Business Leadership 2024

As the dawn of a new year unfolds, I often compare this to the poised anticipation before a swimmer takes that crucial dive off the starting blocks.

Many business leaders find themselves on the brink of a fresh beginning, with apprehension of what the year ahead holds in store, the strategic significance of a well-earned break and the profound insights gained during moments of reflection.

Picture a swimmer, muscles tensed, standing on the starting blocks, ready to break through the water’s surface. And, within business, the return from a well-enjoyed break mirrors this poised anticipation—a delicate balance of eagerness and trepidation. The initial thrust off the blocks sets the tone for the entire race, just as the first steps back into the business world can chart the course for the year ahead.

And, like the swimmer encountering varying currents, business is filled with unpredictable challenges also. Something I’ve recognised as both a distance swimmer and business leader is that resilience is not just a trait but a prerequisite for success. Over my extensive research into what is required not just to grow but sustainably scale up businesses, I recognise that our ability to prepare for and manage turbulent currents are an inherent part of the journey.  And, just as my swimming (both in terms of distance and time/energy) has been transformed through coaching. I assist business leaders navigate challenges with a graceful stroke, turning adversity into an opportunity for growth.

Over the past few years specifically, we’ve all seen and been impacted by the fluidity of business. And, just as in the open waters, we also saw the critical importance of pivoting – adaptability is the key to staying afloat. As a swimmer, I recognise the need to adjust my stroke to the changing tides. Similarly, #ADDAZERO Methodology shows the importance of adapting strategies to the evolving landscape. Your ability to pivot, much like a swimmer adjusting their technique, ensures not just survival but a competitive edge in the ever-shifting fluidity of commerce.

One of the most impactful transitions I’ve made in the pool, is slowing each stroke down to examine in detail every part. Every kick, every turn, every breath.  I’ve shaved almost 6mins of my mile, by recognising success hinges on the precision of each stroke.  Likewise, business success demands meticulous planning and execution.

“Everything you have ever done has led you to where you are right now.

However, if where you are right now, isn’t where you want to be?

It may take reviewing and revising everything you now do, to get you to where you want to be”.

Eye for detail

With a discerning eye for detail and a willingness to ask awkward questions, I ensure every decision you make is a purposeful stroke propelling your business forward. Everything I do is a carefully calculated stroke towards our larger #ADDAZERO mission.

One of the other significant breakthroughs I’ve had within my swimming this year is to really get a better understanding of my breathing. For the business leader, so often ‘always on the go’ this translates through to the willingness and ability to stop and ‘take a breath’.  Strategic planning and better financial acumen become the oxygen for sustained business endurance. The #ADDAZERO Methodology ensures that the business not only survives but thrives in the long swim to success. This attention to both financial health and the importance of stopping to ‘take a breath’ aligns seamlessly with the ethical business practices advocated by My TrueNORTH.

Any competitive swimmer seeks to break personal records, constantly pushing the limits of their own capabilities. And, in the last year, I’ve seen this in both distances covered, and time taken. Culminating in completing my first-ever triathlon in August. And, as we enter 2024, fuelled by the #ADDAZERO ethos, I both encourage and hold to account business owners to push their limits ethically and authentically. The goal is not just financial success but achieving a personal best in creating a positive impact on both their business, community, and profession.

Eagerness to get started

Like many an entrepreneur, over the last 2 weeks, I’ve grapples with the subtle weight of apprehension that precedes the return to business in a new year. I’m sure I’m not alone, and this resonates with many other conscientious business owners, particularly those aligned with the ethos of #ADDAZERO, seeking to grow authentically and ethically. The apprehension, far from a deterrent, becomes a driver for meticulous planning and strategic thinking.

Therefore, the break over Christmas becomes more than a reprieve; it’s a calculated pause in the constant pulse of business operations. I not only understand but fully advocate the strength of reflection during these breaks. It’s a time to recalibrate, recharge, and, most importantly, to gain fresh insights that can fuel the momentum for the year ahead.

