How To Achieve Greatness Being an Exponential Leader
In an interview with Popular Science magazine Amar Bose, the founder and once Chairman of Bose Corporation said “I would have been fired a hundred times at a company run by MBAs. But I never went into business to make money. I went into business so that I could do interesting things that hadn’t been done before.” That’s precisely the mindset that defines exponential leaders and empowers them with the ability to aim for and achieve greatness.
It’s no secret that chasing your dreams, interests and passion is far more rewarding for your pursuit to achieve greatness than purely being on the hunt for monetary gains. You’ll hit roadblocks and needless frustration knowing that you’re unable to grow your business’s profitability. Plus it’ll hamper your ability to be creative and innovative. Instead, working towards a higher purpose may be challenging at present and may not yield the financial numbers that’ll pacify your CFO, but it sure will push your company to develop products that are more competitive, unique and disruptive.
To truly achieve greatness exponential leaders must differentiate themselves from other leaders. They must rise above and go beyond. Their principles and practices should be reflected in their company values. To sum it up, here are a few tips to help leaders achieve greatness.
1. Think Big
To achieve greatness a leader must first put aside their personal needs, desires and goals. You’re not in business to satisfy your ego or build something to glorify yourself. You’re in it for the greater purpose of positively impacting society, your community and the world. Your company’s purpose should be linked to everyone that’s impacted by it – your suppliers, distributors, employees (and their families), neighboring companies, your industry, shareholders, customers and even (to a certain extent) those who aren’t your customers. Everyone who knows of your company or is directly linked to it has a stake, and hence, your quest to achieve greatness should factor them into it. How do you want your company to be perceived? How will the lives of the people who purchase your products or services be impacted? Do your competitors perceive your company as morally and ethically sound? It all matters. Thinking big will present bigger challenges, problems and obstacles but the results will manifest itself as greater success.
Have you ever heard an orchestra perform? There are many different instruments playing all at once and as hard as we try, most of us zone into only those that we fancy the most. Some of us hear the wind instruments clearer than the strings. Sometimes the violins get most of our attention. In an orchestra, however, there’s one person who hears all instruments clearly, attentively and collectively. And that’s the conductor. To achieve greatness and produce symphony that’s flawless the conductor has to be able to hear every single instrument, pick out even the slightest off-note and build symphony that’s collectively harmonious. An exponential leader is no different than a conductor. Leaders need to orchestrate every function and aspect of an organization to synergize them and empower them to work in perfect harmony. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be conflict or challenges. Every function (instrument) has its peculiarities, weaknesses and strengths. Everyone will have their opinions and disagree on a number of strategies. The idea is, however, for the leader to be able to hear them all and still orchestrate the exponential growth of the organization.
3. Associate by Disassociating
Though most people may disagree, socializing and engaging in debate over the challenges of the world and needs of the people can be a disservice to an innovative leader. The trouble is that most times leaders dive into deep thinking to solve a problem or challenge based on the insight they receive from others. That insight itself is skewed, biased and forces you to believe it’s “the right thing to do”. However, to achieve greatness you have to break free from the norm and “the right way”. Consider most inventions and innovations and you’ll notice that one thing’s common in all of their beginnings – their creators disassociated themselves from popular chatter. Steve Jobs was at the forefront of this notion. He popularized touchscreens though other manufacturers were already producing it. Jobs envisioned computers with color and fueled the perception that these devices can be decorative furnishings at home, rather than dull pieces of machinery. What it boils down to is that disassociating yourself from what others believe is correct or what the norm is will lead to innovation that’ll spark your greatness. Basically, do the unthinkable and that which no one else is doing.
To achieve greatness is a lifelong pursuit. It demands perseverance, persistence and creativity. And to truly leave an impact that spells out your legacy, you’ll need to be an exponential leader who’s pursuing the extraordinary.
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