Exponential Growth & Leadership #5: Are You Chasing Your Impossible?

The seeker is he who is in search of himself

 

In business, as in daily life, there are always goals that seem impossible to achieve. However, when you do finally achieve them you realise that what had seemed impossible only a moment ago is actually possible and, in hindsight, you wonder why you were so anxious about achieving those goals.

It is all a matter of perspective.

Take the word ‘impossible’ – the addition of one tiny apostrophe and it transforms into “i’m possible”.

How are you tackling your impossibles?

I’d like to share with you my recent interview with Anthony Kirby on his Chase Your Impossible podcast. You can listen to the entire 53 minute show on iTunes or Overcast. I’ve also included a direct link to the recording on Libsyn.

The reason I accepted going on the show was that I agree with its mantra:

Live a life of purpose – on purpose’ – this relates to every single person chasing that one thing that keeps them awake at night – and that one thing which everyone has told them is out of reach. It could be a world changing business concept or a management position. It is exactly what it is for each individual and the ethos does not change regardless of monetary outcomes or global outcomes.

The show is all about showing people that whatever that ‘impossible’ looks like for them – it can be achieved.

You can listen to the show to get my backstory. However, I felt it would be useful to highlight some of the nuggets I focused on.

My overall message, which is very much linked to my personal journey, is thatlife can take an unexpected turn at any point, so seize the moment.

My mantra in the 90’s, which I believe still applies today – especially with respect to viral activities – is that the Internet giveth, the Internet taketh away and can do both at lightning fast pace.

Insights from my venture capital experience:
*Entrepreneurs are by nature intensely curious and as a result there is a tension between you being totally focused and wanting to satisfy your curiosities.

* Choose your co-founders carefully and your investors even more carefully. Less is usually more in both respects.

* You may have many advisers, but should only have one voice of reason against whom you parse the competing and conflicting sets of advice you receive. I recommend a coach for this voice of reason role.

* Don’t spend ages on a business plan, rather, find ways to demonstrate traction.

As business builders, we should focus on the big things, that make a difference, rather than on small technology plays. Apps may currently be all the rage, but do we really need another social X, Y or Z when there are so many challenges in areas like health for example.

You can be global from anywhere. Your issues are global issues. Your opportunities are global opportunities.

On life:
Remember to listen to your inner voice. Find your soul work. Don’t do a startup or activity simply for starting up’s sake or to keep busy – make meaning.

Society builds constructs and constraints around you. Break them down. Ignore them. Pave your own path.

There are some things you can control, many you cannot. Rather than fighting against them, go with the universal flow. Accept the path that appears in front of you and enjoy the moment.

So much of what guides us on our quests is internal, it is already within us, we just need to learn how to listen to it. Think of the squirrel that is born in summer. It has never experienced winter, but innately knows to store nuts for the coming winter.

To me chasing your impossible is not necessarily an external activity. We need to allow our impossible to emerge from within ourselves. It does not require travel to the far ends of the earth, nor does it require busy work.

Remember also that success is what you do, it is not a place you’re trying to get to. Find your reason for being, your ikigai, and you will find yourself.

Anthony asked me two questions which were really poignant:

* If everything was taken away tomorrow – what would you do?
Start again. The liberation that comes with starting afresh with no boundaries, no constraints is amazing. I highly recommend that everyone try this at least once in their life.

* If you couldn’t do what you doing now what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t coaching I’d write full time. But I really enjoy working with incredible people – they buoy me, I draw energy from them and would find another way to work with them.

My final advice came from a friend who recently lost his young son. His words are both powerful and moving:

All experiences change you;
Every day we fall asleep different than when we awoke.
Sometimes the differences are too small to honor and we let them go unnoticed.
Sometimes the differences are great and we tag them “life changing” and set out consciously to live under them as a banner worthy of our souls.
Losing my son definitely falls under the latter kind.
every encounter with everyone we meet, whether a stranger or an old friend, is a chance to leave that person all the better for it.
In that way, by losing my son, I am made a better person by having known him in the first place. Not because he has been lost to us, but because he was present.
When he was alive, he made our burdens somehow seem lighter.
when you leave someone leave them better than you found them.
Time marches on.
Growth happens.
Change is a constant, human condition.

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At EXOscalr we work with our clients to burst the constraints of their potential and make a difference. We have created algorithms and an operating system to help leaders navigate their exponential growth. We also draw on decades of experience in venture capital, corporate innovation, building high growth organizations and advising the Fortune 1000 on transformation.

