that you need to know for yourself and your customers?
  • What is the best strategy for closing more business? No more winging it; we make a plan and agree to stick to the plan!
  • These fundamentals are the key to mastery in sales. Master them, and you will be in a Category of One!
  • Level 2 - Russ as your Fractional VP of Sales – The CESM Accountability System is having Russ lead the team in the execution of CESM in your business. Think of this as being a Navy Seal. The Seal training is the 3-day boot camp, and the real work of the day-to-day becomes the challenge. The goal is to become a sales-driven organization because every employee depends on sales. When times are tough, the organization needs sales, and if the team has not been trained on how to get work, the organization will struggle. When times are good, we must maintain the same level of discipline in winning business to ensure that the winning ways will continue when times get lean. Salespeople must be led and they must learn to lead themselves & the sales process. The Accountability System includes monthly training calls and biweekly 90-minute opportunity review calls. Essentially Russ becomes the captain of the sales team. The following are deliverables:


  • Open Opportunity Review – The next order can only come from quoted business so sales people should obsess over open opportunities. Also called the pipeline, the sales people must always know the stage in the sales process, likelihood of an order, and the next action they will take to move the opportunity closer to a “Yes or No”. We want a “Yes or No” and not a “Maybe”. Maybe’s rarely if ever turn into orders and they clutter our open opportunity pipeline. Maybe’s give a false sense of possibility and fatten the dollar value of the pipeline. So we obsess over moving opportunities through the stages of our sales process. This should be updated weekly and will be reviewed with Russ as a team on the 90 minute biweekly call.
  • Target Customer Review – Focus is the key to more sales. When the world is our oyster we never find the pearls. We create a targeted customer list and focus on getting in front of or connecting with these target clients. Who has the greatest chance for repeat business? Who has the budget? Who is an ideal fit for our company? Where are they and what is the plan to regularly get in front of them to add value?
  • Territory Review – Understanding the territory the sales person is responsible is critical to knowing how to invest their time. Where is the greatest concentration of customers? Where are the target customers? What is the plan for getting into the market? The expectation is 4 days in the field and 1 day at the office planning, preparing, and following up. Sales happen in the market not behind a desk.
  • Calendar Management – The sales person’s inventory is their calendar. Wasting time is wasting opportunities to close new business. We manage calendars two weeks out at all times. My expectation is that is I ask a sales person to snap a picture of their two week calendar they will have it drafted and can share immediately. We want to prioritize calendar activities around the following – 1st priority is getting in front of customers with open quotes as frequently as possible. 2nd is following up on leads with face to face meetings. 3rd is getting in front of our target customers. 4th is getting in front of all other prespective customers.
  • Practicing the Story & Presentation – Showing up on the field at game time without practice never happens at a professional sports level yet we allow it to happen in our businesses every day. Practice is key to navigating objections and telling the story. We want to have regular hot seats for the sales team to practice their craft. This makes many sales people extremely uncomfortable and that is why few organizations ever require practice. I believe being a professional sales person requires that we practice our message with our peers for feedback and growth.
  • Creating a Forecast – Professional sales people should be able to create their own forecast. If they know their territory, understand their customers, and have some history the forecast is fundamental to accountability. They create it and we hold them accountable to hitting it. Professionals know their numbers and own their performance. Forecasting forces them to think through their business, take responsibility, and be accountable for results.
  • Daily Requirements – The sales team is required to share their Top 5 priorities in email form every day. Just a simple email that outlines their top priorites in moving customers through the pipeline, reviewing proposals with clients, submitting RFQ’s, target customer activities, etc. The key to winning is planning each day and follow through on the plan. The goal with the Top 5 list is to ensure every team member has a plan for the day.

Russ Explain His Background


Why do business leaders choose Russ as their Pinnacle Implementer?

  • 27 years of real world business leadership experience.
  • Diverse industry business experience including: manufacturing, medical, & consumer.
  • Multiple seven figure businesses owned & operated w/ successful exits.
  • Eight years of business operating system experience with implementation & execution.
  • Directly involved in over $250M in product sales throughout my career.
  • Over 500 capital projects closed.
  • Specialties include operating system implementation & sales leadership.


What is Involved in the Capital Equipment Operating System?