However, for this to be anything more than a physical pause, reflecting on the past year cannot be just a cursory glance at achievements and setbacks.  But used as a deep dive into the nuances of the entrepreneurial journey. To get its true value, you must be willing to go beyond the surface, ask those difficult questions, and extract the valuable lessons from triumphs and challenges alike. Our VIP EXPERIENCE days have proven for many this year a golden opportunity for a highly skilled and experienced scaleup mentor to meticulous review the actions and outcomes, offering guidance, advise, recommendation and resources for refining strategies, setting informed goals, and steering your business to #ADDAZERO.

As we welcome in a New Year, and I return to the helm of My TrueNORTH, this is far from a mere resumption of routine. It’s a plunge back into uncharted waters, armed with a reservoir of new ideas and a commitment to ethical business practices. The #ADDAZERO ethos isn’t just a slogan—it’s a pledge to leave a legacy. Which is defined by personalised 1:1 mentoring, backed by the multi-award winning and accredited #ADDAZERO Methodology playing its distinct role in shaping the UK business owner landscape of sustainable business growth.

As a fellow business leader, I invite you to take the plunge by completing the #ADDAZERO Scaleup Audit, and see for yourself the shape your business is in.

As my swimming coach has assisted me in assessing my strokes and techniques, this audit serves as a mirror, reflecting the hidden opportunity and vulnerabilities in your business strategy.  What better way to start the year, than to refine your approach, align with ethical practices, and set a course for sustained growth

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the #ADDAZERO Scaleup Audit. Your scaleup journey begins with a single stroke…

Additional Resources

How learning to swim, improved my business

How learning to swim has helped me in business

I know it sounds corny, but allow me to briefly explain:

I’ve pretty much always been able to swim. The first time in the pool I still wore nappies, and have frequently pretty much all through my life.  These days, I like to get my mile in first thing in the morning, before breakfast or even a coffee, and over the last 2-3 years have spent time and effort on improving my time over the mile.

According to British Swimming, my current timing (for my age and preferred stroke) is between intermediate and advanced, but still around 10 minutes slower than ELITE. However, recently I’ve chosen not to concentrate of becoming quicker, but more efficient.

I’ve stopped looking at the stopwatch, and spending time perfecting every aspect of each stroke. The kick, the pull, the streamline, the breath, the glide.

What does this all mean?

The ‘average’ stroke per length is 16+, before I began reviewing and amending, mine was 13, this morning it was 8! (Adam Peaty did each length in 5 at the European Championships!)

My heart rate, SWOLF (a score that combines the number of strokes you take and the amount of time it takes you to swim a lap into a single figure) and recovery time have all dropped, which is great. But, here’s what has really surprised me, my average speed hasn’t.

How does this relate to business?

We can all, easily get caught up in the BUSYness of Business. And it’s ruining your longevity, sustainability and productivity. As Mike Vance famously said;

You have to slow down, in order to speed up

Business executives may want to work as quickly as is feasible. Although it may seem like the most effective way to maximize productivity, it might actually have detrimental effects. When you “slow down to speed up,” you give yourself permission to proceed slower in exchange for more control and concentration over your project as a whole.

Let’s see why leaders need to slow down to speed up.

The phrase “slow down to speed up” says that the greatest approach to increasing productivity and efficiency is to choose to move at a steady pace rather than operating at top speed.

Think about this in conjunction with another well-known proverb regarding effectively finishing a variety of initiatives: “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” In other words, when you prioritize speed and downplay taking breaks, you actually make it harder to finish the task at hand. This is why leaders need to slow down to speed up.

