5 Days To A High Growth Way Of Thinking: Day Two

5 Days To A High Growth Way Of Thinking: Day Two – Grow Great Daily Brief #125 – December 18, 2018

Strategies. Tactics. People are drawn to find out specific answers. While we don’t want people telling us what to do, we sometimes crave it secretly wishing people would just tell us what to do. We crave it because we’re smart. Easy is way better than hard. It’s hard to figure it out for ourselves. Better, but harder!

High growth people aren’t superhuman. They’re only extraordinary because they’ve learned how to think differently than most. They have deeply held self-confidence. Some are extroverts who display their self-confidence with a bravado easily seen. Others of us are quiet introverts who hold it without hardly ever showing it outwardly. You have to roll the way YOU roll. Don’t try to be something or somebody you’re not. Be confident in your ability to figure it out and accept that it’s going to look like whatever it looks like because YOU are YOU. Nobody else.

High growth people don’t pay much attention to strategies or tactics. They know that the power of figuring it out is the ability to be open to whatever may be required to endure or overcome any challenge. And it’s also the ability to figure out the best way to seize an opportunity. Or create one.

When I was in high school drag racing was a thing. I’m not advocating it, but it happened. A holdover I suppose from the 60’s hot rod era. Well, I had a buddy who had a fast car. He worked on it constantly. It was fast, but he knew that any kid with a bit of mechanical knowledge and a fat wallet could buy parts to make a car go faster. The tools were widely available. Any rich kid could get a fast car, but that didn’t mean they could drive it. Paying for parts (buying tools) just takes money. Knowing how to drive takes skill. But then there’s a way of thinking about it all, which is where my friend figured out how to shine. He didn’t bother trying to have the fastest car in a quarter mile drag race. Instead, he changed the game. He’d challenge guys to a race from a 60mph “punch.” He completely changed the game by taking on all covers to a race where both cars would drive side by side at 60mph, then punch the accelerator to see who would outrun the other. His car had insane top end speed. Nobody could beat him from a 60mph punch.

Tools are for fools. 

High growth thinking requires you to stop focusing on what’s available to everybody. Yes, we all need tools, tactics, and strategies, but it’s the wise (often creative) use of them where the real value is. And that’s not in the tools themselves but in our mind. Our way of thinking.

Barnes and Noble didn’t create Amazon. They had all the tools. They knew the industry backward and forward. But they lacked the high growth way of thinking that Jeff Bezos had. And still has.

Yellow Cab didn’t create Uber. They had all the tools, including the cars and the drivers. They knew the taxi industry. But they lacked the high growth way of thinking necessary to turn the whole industry upside down.

Hilton or Marriott didn’t create Airbnb. They had all the locations, staff and resources. They knew the hospitality industry. They even had the infrastructure for room reservations. But they lacked the high growth way of thinking that gave us Airbnb.

It’s not about thinking the opposite of an industry’s conventional wisdom. It’s about adding onto your self-confidence a deep belief that you can achieve more. It’s a relentless unwillingness to accept the status quo. It’s the constant belief that things can always be made better and the devotion to figuring out how.

It starts with “why not” and ends in answering “how.” 

High growth way of thinking doesn’t get bogged down in figuring out how. Instead, it begins with, “Why not?”  More specifically, high growth people ask the question, “Can we ___________?” But they’re not really asking if the team can do it, instead, they’re extending a challenge, “Why not?”

It’s day two of our 5 days to a high growth way of thinking. Today, challenge yourself to think about the things you don’t think can be improved. Take it on. Really take it on. No matter what it is.

Everything can be improved. You know that’s true. Don’t shy away from it because you fear it’s too hard. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Instead, lean into it. Accept the challenge that high achievers will find a way. Don’t you want to join their ranks? Then you’re going to have to question all the current measurements of success.

Why can’t they be improved? What’s stopping you?

Why not improve them? Why not see how much better things can be? Why not you and your company?

Great leaders see the future first. It’s your job to see greater success before it happens, or before anybody else can see it. Your company needs you to give them the vision and it’s your job to provide it.

So think bigger. Rules, tools and all the rest don’t matter to the person devoted to high growth thinking. Vision is what matters. What you see as possible!

Your biggest threat will be to focus on how you can get it done. Resist. Nobody knows how at this stage. And that’s the secret. Most people – average people – get focused on how. And it stumps them because they don’t know how. They fixate on what they don’t yet know. It stalls them. Bogs them down. Gets them stuck. Many stay stuck.

High growth thinking builds on self-confidence by questioning how much better – how much bigger – can things be. And sees what’s possible where others see the impossible. It seems impossible because average folks are wondering HOW. Extraordinary folks are thinking, “Who cares how? We’ll figure it out.”

And they do.

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

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Grow Great a public sector leadership podcastAbout the hosts: Randy Cantrell brings over 4 decades of experience as a business leader and organization builder. Lisa Norris brings almost 3 decades of experience in HR and all things "people." Their shared passion for leadership and developing high-performing cultures provoked them to focus the Grow Great podcast on city government leadership.

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