Frequently Asked Questions

What differentiates The Sherpa System from everything else?

A. To make deep and lasting changes in your productivity and performance, it means building new habits and dropping the bad ones you’ve ingrained into your system. Research has shown that typical habit acquisition takes 3 months. By working with a Sherpa guide, once a week and tracking your metrics, the Keystone 12 Sherpa habits will become as second-nature as brushing your teeth. Not only that, but they will last a lifetime.

We call that the “The Gap.”

B. Everything in the Sherpa System is measured at the end of each session. We think by the numbers and your numbers will be unique because your storm and work processes are unique.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve.” – Peter Drucker

C. Almost everything in the Sherpa System is based on studies in neuroscience, performance psychology, and productivity.  You can read many of these studies here.

How long will I be working with my guide?

The program is 3-months long. Your guide will then transition you to completing the weekly Sherpa Session on your own or with your admin. There is also an option for a low-cost subscription program to continue with a Sherpa-Certified guide.

What do I need to do in order to prepare for the Sherpa System? Are there any books to read?

Nothing. There is no homework, no workshops, no note taking, nothing!

You will be working with your guide, at your desk, on your stuff, learning hands-on, from the very first minute.

To begin, you start with your guide by “clearing” your inbox of all emails, all the piles on your desk, and emptying your mind of all the goals and projects you have been tracking in to what we call the Sherpa Alignment Map and adding a bulletproof system that you can use to prevent anything from falling through the cracks.

Will my Sherpa Guide come to my office every week?

No, 99% of clients tell us they find zero value in being with their guide in person. We work with you at your desk using the latest screen-sharing software.

I travel a lot, will that impact my sessions?

No, became the sessions are done remotely, you can do them from wherever you are, on your schedule, not ours.

Do I have to learn any new complicated software?

No, we work with whatever you already use you for your email, calendar, etc. We simply configure them into a system that can be used as a performance management system.

The cost for this is $400. We do this when you are not using your computer as to not cause any downtime. When you come back everything will look the same and we make it visible during the first session.

What platforms does your support configuration support?

We support the typical Outlook/Exchange on Mac and PC, Gmail, and even Outlook for Mac.

Because the system is a methodology, not software, it can even be done on paper, but you lose all the automation.

What if I discover it is not for me, or I am not getting the results you promised?

You simply don’t pay the 1st month’s invoice and you get to keep the setup and whatever you were going to gain out of the first 5 sessions. You will still be responsible for the $400 confirmation fee to reconfigure your existing tools. You get to keep the setup and can benefit from it for a lifetime.

In order to get this guarantee, you need to show up for your sessions and give the system a chance.

What if I [do/don’t] have an admin?

If you have an admin, we recommend including them. That will enable them to help you stay on track, make intentions for you, and even clean your inbox if allowed access. We will also introduce a set of tools for better leveraging your admin to take tasks off your plate and enabling a tight protocol where one hand always knows what the other is doing and priorities can be readjusted on the fly.

If you do not have an admin we will show you how to free up your time and attention by delegating appropriate tasks to internet services such as TaskRabbit, Upwork, Elance, Guru, and an overseas virtual assistant that can book events, make calls, produce itineraries, and even tasks that you don’t need to spend valuable time and attention doing yourself.

Are there any tools you provide?

We provide two Excel spreadsheets.  One is the Sherpa Alignment Map and the other is the Sherpa Habit Metrics.

What if the IT dept. doesn’t allow any software installation on my system?

These two simple tools are just Excel spreadsheets. We run these and the reconfiguration of your Outlook by your IT dept. first and even in global locked-down organizations, we have never had a problem. We don’t install any software and our Outlook configuration consists of 34 tweaks that any user can easily do themselves.

Is the Sherpa program for everyone?

No. The Sherpa System is not for professionals we classify as firefighters–those who job is dictated by the storm. Figuratively, not literally.

Examples of “firefighters” include:
– Receptionists
– IT helpdesk techs
– Quality Control People
– Admin

Other professionals who would not benefit:
– Dentists in private practice
– Doctors in busy hospitals

Those in these medical fields may not benefit because: everything is scheduled, there is usually an admin who fills paperwork, staff usually coordinates vacations, there isn’t a storm of demands pulling for their time or attention.

The Sherpa System is primarily for professionals who:
– Have goals, year-end objectives, and lots of projects
– The “storm” of their workday pulls their attention in many different directions
– Receive 80 to 100+ emails a day

What if I am already using a system that I have worked out myself? It seems to be working for me.

Even if you already have a system for managing your day, it is unlikely that any improvised system is as robust, proven, comprehensive, or refined as the Sherpa System. Most of the concepts in the Sherpa System are backed by scientific studies, it has been proven by more than 430 people, in a wide gamete of sectors, over the last 20 years.

Will I get immediate results?