The Drawbacks of Speeding Too Fast

Moving too quickly can hurt your job and compromise your well-being in life, business, and leadership. If you are tempted to stay on the go, consider these three drawbacks:

  1. High stress
    If you approach every work at a blazing pace, you will almost certainly experience higher stress levels than someone who approaches things more methodically and steadily. Inhibiting your ability to stay devoted, focused, and upbeat about your work, high stress is a barrier to attaining your goals. Slowing down reduces tension and makes it simpler to continue with the activity at hand in a collected and efficient manner.
  2. High chance of mistakes
    When you move too quickly, you fail quickly. When speed is the top priority, accuracy, quality, and workmanship are ignored. But by doing this, you get more work than if you slowed down. You’ll have to spend time fixing mistakes you made while speeding through rather than producing a high-quality product steadily. This can result in you having to complete two or even three times as much work as you otherwise would have.
  3. Difficulty in communication
    Your team’s ability to communicate effectively with you will suffer if you rush through things. In the near term, you might neglect to tell them pertinent information, which would impede the project’s progress. As these misunderstandings multiply, everyone’s workload increases. Hence it is important for you to learn how leaders need to communicate in the virtual world.

The Benefits of Slowing Down

You should choose a steady pace over an intense sprint when slowing down to speed up. If you follow this advice, you might benefit from three things:

  1. Better Decisions
    Slowing down, mitigates the need for ‘fire-fighter’ management and allows you the time to make bigger, bolder, better decisions. By not always playing ‘catch up’, enables you to plan and work to a strategy you have considered before execution. This in turn, enables you to:
  2. Improved communication
    As you take it slow, you’ll probably find it easier to speak clearly with other team members. Instead of rushing to finish the job on your own, you can collaborate to ensure everyone gets the resources they need. In the long run, better communication results in more productive work.
  3. Increased output
    The first time you slow down, you might be concerned about how less productive you’ll be. Strangely, allowing a break allows you to re-energize and focus on quality and productivity. Increased productivity increases sales and increased sales increase operating profitability. As you can see, taking it slow to get faster has a lot to offer.

How to Slow Down to Speed Up?

Slowing down to speed up can seem paradoxical if your default behaviour is to work quickly. To put this advice into practice, consider the following suggestions:

  1. Communicate with your team
    For advice on how to time your work to prevent overburdening anyone, consult your team members. The work of the entire team will suffer if each day is experienced as a creative exercise rather than a frontline conflict. Have a “playback” or retro meeting after a project is finished to determine how you may reduce your responsibilities and lessen the urgency to finish quickly.
  2. Keep an eye on your stress levels
    Remember that working too quickly and feeling stressed out will significantly impair your creativity, ability to make decisions, and overall job capability. Pay attention to stress signs when they appear since they mean you need a break. Take a few moments to meditate. Use your phone to play a game. Go outside. You’ll be better equipped to start each day strong and avoid burnout if you give yourself time to recover.
  3. Strive for balance
    The key to moving faster while moving slower is striking a balance between efficacy and efficiency. You could prioritize speed over quality and self-care if you’re overwhelmed and exhausted. As an alternative, you might want to work more productively if you feel like you’re always putting things off or doing things slowly. The key is to always strive for balance, readjusting as necessary, and taking breaks when necessary. This will allow you to work as constantly and effectively as you can.

Conclusion

In order to accelerate, we must first slow down. By taking regular reflection breaks, we can ensure that we are responding appropriately, fully utilizing our leadership vision, and working efficiently. This is rather than reacting and becoming overwhelmed by hectic work.

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Navigating Analysis Paralysis

Simplifying Data for Strategic Decision-Making

In a world brimming with data and metrics, analysis paralysis is a real concern for business owners. The sheer volume of information can be overwhelming, leading to indecision and missed opportunities. However, there are effective strategies to distil complex data into actionable insights, enabling business owners to drive strategic decision-making without drowning in a sea of numbers.

  1. Set Clear Goals and Priorities

Start by defining your business goals and priorities. What are you trying to achieve? Are you focused on increasing revenue, improving customer retention, or optimising operational efficiency? Knowing your objectives narrows down the data you need to focus on, making it easier to filter out irrelevant information.

  1. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Select a handful of key performance indicators (KPIs) that directly align with your goals. For instance, if your aim is to enhance customer satisfaction, focus on metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer retention rate. You avoid getting lost in a sea of data points by homing in on a few critical metrics.