As a coach and leadership adviser I constantly focus on the trends in achieving exponential growth and how you can make more difference.

I read all my email at rand@exoscalr.com and I’m also at +1-650-529-4181 and +1-646-480-0205. Feel free to reach out.

Please share this newsletter on your social networks or via email. If you received this from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:http://eepurl.com/bxGzD1

SuperCEO: How to exponentially grow your leadership capabilities in 10 weeks

SuperCEOLeadershipAccelerator

What would it be worth to you to 10x your leadership capabilities? What if you could that in 10 weeks?

We’ve taken the best parts of our decades of experience as coaches, advisers, venture capitalists and being leaders and distilled these down in ‘super powers’ – discrete, high intensity nuggets filled with insights and skills you can use immediately to exponentially grow as a leader. Get access to this knowledge and discuss it with peers in workshops AND participate in one on one coaching sessions designed to challenge your thinking, behaviors and world models. All sessions take place via Skype so there is no excuse. Commit to yourself, your partners and your people – it’s time to get powered up for success!

You can find out more via the SuperCEO landing page, where you can also sign up.

SuperCEO-Leadership Accelerated

Exponential Growth & Leadership #4: Let’s Achieve Success Together in 2016

Life

2015 was a fantastic year in many ways. I broke away from being part of a big machine where I was an important cog, but a cog nonetheless. And with your support I laser-focused on where I believe I can add most value to society.

But make no mistake, there were moments of self-doubt, flickers of fear that I had taken on too much, too soon after my sudden-death experience. Again, with your help, particularly through my current clients who infuse me with huge jolts of energy, I looked at my negative thoughts and saw them for what they are – something undesirable, something I didn’t want. I was able to self correct and, steering clear of failure, gather my energy and guide myself onto continued success.

I mention this because if I, who coaches others, can have negative feelings that require not insignificant amounts of positive thinking to overcome, then how much more prevalent is such fear out there among CEOs and leaders who are exposing themselves and putting their necks on the line daily?

My main message to you is that you’re not alone – we all experience such negative thoughts. It is how you deal with them that sets you apart. I’ve got three mantras that help guide me in this respect and I want to share them with you:

1. Success is what you do, not a place you are trying to get to

Success is not a place, it’s not a noun. It’s a journey that you actively engage in, it’s a verb. Success is also subjective – your definition of what brings you joy defines what success is for you. If you allow yourself to be too influenced by others you will find that what you took to be success will be hollow, it won’t resonate with you and you will be unfulfilled.

2. Find your reason for being and you’ll find yourself

The Japanese talk about finding your ikigai, which translates to ‘reason for being’. When you find it and set yourself goals to strive for based on your ikigaithen you experience true joy. You will more readily enter the flow zone, you’ll find yourself experiencing the small things in life with more gusto – food will taste better, the air will be fresher, you’ll hear the birds. When you are in this state your unconscious will more readily take over the task of achieving goals that you set for yourself and things will feel like they are magically falling into place.

3. Embrace failure: don’t let your greatest mistake be making none

Failure is all around us. Accept it, learn from it and move forward. If you aren’t failing then you aren’t pushing yourself enough. This doesn’t mean betting the business at random, nor does it mean playing with the lives of your staff as if they are inconsequential. On the contrary, it means caring so deeply about your business and your people that you want only the best for them. The best inherently comes with more risk, the need for greater experimentation and following a path less trodden. If you’ve taken a considered action with this mindset, and that leads to failure, then embrace it, celebrate it, and push forward.

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With 2016 upon us I want you to see this as your year. Seize it with gusto and make the most of it.

My quest, at EXOscalr, is to positively impact the lives of 2 billion people and generate $1 trillion in value, for and through our clients. To achieve this goal I need to keep pushing both myself and the people I’m working with.

And so let me ask you,

How can I help you more?”

“In what areas of leadership, of achieving success, do you most need a trusted advisor in your personal camp in 2016?

Reach out and let me know. I’m here to serve you!

Join me on my quest, or dive in deeper – let’s make magic happen!

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At EXOscalr we work with our clients to burst the constraints of their potential and make a difference. We have created algorithms and an operating system to help leaders navigate their exponential growth. We also draw on decades of experience in venture capital, corporate innovation, building high growth organizations and advising the Fortune 1000 on transformation.

