Do you know the secret to making breakthrough progress? All around us, we see people making incremental gains, but is there something specific we need to be focusing on if we want 10X results?
Well, yes. There are three strategies, three mindsets, that leaders commonly try. Two of them keep you stuck in incrementalism. One of them offers the keys to real transformation.
This is battle-hardened insight. I’ve worked with hundreds of CEOs and entrepreneurs and I’ve seen these principles create dramatic transformation, time and again. Absorb this deeply, and it will change your life.
If you don't adopt this way of thinking, you'll talk a big game but your efforts will come to very little.
I'll even share the story of a CEO I knew, and how I realised he wasn’t serious about his goal to be the number-one player in his sector.
So, let's explore the three ways you can think about success. Remember, two of them lead to incremental progress. Only one offers the keys to breakthrough transformation.
Waiting for resources will trap you
“When I HAVE more resources, then I’ll be able to DO things differently, and then I’ll BE happy and successful.”
This is HAVE > DO > BE thinking, and it ends up disempowering you and creating a victim mentality. You’re always waiting for externals to change before you can make big shifts. You’ll find you don’t get the things you need to HAVE fast enough, which means you can’t DO what needs doing.
HAVE > DO > BE keeps you stuck on an incremental path.
Working harder won't deliver
“The more I DO, the more I’ll HAVE, and therefore the happier I’ll BE”.
This DO > HAVE > BE thinking creates a workaholic mentality. You become defined by what you do, there are never enough hours in the day, you start to get lost in the weeds, and chasing success this way is an exhausting and fruitless endeavour. At some point you hit a wall.
So trying to DO more has only limited impact on the results you HAVE… and all that normally doesn’t make you BE the happy or successful person you hoped it would.
Although better than the first option, DO > HAVE > BE ends up being another path to incremental results.
The real lever is who you are BEing
“Who do I need to BE to operate at a new level, to naturally DO things differently and ultimately HAVE a different outcome?”
This is the question that changes everything. BE > DO > HAVE thinking recognises that if you transform yourself first, then transformational outcomes come naturally.
You can’t 10X what you HAVE quickly and easily. You can’t 10X the amount of work you DO. But you CAN 10X how you choose to BE. You CAN 10X your vision, your thinking, your courage, your focus, your curiosity, your creativity, your empathy and relationship-building, your sense of purpose, your determination, your personal magnetism and your ability to elicit commitment from your team. And that changes the very quality of what you DO, and the results you HAVE.
Over to you: “Take a moment to consider, who do I need to BE to operate at a level I aspire to be at and how can I begin to be that person today?
The executive team who wasn’t BEing
Here's that story I talked about; I was collaborating with a CEO and his executive team. As we worked on aligning their goals and aspirations it became evident that their objective was to become the number one player in their industry
However, the next day when we were scheduled to meet and explore how to make this happen, only two people arrived on time. When the rest of the team arrived, I asked them a question to consider - "Would the top industry leader in their sector show up 15 minutes late to a meeting?"
After thinking for a moment, they all agreed that the number one player would definitely be on time, or even early.
Allowing them to reflect on their tardiness prompted the group to consider the importance of embodying the qualities of the top industry player they aspired to be. The experience reinforced the group's understanding that their way of BEing served as the starting point for transformational change.
Over to you: In what ways does your current way of being align with your leadership aspirations? How can you bridge any gaps to ensure congruence between your desired impact and your way of showing up as a leader?
Who do you need to BE to create the impact you crave?
So think about the results you are on course to achieve in the coming years. Who are you being in order to achieve those? Perhaps you’re being “the safe pair of hands”, “the slick operator”, the “visionary leader”, the “tough-minded investor.”
Now think about what breakthrough results would be. What feels almost impossible, yet would be deeply satisfying to accomplish? (Try to go beyond numbers, which tend just to be ego-trips).
Over to you: Who would you have to be in order to deliver that level of impact? How is the “you” that delivers the default goals different from the “you” that delivers the breakthrough results?
Get clear on that, and your journey of transformation has begun. And if you want some support on making that transformational shift, check out how we can help.
Resources to help you BE a more impactful leader
Here are some helpful resources you might like to check out to go deeper into this subject:
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