People - Team Building Exercises

  • 5 Dysfunctions of a Team Workshop – Based on the Patrick Lencioni’s book. This workshop identifies team disconnects & strategies for reconnecting.
  • Ideal Team Player – The ideal team player has three key virtues – humility, hunger, and people smarts (emotional intelligence). In this exercise we work on the culture of the business starting with the executive team by identifying the weakest of these virtues and taking action to grow it!
  • A.R.A. Team Health – In this exercise we take a few minutes to thoughtfully share what we Like, Admire, Respect, and Appreciate about a colleague.
  • Level Up! – The Level Up Workshop provides clarity regarding the performers on each executive’s team. Our mission should always be “Coach them up or Coach them out”.
  • Lifeline – Powerful workshop for bonding the team through stories. The lifeline is a safe space to discuss highs and lows in our personal & professional lives. Cultivates empathy.
  • Mad-Libs – In this workshop the team fills in the blanks of a worksheet. What is revealed in the answers is enlightening to team members new and old. Creates deeper understanding of team dynamics.
  • Talent Assessment – This simple exercise gets you clear about your top players. Who will we Coach Up or Coach Out? It is all about Culture & Performance.
  • Win with Purpose – In this straightforward and straight from the heart exercise we identify a purpose beyond profits.
  • Strategic Vision & Plan – At the heart of the Day 1 in Basecamp is the strategic vision & planning session. The workshop allows the executive to clearly articulate where the business is heading and the steps necessary to get there.
  • Strength Test Your Strategy – Operational efficiency will not help to accelerate your company’s flywheel. Differentiation will. In this workshop we get clear on what makes your business different from your competitors and how to profit from those differences.
  • Functional Accountability Chart – The Functional Accountability Workshop creates functional clarity & alignment while establish clear criteria for winning in that function.
  • Process Accountability Chart – We often do the Process Accountability Workshop in conjunction with the Functional Accountability Workshop to tie them to each other and performance metrics. We use these to help build our Scorecard.
  • Discovering Core Purpose – This exercise is powerful. Your businesses purpose will attract talent and inspire customers. We use samples and a simple process for creating a deep and meaningful purpose that motivate & inspire.
  • Brutal Facts – Getting real about what isn’t working in your business is critical to keeping the business growing toward its pinnacle. This workshop with the executive helps create rocks and identify issues that need solving to maintain progress.
  • Flywheel – The Flywheel Workshop results in a simple circular representation of how your company wins over time. Customers feed it while people lead it. Keep it simple but make it powerful. We use many examples (Apple, Google, Amazon) to help you build your flywheel.
  • Trends Strengths Weaknesses – This tool helps us stay connected with reality. Where is our industry/market headed? What strengths does our business demonstrate? What are our weaknesses? No place to hide in this tool.
  • FAST Goals Workshop – In the FAST goals workshop the executive team establish Ambitious goals & creates a plan for achieving them as a team w/ a focus on communication.
  • #1 Goal – What is your companies BHAG? The #1 Goal exercise gets clarity and alignment on the pinnacle to climb.
  • Fix This Next – Think everything is ok with your business? Fix This Next is a scoring tool that helps identify what the executive team should tackle next. Identify and prioritizing issues in the business can be a challenging. Fix This Next is humbling yet motivating.
  • Client Advisory Board - This tool is called Client Advisory Board (CAB) Best Practices. It’s designed to share the benefits of a CAB, and a step by step in a simple fashion how to put a great CAB in place.
  • Meeting Structures – We use a combination of daily & weekly meetings to create a communication rhythm in the business. Key part of Clarity & Alignment.
  • Solve Them Faster – This tool helps to accelerate resolution of the issues list. Bottomline is this tool is all about having courageous conversations for the greater good of the business.
  • Playbook Creation – Documenting the plays for your business is critical for consistent performance and business execution. Also, having a fully documented business makes it easier to train and onboard new employees. An added bonus is that a documented business is more valuable to potential buyers. Zero reason to not create a playbook for your business.
  • Cash Acceleration Cycle – This exercise cultivates ideas for decreasing the sales cycle, production cycle, inventory turns, delivery cycle, and Billing & Payment Cycle.
  • Power of One – This tool helps us understand the power of small changes on our business financials. Example: What is the impact of a 1% price increase, volume increase? What is the impact of 1 day less of receivables or 1 day increase in payables? We use this tool to drill deep on small changes that have a big impact.
  • Profit per X – In this workshop we get clear the single measure of success in your business that you should focus on to rev up your economic engine. We use examples from banking, manufacturing, and technology companies to provide context for this powerful exercise.
  • Profit First – This tools allows you to instantly assess your allocations of money at various revenue amounts to verify profitability. When profitability does not exist the allocations of revenue will need to change to ensure profitability. No profit = No business.

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