Level up your leadership skills to skyrocket your career

12-week Course Reveals Powerful Proven Strategies To Building A Results-Oriented Team Fast

Read This If You Are A New Manager Who Needs To Produce Results Now

If you’re here, you want to become a better manager.

Maybe you are new in your management role.

You might be a startup founder hiring your first employees.

Perhaps you are an executive who needs more from your front-line leaders.

Every strong manager must develop certain characteristics.

Most new leaders are not sure where to start. They understand that a new skillset must be developed, but what are they missing?

If you’re in that position, you are not alone.

Most managers get off to slow and painful starts.

The stakes are even higher if you are starting a business that requires employees.

If managers don't start with a solid foundation, they run the risk of developing detrimental behaviors that last throughout their career. Cracks in that foundation become more apparent as your team grows.

Regardless of where you start, you can grow as a leader and develop teams that generate results by following a practical set of principles.

Who Am I?

Ian profile picture 2019

My name is Ian Mathews.

I am the founder of 5on4 Group, and I help companies grow by developing better managers. I have hired, promoted, and developed hundreds of managers over the past two decades.

Today, I advise startup founders and develop leadership teams for businesses of all sizes. I also write for Forbes, LinkedIn and the 5on4 blog. My articles have been read over 10,000,000 times.

I am fascinated by teams, and how they respond to their leaders.

I love to dissect why some teams perform above their collective talent level. Whether I am running companies or coaching youth sports, I believe in constantly evolving as a leader.

But it has been a long road to reach this point…  

After graduating from Purdue University, I took a job on a sales leadership program for General Electric.

As a commissioned sale rep, I had to build a territory from scratch by cold calling. Once I got the hang of sales, I was offered a sales manager role.

I was TERRIBLE in my first management job.

Seriously, I sucked. I look back at those first 12 months and cringe at how I spent my time.

School did not prepare me to be a manager. It prepared me to be a good follower.

I spent all my time as a new manager fixing other people's problems.

My worst performers dominated my schedule…

I felt like a kid wearing my dad’s suit to the office, impersonating a “grown-up” manager - one who might have a clue to fix my team's results.

After one year, I was burned out. My team was frustrated. We produced flat results and my boss was not pleased.

I tried to find solutions on my own.

I fell asleep reading leadership books every night. Lines formed at my door as I put out one fire after another.

I was lost.

I would make a mistake and then search the internet for an answer:

What worked for me as an individual contributor was holding me back as a leader.

At the center of everything was a belief that my personal effort could drive results.

School teaches us the equation that individual work in results in a desired outcome. This belief is reinforced when we start working as an individual contributor.

This equation has zero leverage.

To be an effective leader, you must develop new skills.

Luckily, I had great mentors. After a rough start, I recovered and quickly moved up the ranks.

At just 26, I became the youngest executive in our industrial business.

Around that time, I left GE to join NVR as a vice president in the home building industry, a business I had zero experience with.

Over the next 13 years, I was offered more responsibility every one to two years.

This forced me to build a detailed process of assimilating new teams. I learned how to quickly connect with each new team, while learning the unique challenges it was facing.

I took over most of these teams from an underperforming manage, which is common in business.

I grew accustomed to turnarounds.

And when I left NVR to start 5on4 Group, I was responsible for $4.5B in volume and more than 700 employees.

Developing managers is just as important in a small startup as it is in a Fortune 500 company.

This is a lesson that I learned as a senior executive at NVR. Our sales pace was insane! Our employee count doubled over a four-year period.

We added 50 managers and supervisors over this time, and most were promoted from within.

We thought this layer of management would fix everything.

It did not.

As our head count grew, profit margins shrunk. For the first time in nine years, we trailed our competition on quarterly profit.

The more managers we added, the more our performance declined. As an executive, I was in the uncomfortable position of having invested millions in this ineffective layer of management.

I made a mistake in believing that simply adding managers would fix everything.

We promoted many of our best performers, and did not invest enough in their leadership skills. It had the added effect of tossing gas on a fire.

What we really needed were skilled managers and not a group of formerly great producers who were acting as glorified problem solvers.

We studied what our managers spent their time on and found it was anything but leading people.

It was a train wreck.

They were doing rather than leading.

This stems from a common myth that most new managers subscribe to.

This is a fallacy that managers should make every decisions, close every deal and solve every difficult problem. Superhero managers believe the office cannot run without them.

They spend their time directing, controlling, doing, solving, and commanding.

If this is all necessary, it signals that they have a weak team.

If the manager must solve everything, when do they have time to develop people? When do they think strategically?

We had created a layer of “super doers,” and employees resented their managers meddling so much.

Who wouldn't resent that?

Think about this from a personal perspective. Does it feel good when your manager jumps in and does your job for you?

Frustrated with failure, we lost good people when our previously solid performers became terrible managers.

Thankfully, not every new manager struggled.

Some new managers were thriving.

This is where I learned about the “halo effect” of managers.

People in an office tend to perform closely in line with each other. And the common denominator is the manager.

The manager hires the team. They are responsible for coaching, developing, motivating, and running an organized process.

Over time, we saw employees transfer offices for one reason or the other. These employees would quickly start performing closer to their peers.

If someone transferred from a struggling office to a strong team, their results shot up. They reached the higher bar set by the new manager and team.

If a top performer transferred to a broken office, their results deteriorated.

The only way to move the needle in that office was replacing the manager or helping them develop a vastly different set of skills.

So, what did we do?

We identified the skills that our top performers did very well, and we taught those habits to the rest of our managers.

Managers started to build skills from the bottom up.