The Sherpa System requires a minimum three-month commitment. Implementing the system means implementing new habits.

In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology Phillippa Lally and her research team determined that it takes more than two months to form a habit.

The good news is that:
– There is no homework
– No books to read
– No conferences to attend
– No time off of work needed
– Only 1.5 hours of training and theory, the rest is action

What does it cost?

Costs vary depending on the program you proceed with. The Sherpa Program typically runs less than the cost of minimal engagement with an executive coach. It is typically paid for by HR or some aspect of the company’s budget.

How steep is the learning curve?

There is no learning curve. We take the skill sets you already have and begin DAY ONE by shaping your existing goals/projects/tasks into the system.

I’ve been using my Franklin Covey Day Planner, GTD, or another system for years. It’s worked for me. Why should I change?

Franklin Covey and other systems came out long before we knew what we know today about the human brain and how we work at work, how we retain information, and how we focus. The majority of systems on the market today have not been updated based on the latest medical and scientific research about neuroscience, attention residue, or productivity.

How long before I notice a change?

Most executives notice a change in about 2 weeks. We have a metric system that’s been used, tweaked, improved, and recalculated for years so you know what’s working, what isn’t, where you need to improve, what your strengths are, etc. There are fancy marketing terms used, it’s basic numbers.

What is Sherpa’s scope geographically?

We have guided leaders in many industries and in major cities from San Francisco to Sydney. We have even worked with two CEO’s in Nepal.

How big is your organization? Can you support a large global company?

We’re not a big organization at all. We have a handful of certified guides that have worked with us over 15-years.

Since the day we started, we have focused every aspect of the Sherpa System to be scalable to any sized organization. We do so by licensing the methodology and offering the following 3 components to make sure they are set up and supported to implement it internally within their organizations.

1. The Sherpa “train the trainer” program, step-by-step manuals, and other elements that enable organizations to adopt the program with their own in-house guides.

2. The Sherpa trainer certification program to ensure staff has the skills to be able to replicate the system to people in any part of the organization.

3. A bi-monthly roundtable discussion with one of our co-founders or master guides. This is a chance for your internal guides to get help with “corner cases” or pick up techniques of unusual implementation situations or individuals.

Do you offer any type of workshops, training, or online learning?

We did in 2003 but found this “hands-off” approach to be ineffective.

“Training delivers a 10% adoption rate. Coaching typically delivers an 80% adoption rate” – Losch, Traut-Mattausch, Mühlberger, and Jonas

Why Leadership Training Fails–and What to Do About It – Harvard Business Review.

Tell me about your R&D efforts to keep the Sherpa Program current and offer new solutions?

Mike “NGS” Solomon is the person at Sherpa that primarily focuses on R&D. He spends at least 2 hours a day reviewing the latest studies in neuroscience, performance psychology and productivity.

He also keeps up on trends in communication technology.

The results of these studies are then tested and integrated into the Sherpa Program to keep it in sync with the current business landscapes and business technologies.

Who are the ideal clients for the Sherpa Program and Sherpa System?

Early on we discovered three things about the type of leaders best served by implementing the Sherpa System:

1. Leaders are really busy. They are inherently overwhelmed, overscheduled, and overcommitted.

2. These types of people cannot afford the time to stop their work and attend a workshop or focus on an online training. Even if they could, it would be too expensive to the organization, in terms of opportunity cost.

3. Busy people learn best by doing. Working on their own tasks, projects, and objectives. We start by helping them do it according to the Sherpa Habits and tenants of the Sherpa Principles. That builds out the Sherpa System and is the mastery of the tools, habits, and system that naturally come out of the weekly Sherpa Sessions.

What is the difference between the Sherpa System and the Sherpa Program?

The Sherpa System is the methodology with 20 years of development and perfecting behind it.

The Sherpa Program is a 3-month, once-a-week engagement with a Sherpa Guide to enable you to master the system and turn the new behaviors it requires into lifelong habits.

Do you give presentations to organizations the areas in which you work?

We do give presentations to large organizations about topics such as:

– Email: Why it is ruining your company’s productivity and what to do about it?
– Completion Bias, and other reasons why to-do lists don’t work
– Your email inbox is your #1 attention hijacker, why your mental inbox is #2 and is actually more important. What practices are needed to reap the rewards of productivity, high performance, and the ability to do brilliant work, and still have a rich life outside of work?
– If your brain is how you make a living, what can you do to improve your cognitive fitness?

These are short, hard-hitting, and give powerful takeaways that people can immediately incorporate when they get back to their desk.

They are 1 to 1.5 hours long.

While they outline the problem and give concrete solutions, we see that the actual adoption rates of these types of presentations to be 5% to 7%, not the typical 80%+ we are accustomed to with our guiding model.

We have kept these because they offer insight into problems and costs organizations didn’t even know they had.