In 2018, we will celebrate 17 years in biz. Much has happened since our humble beginnings. For many years we flew below the radar. The entrepreneurial spirit that formed the business was alive and well in all we did and accomplished. The goal was providing exceptional service and support, partnering with clients to innovate and grow their businesses as well as growing our own people from within.
The goal was always “To Be the Best” not necessarily the biggest. Because that’s been the focus, we are now over 600 strong and growing.
And we have an incredible group of leaders at all levels of the firm.
Which leads me to a very insightful piece I just read in the Harvard Business Review (HBR).
The premise is that even leaders that didn’t found the company, including CEOs, need to think with the mindset of a founder. In effect, to approach the business with a new-found zeal and energy to build new capabilities, enter new markets, focus on long-term vision and investment and develop new solutions vs. only optimizing current ones (though we have to do that too).
And in so doing, breaking rules and taking risks along the way just as a founder would. Just as I did and still like to think I do.
I encourage you to read the article and reflect on what it says about your approach and thinking. It provides some very practical advice and also aligns with or belief in metrics and analytics.
As a “re-founder” and CEO myself, I offer you the following three actions to change your game:
- Know Your Stuff – Information, facts, analysis and insights must drive your planning and key decisions. These are the tools for growth and also for ensuring employees participate and engage in the journey.
- Be Courageous – You cannot let too many opinions and faulty thinking infest your thought process. As the article describes, consensus is another way to destroy an idea. If you believe people would have predicted the growth and success of W2O Group over 16 years ago, well, you would have been wrong.
- View Obstacles as Traffic Pylons – Have you ever seen those orange cones blocking parking spaces or other areas often with no reason? Let me tell you what I do when I see them: I move them. Do the same with obstacles. Negativity. BS.
Seeing your role as that of a “re-founder” is a fresh take on leadership in a time of new expectations, developments and market competitiveness and will help drive our valuation higher faster.
I hope you enjoy the article and more importantly, I hope you take its message to heart and mind!