So much of what you say, do and feel is layered over by the bullshit narrative we make up about yourself.
It is high time you break free and let your authentic self shine through.
This guided meditation may help:
So much of what you say, do and feel is layered over by the bullshit narrative we make up about yourself.
Your dreams are too big to be handled flippantly.
Your bar is out of reach to all but the most determined fingers.
You don’t want to be average, good enough or ok. You don’t want better.
You want best.
But pain precedes potential. It hurts to be great.
So rip away your comfort zones.
Open yourself up to being criticised, ridiculed and sucker punched.
Be your fiercest self yet.
And unleash your potential.
Think about all the vagaries of running a high-technology venture – as executive leaders you need to be setting the vision, formulating strategies for success and operationally attracting and retaining top-level talent, leading and managing teams, sourcing and deploying scarce resources and negotiating ongoing funding rounds, all while building a sustainable platform and compelling products.
Some CEOs and executive leaders have an innate ability to juggle all these balls, keeping them up in the air and constantly moving their business forward. But for every one such person they are 10 others who become increasingly overwhelmed by the level of chaos that surrounds them.
How can you ensure that across your business, or if you are a venture capitalist across your portfolio, there is a constant capability to harness this chaos and turn it into a proactive force for directionally-correct and exponential growth?
At EXOscalr our mantra is:
No plan, No progress
We have developed a comprehensive Exponential Growth Engine & Operating System designed to support a company and a portfolio of companies in executing and operating at optimal efficiency and performance levels, both individually, as a company and as a portfolio.
The Exponential Growth Engine consists of a set of growth levers, algorithms and methodologies for consistently achieving greater scale. The first step is putting in place a bespoke Exponential Growth Engine for each company and then constantly applying granular methodologies for measuring, monitoring and progressing their rate and direction of growth.
The second step is implementing a companywide, team and individualOperating System (this can be applied consistently across a portfolio as well) that is comprised of three core parts:
1. planning – a cascading set of directionally correct personal and business activities,
2. data – methods for ongoing monitoring and the production of rich data,
3. progress – data-driven refinement designed to keep people, teams, companies and portfolios directionally correct to their overall goals.
Our data points show that such a complex system approach greatly enhances and significantly increases collective capability for achieving high levels of growth.
To be successful in 2016 being a good CEO is insufficient. Leaders need super powers to get to the head of the pack and outpace their competitors. Here we highlight 5 powers that can give you the edge.
Corporate governance and cost cutting are no longer the main focus for CEOs. It is all about growth. You need to have a full panoply of growth skills on hand: acquisitions, adjacencies, corporate venture capital, disruptive innovation, geographical expansion and new ventures.
You also need to view your company’s activities as potential growth engines: What activities are funnels of growth for more lucrative activities, drawing customers deeper into your ecosystem?
Humans engage with narrative, particularly transformation-centric narrative. As the world changes around us, a company that maintains the same story will quickly fade into irrelevance.
CEOs need to be able to weave a compelling story that creates a connect between the present and the future, between reality and aspiration, and that draws in all stakeholders.
Being able to predict the future is the best way to invent it, to paraphrase Alan Kay. With things changing so rapidly you will need to be able to come up with plausible scenarios and act in accordance with them.
Imagine if a decade ago you had said that mobile phones will never take off, the Internet will never amount to anything and that you refuse to learn how to use a computer. It would be almost impossible today for you to do your role without these technologies.
You need to be able to figure out what comes next, and what comes after what comes next. There is the next now, the stuff on the horizon that is almost visible if you look hard enough, and then there is the stuff that is way out there. How do you work out which things will be in the next now and which will only come later?
Your future-gazing should not be limited to technologies, but you should also be focusing on how technology will impact culture and business models.
Technology is now so pervasive in its impact and influence on how business is conducted that, as CEO, you need to be as well versed in technology as your staff and you need to ensure that your board of directors can comfortably converse in tech-speak.
You cannot rely on a CTO or CIO to translate technology and its impact to you. You need to embrace technology, immerse yourself in it – surround yourself with cutting edge information, visit startups, talk to experts and researchers.
You have a range of drivers that you need to focus on. You need to continue to deliver on core business. Yet you also need to transform so as to future-proof your company. How can you do both?
You may decide to do both for a period of time, which requires you to have multi-focus. It requires you to think in two ways at once – traditionally and disruptively. Listening both to your current customer needs and determining what their future needs are before they do. It also requires you to maintain your current revenue generators while exploring new forms of revenue. This is an exceptional balancing act and not undertaken lightly.
Multi-focus is to be distinguished from multi-tasking. It requires focus, not the ability to flit between many tasks and ultimately not completing any satisfactorily. This is what makes multi-focus so hard to achieve.
At some point you also need to flip the switch and shut down your existing business while ramping up future-focused opportunities. Getting the timing wrong will be disastrous. Getting it right will empower you to leapfrog your competition.
Explore how to obtain these super powers further in the SuperCEO Leadership Accelerator Program which commences on February 8th.
How we fail when everyone is trying to succeed determines whether we will achieve success through failure.
Failure may not be what we wake up every day hoping for, but as a coach to successful leaders I have noticed that those who surround themselves with and embrace failure are the ones more likely to succeed.
Here are 7 behaviours you can use to punch through failure:
1. Fail Fast, Succeed Slow: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Most successful business leaders failed multiple time before they had a success.
“Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert Kiyosaki
2. Succeed And Then Fail: A big success can hold you a high bar of what success is. This can make you less open to failure Put your ego aside, lower your benchmark and be prepared to fail before your next success. You will then be able to iterate more, with less pressure should you fail.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal.” – Winston Churchill
3. Get Into Failure Flow: Be failure mindful as failing without learning is a wasteful exercise. Be aware of what is happening as an initiative fails. In failure flow you will be receptive to seeing the elements that lead to failure as if in slow motion.
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford
4. Process Failure: Use a framework to analyse what happened after the fact. Who was responsible? What was the failure algorithm? Is it repeatable or preventable.? What data would make it preventable?
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone.” – Johnny Cash
5. Only Fail When You Cannot Succeed: Failure sucks. It sets you back. It impacts the lives of people who believed in and relied on you. Have grit and persistence and don’t choose failure as an easy way out when the going gets tough.
“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” – Gena Showalter
6. Fail Resiliently: Get up, take the hit and move forward. When you fail, and I sincerely hope you will, how do you treat it? Every failure is one step close to success. How you deal with each failure, big or small, determines whether you will succeed.
“Failure are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis
7. Feeling like a failure is not failing: Many successful people feel like failures. Decouple your feelings from external perceptions of success or failure. Seek alignment with what success looks like to you, don’t rely on outside assurances. Reconnect with your feelings and drop the narrative you want to create for them.
“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” – John Green
The media loves to trumpet overnight success, but there is always a back story of blood, sweat and tears. The journey from amateur to professional and the path to elite performer can be daunting. How can you ensure you succeed in your quest for success? We provide six hacks you can use to gain elite performer status and become a high achiever.
1. Set a guiding principle and just start
As daunting as your quest may seem, you need to take the first step or you will never get closer to your destination. You may not have mapped out the entire journey. You may not know exactly where your quest is taking you.
But just start.
Take one small step forward, and then another.
Before you know it, you will have established something unique that the world has never seen.
As you start on your quest, ask yourself a transformational question. This will become your guiding principle.
It will kick start your passion and give you the impetus to take that first step.
For Odysseus the question was, ‘where is true home?’
What is your transformational question?
2. Aim for regular milestones, achievable annually
There are no overnight successes. Nor will the answers to your transformational question just arrive out of the blue. It will take hard work, long hours and persistence.
Your focus is on answering that big question, on achieving your goal. Yet many things can intervene and sway you off course. To ensure you remain in pursuit of your goal set some smaller milestones you can achieve each year.
Every year you want there to be two to three things you feel you’ve made progress in. This prevents you from getting stuck. Some years will be better than others. By constantly moving yourself forward you will smooth out the years. You will come to view yourself as a success. This will give you the motivation to continue on your quest.
Doing this year in, year out will lead to some big wins. That’s when you will be referred to as an overnight success. At that point smile and nod, knowing that it was the little things, the small milestones that got you there.
What is your first milestone?
3. Understand the levels of competence and timing in your industry
Each industry sets expectations of how long it takes to become an elite performer. Form an understanding of what these time lines are.
In most professions or crafts there are three levels of competence: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
What can you expect to achieve in each of these phases?
Beginner – you will be parroting the insights of your influencers. Success in this phase is being able to produce a body of work that isn’t an embarrassment.
Intermediate – you will have a clearer idea of what you are doing. You may feel you’ve changed direction and wasted time. But you are always building on your experience and adding to your skill set.
Advanced – your unique voice will emerge in this phase and you will produce work that has not been seen before.
Are you prepared for the long haul?
4. Step up from performer to elite performer
Stepping up to the ranks of elite performer requires a psychological shift. This needs to be a threefold shift in you:
1. You need to come across as being relaxed. You don’t have to prove yourself anymore and you don’t want to come across as trying too hard.
2. You need to be deliberate with the things you are saying and doing.
3. You need to belong. You need to be within a space that you own. You need to feel that you are entitled to be there.
You also need to catalyse a psychological shift amongst those you engage with. They need to see that you’re not just trying things out, but you have a reason to be there. They will then take you more seriously.
At this point you’ve achieved a foundational shift. But to truly step up you need to be developing your own material. You need to come up with your own compelling thinking. You may still rely on your old influencers, but you need to be exploring new territory.
Find your authentic and unique voice. Think of yourself as a force.
Do you aspire to be a great master, to hold the universe in your palm?
5. Avoid the ruts, never feel secure
This is a long-haul. There is a possibility that you don’t push yourself enough. If this happens you will dig a deeper and deeper rut over time. You’ll need to create a breaking point and find your raw groove again.
Keep revisiting your transformational question. Check that you remain in hot pursuit of the answer. You should not feel 100% secure. If you are not somewhat scared, you will become complacent. Your inspiration will wane.
Is the fear always there?
6. Lift your game and focus
“Nothing contributes so much to tranquillising the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” – Mary Shelley
This quote sums up the point that if you want to operate at a higher level, you need to lift your game and bring focus.
There are three ways you can do this:
1. Whittle away the things that you don’t need.
2. Create a solid core of who you are both as a person and as an elite performer.
3. Become aware of your compulsions and the rabbit holes that you could scurry down. Initially you may meet these urges. You will need to leave them behind to elevate yourself to the next level.
What do you fundamentally believe, as a person, is important?
We coach for difference. Our clients are influential leaders, high achievers and outliers. Interested in an initial session? Sign up here.