At a minimum, an entry level supervisor at a fast-food restaurant must follow procedures, follow up, and hold people accountable.

Obviously, they must act ethically.

But to become more effective, managers must assume more complicated skills.

Leaders must become better recruiters, coaches, and motivators.

They must learn strategy.

Great managers are amazing delegators, getting the most from their team while freeing up time to work at a manager's pay grade.

 Managers cultivate a winning culture and inspire a growth mindset from their team.

They are self-aware and deliver results from a collective group.

Most organizations don't have a system in place to create effective leaders.

How do your skills line up?

If you find yourself unsatisfied with your team's results, you are in the right place.

To become an effective manager, there are two paths you can take:

Path 1: You can take the long path like I did, accumulating knowledge and experience over decades while making hundreds of mistakes.

Path 2: Or you can leverage a proven management system taught by someone who has spent more than two decades building winning teams.


Introducing "Leadership Essentials"

Leadership Essentials is a 12-week program that provides a clear path for you to grow as a manager. We attack every myth, misnomer, stereotype, and mistake that plagues managers in every industry.

Each week you will develop skills to evaluate, build, hire and coach teams with winning cultures. Every lesson builds on previous concepts, combining knowledge, practice, and feedback to allow you to absorb and apply the material.

The Weekly Breakdown:

Week 1: What Great Managers Do

Week 2: Managing Up

Week 3: Team Evaluation

Week 4: Hiring and Recruiting

Week 5: Interviewing

Week 6: New Hire Onboarding

Week 7: Driving Change

Week 8: Adapting Strategy

Week 9: Effective Feedback

Week 10: Building A Winning Culture

Week 11: Delegating for Results

Week 12: When and How To Fire

You will receive weekly videos and action guides to help you apply your new knowledge with practical experience. I give you the management tools, checklists, and guides to assist your conversations with teammates.

This is the program I wish I had when I accepted my first manager role.

However, if you are someone who expects results without putting in effort, this is not a “quick fix” program.

Growing as a leader requires a willingness to put in the work.

If you are a manager responsible for a team struggling to succeed or you simply want to become a better leader of people – Leadership Essentials is for you.

Here's what to do next:

I sell a live leadership coaching program for $15,000. That program covers all the topics in this video program over twelve months, but with me doing the live training and coaching.

With Leadership Essentials, you get all of the same content to complete at your pace for only $997.

You will receive 12 weekly videos (over 7 hours of HD content), weekly action guides, tools, checklists, conversation guides, direct email access for coaching tips and first access to any new training videos… all the tools you need to become a better leader.

Simply click the button below to get started!

My 30-day Money Back Guarantee

Leadership Essentials is backed by my 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. If within the first 30 days, you feel that I did not deliver enough value to justify your investment, contact me and I will refund your entire investment.

It puts 100% of the risk on me to deliver. You will start the program, gain access to the videos, guides, and handouts – and if you are not satisfied, just let me know within 30 days. No questions asked.

Plus, as a bonus...

In addition to the program and for a limited time, I will include a one-hour coaching call to kick off your journey.

During this call, we can discuss your greatest challenges as a leader and outline a plan to make meaningful changes in short order.

I will not always be able to offer this consultation but look forward to getting to know your challenges personally while my schedule allows.

If you are ready to accelerate your career, click the button below, complete the checkout and let’s get started.

Here's What Others Have Said About Working With 5on4 Group

One Of The Best

When you work with someone like Ian, you might only talk with him a few hours per week but he is thinking about your business *much* more than that - hours a day. He brings to working sessions a depth of analysis and insight that you only find when a dedicated and experienced executive chooses to internalize your struggles and challenges, as if they were his own. The same issues that keep you up at night keep him up at night. This level of involvement is unheard of in the world of executive coaching and strategic advisory services. 

Ian’s ascent within corporate America was rapid and different: he ascended into upper management as a student of business, and never stopped learning. While others networked theirs way up the corporate ladder, Ian progressed through meritocracy, relying on a level of self-analysis and performance assessment only seen in professional sports. Like an athlete who reviews their film, Ian spends time evaluating his decision-making, personal interactions, and overall performance. This is what makes him one of the best out there - not the decades overseeing billion-dollar businesses, but the decades of studied and analyzed experience.”

David Moeller

CEO, CodeGuard

Far More Productive

As a new leader, I turn to Ian for advice on how to approach specific situations with my team and clients. He shares his experience and helps me build a game plan, while making me think through every potential outcome of my decisions. My team meetings have been far more productive and inclusive as a result of his coaching. This change in approach brought my team together and has changed everything for the better.

James Joyce

Sales Manager, Midway Dental

Growth and Insight

For over a decade, I witnessed Ian successfully navigate corporate structure without losing an ounce of productivity, Ian takes lessons from some of America’s finest and largest companies and uses these skills to grow small businesses as both consultant and operator. As a small business owner, I rely on Ian as a sounding board regarding growth, staffing, market insight and strategic thinking. I find Ian’s counsel to be priceless to my company’s strategy, growth, and success. I’d not be where I am today without Ian’s friendship and counsel.

Frank Cava

CEO, Cava Companies

Like No Other

It was an opportunity like no other to connect with Ian Mathews. He possesses an invaluable pool of knowledge in leadership, management, strategy, and marketing. I brought in Mr. Mathews as a keynote speaker on the topic of leadership. His ideas and delivery energized the audience and personally helped rejuvenate my career. An hour of listening to Mr. Mathews is equivalent to reading 10 leadership books.

Jiteen Khera

Senior Project Manager, Chegg Inc.

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