Growing exponentially, or exoscaling, as a business leader requires a very special mix of attributes.
I look for the kernel of these attributes in the people I love to work with and help them build up these capabilities to the point where they are humming like a well-tuned engine.
I like to call these the Awake Attributes: because they require you to be awake to your situation and surroundings; you are aware, conscious and mindful of the present.
By contrast are the people who exude the Asleep Attributes: they follow the herd, never questioning, permanently stuck in the commute-slow lane of life; they are totally unaware of the illusory cravings that they and society have constructed, they are reactive, making knee-jerk decisions that negatively impact those around them and themselves.
Here are my top four Awake Attributes:
1. Drinking from the fire hydrant. A passion for learning every single detail of your business and universe: they have no off switch when it comes to their focus area; every detail, no matter how big or small is treated like a gift, savoured and assimilated into your knowledge base, and applied back into your life and business in unique ways.
2. Treating life like an obstacle course. The resilience to tackle difficult situations with relish and achieve better than expected outcomes as a result. Problems don’t phase you, as all you see are opportunities to grow yourself, the people around you and your business. Leaders love challenges and positively frame what emerges. Exoscaling leaders thrive on directionally-correct chaos.
3. Competing with yourself, not the status quo. A desire to win that transcends the world around you, and which leads you to massively outperform your potential competition.
4. Looping feedback and translating that into action. Always being open to input from others requires a mix of assuredness and mindfulness.
These Awake Attributes are like muscles in that they can be strengthened over time. By constantly checking in with yourself to see if you have the right mindset you can become stronger and stronger at being more and more awake.
Here are my top ten mindset enablers for strengthening your Awake Attributes, exoscaling as a leader and achieving peak-awakeness:
1. Problem finding rather than problem solving;
2. Ask questions, don’t provide answers;
3. Focus on being in service of society, not in service of industry;
4. Operate for how the world will be, not how the world is;
5. Think beyond futures, and explore parallel worlds;
6. Make the unreal real, not the real real;
7. Think implication, not application;
8. Innovation is so yesterday, it’s all about provocation;
9. Build to make us think, not to make us buy;
10. Ethics trumps user-friendliness.