“You’ve got to do more to keep us competitive!” It’s frustrating for a leader to hear this feedback, because it so rarely is accompanied by any concrete direction about how to accomplish it.
For many leaders, staying competitive means creating a vision that will withstand the headwinds of a business climate that is fraught with daily disruptions.
The smartest leaders know it isn’t doing more that keeps them competitive– it’s thinking more.
When you think more you can achieve more, because you can spot the needs of your customers before they’re even aware of those needs themselves. As the trendsetter you ride the tailwinds, creating and achieving more than you ever imagined possible.
Want to learn how to think bigger and achieve more? Here’s what you need to know:
Check Your Arrogance at the Door
Don’t allow your expertise to turn into arrogance. Expertise can blind you to factors that are beyond the scope of your considerable knowledge and experience. To think bigger, translate your expertise across industries and sit in the mindset of your clients. A discovery mindset lets you perceive the subtle needs of your clients that they don’t yet even know they have.
Embrace the Outrageous
Don’t readily dismiss implausible or outrageous ideas that your team comes up with. Often the most insane ideas hold the most promise for disrupting an industry. Uncovering a need that your customers don’t know they have starts with thinking about what is impossible, and then making it possible.
Everyone Needs to Risk Something
Everyone on the team needs to have something at risk so they are fully invested in the outcome. Having something to lose changes how you approach and make decisions. Having skin in the game makes you the architect. You’re not simply executing someone else’s plan – you’re all in.
Make the Most of Adversity
Adversity is inevitable. Make the most of it when it happens, or deliberately turn a situation on its head when things are going too smoothly. Don’t fear making an unpopular decision or taking a position that goes against everyone else in the room. Being a consensus builder isn’t a strategy for innovation. When there is adversity, your ability to deliver a well-thought-out counterargument can spur creativity.
When the time is right, clear the decks and your calendar and just spend some time being quiet. Amid all the noise, data, and discussion it can be hard to hear yourself think. Find a quiet place where you can reflect in silence. Creating time to think stems the urge to make a snap decision that feeds your need for instant gratification. Being still can be challenging, yet it is essential for developing the clarity that’s necessary to see the next new trend.
When you’re bold enough to think more, you’ll achieve more and be able to weather the storms when they come. What can you do today to think more?