As a coach and leadership adviser I constantly focus on the trends in achieving exponential growth and how you can make more difference.

I read all my email at rand@exoscalr.com and I’m also at +1-650-529-4181, +1-646-480-0205 and +61-417-655-947.

Please share this newsletter on your social networks or via email. If you received this from a friend, you can subscribe (or unsubscribe) here:http://eepurl.com/bxGzD1

Level Up With 5 Super Powers For Achieving Leadership Success

Screenshot_6_01_2016__1_02_PM

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.

1. Growth-hacker:
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?

2. Story-teller:
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.

3. Future-gazer:
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.

4. Tech-speaker:
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.

5. Multi-focus:
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.

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Explore how to obtain these super powers further in the SuperCEO Leadership Accelerator Program which commences on February 8th.

If Not Now, When? 2016 Is Yours For The Taking

IF NOT NOW, WHEN-

THIS YEAR IS YOURS!

2016 is upon you.

It’s staring you square in the eyes. It’s reaching beyond your walls, peering through your barriers and delving into your dark places – full of fears and secrets.

2016 is screaming. It’s calling to your soul. “If not now, when?”
It’s ripping your ‘what if’s” out of your mouth and replacing them with “right now’s”.

2016 is shaking the life out of the “maybe’s” that made you stuck. It’s breaking through your inactions and freeing your passion.

2016 is giving you the ability to be the leader you were born to be.

2016 is here, knocking on your door.

Hear the call!

2016 is yours for the taking.

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Join us at the SuperCEO Leadership Accelerator in February 2016 and grow your super powers as a leader. Make 2016 your year.

Expressions of interest can be emailed to rand at exoscalr dot com including 100 words on yourself, your leadership position and what you want to achieve in 2016.

Act now. Places are limited.

SuperCEO: Can you identify what it takes to win in business

SuperCEO

With the launch of SuperCEO: The Leadership Accelerator I often get asked, “What’s it take to be a SuperCEO?”

Against the backdrop of a very successful IPO, I wanted to point to Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and joint CEO of Atlassian, as typifying some of the attributes of a SuperCEO.

He gave a talk at one of my events in 2008 and even then it was abundantly clear he was on a trajectory to achieving great things. He has a huge hustle muscle and took his own path rather than followed the herd.

In 2008, Atlassian was 6.5 years old. They had 12,500 enterprise customers in 105 countries and did about $35.5m in sales in 2007 and were aiming to hit $60m in 2008. In total they had 200 staff spread between Sydney, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur and Poland.

Here are a few of the reasons for singling Mike out as having super powers, based on what he said in 2008:

– They didn’t know what product they were going to sell when they started the company. They had in mind the type of business they wanted to run, they knew the sector (sell enterprise software) and they knew a little bit about how they wanted to sell, but they didn’t have any idea what software they were going to sell. They started with about 3 or 4 different unique prototypes that they built. One of these took off a little more than the others, so they focused on that and it became their leading product – Jira, which had 9,500 of their 12,500 customers.

– They knew they wanted to build an enterprise software company, but as encapsulated in their mission statement: a different kind of enterprise software company. This is not a contrarian stance, rather they like to evaluate everything they do and not simply follow what other businesses do unless it makes sense.

“A little commonsense goes a long way as an entrepreneur.”

– All of their products have been built because they fundamentally needed them and because they felt there was a large enough market that wasn’t being addressed. They have yet to build or buy anything they don’t actually use as a company.

– Starting a second product was the smartest thing they did as it stopped them being a single product, single feature company. In 2008 they had seven unique brands/products, developed by 12 different software teams – some of the products were sold in different ways.

“Being a single trick pony as a business is very, very dangerous”.

– As an online business they found that the speed with which they were able to respond to customers made a marked difference in their propensity to buy software. Their goal is to be able to respond within four hours to every single query they get from anywhere in the world — this tied into their strategy of opening a key European office as it give them the ability to respond around the clock.

ABOUT SUPERCEO: THE LEADERSHIP ACCELERATOR
SuperCEO is a high intensity program designed to transform CEOs and give them superpowers: insights and skills that empower them to grow exponentially. The program is run over 10 weeks twice a year and places are strictly limited and by application only. There are limited places available for the February 2016 program. Expressions of interest should be sent to rand at exoscalr dot com — 100 words about you, your business and what you want to get out of participating.