  1. Regular Reporting and Visualization

Create a routine for reporting and visualisation. Use dashboards or reporting tools to display your chosen KPIs in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand format. Visual representations, such as graphs and charts, simplify grasping trends and patterns at a glance.

  1. Use Benchmarks and Industry Standards

Comparing your data to industry benchmarks can provide context and help you gauge your performance. If you’re falling significantly below industry averages in a certain area, it signals a potential area for improvement.

  1. Focus on Trends, Not Just Numbers

Pay attention to trends over time rather than fixating on individual data points. Are your metrics improving, declining, or remaining steady? Trends provide more meaningful insights than isolated numbers.

  1. Apply the 80/20 Rule

The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, suggests that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Apply this principle to your data analysis. Identify the few critical metrics that drive most of your business outcomes and concentrate your efforts there.

  1. Seek Expertise

If data analysis isn’t your strength, consider seeking help from My TrueNORTH. One of the things we specialise in is reviewing data to guide you through the process and extract actionable insights.

  1. Embrace Iterative Decision-Making

Strategic decisions don’t have to be all or nothing. Embrace iterative decision-making by making smaller, informed choices that can be adjusted and refined over time. This approach reduces the pressure of making a single monumental decision.

  1. Keep it Simple and Actionable

When presenting data to yourself or your team, keep it simple and actionable. Clearly highlight the implications of the data and recommend specific steps or changes based on the insights gained.

  1. Trust Your Gut, Informed by Data

While data is invaluable, balancing it with your intuition and experience as a business owner is essential. Let data guide your decisions but take your instinct seriously.

Data-Driven, Not Data-Drowned

Overcoming analysis paralysis is about finding the delicate balance between utilising data-driven insights and avoiding data overload. By setting clear goals, focusing on a select set of KPIs, visualising trends, and seeking expertise when needed, business owners can confidently make strategic decisions that lead to growth and success. Remember, the goal is not to drown in data but to use it as a powerful tool for informed effective decision-making.

The Get BIG or Go Home Principles

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles™

Accelerating Your Thinking, Transforming Your Outcomes

With both innovation and competition at an all-time high, embracing a mindset that can not only keep up but thrive is essential.

Evidence-based around six core principles, the #ADDAZERO Get BIG or Go Home Principles™ offer a revolutionary approach to accelerating your thinking and transforming your outcomes. These principles empower you to push boundaries, challenge limitations, and achieve results that exceed your wildest expectations.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 1: Think Beyond Limits

Principle 1: Think Beyond Limits

The first principle of the #ADDAZERO philosophy is to think beyond limits. Many people settle for mediocre results because they confine their thoughts within self-imposed boundaries. To truly accelerate your thinking, you need to break free from these limitations and explore the possibilities that lie beyond. Whether it’s in your personal life, business endeavors, or creative pursuits, daring to dream big opens doors to innovation and transformation.

However, we immediately hit a problem: How do I think BIG

One of the first hurdles we hit with this concept is letting go of the current reality in order to release the shackles of our imagination.

• I haven’t got the time
• I can’t afford it
• What if it doesn’t work
• What will people think of me

A million and one limiting beliefs, thoughts, and ideas shroud the possibility of us ever moving past our current reality and prevent us from truly being creative!

The Power of Future-Oriented Thinking

Current time thinking is deeply rooted in our brain’s default mode. This mode is focused on preserving energy and ensuring safety by relying on familiar patterns and experiences. While this thinking pattern serves its purpose in routine tasks, it can inadvertently limit our potential for growth and innovation.

When we think from the perspective of our current reality, we tend to anchor our ideas and solutions within the boundaries of what we already know. This can hinder our ability to see beyond our immediate circumstances and envision possibilities that lie outside our comfort zone.

The Brain and Visualisation

Neuroscientific research shows that our brains don’t always distinguish between imagined and real experiences. When we vividly visualise achieving a goal, our brain activity mirrors that of actually experiencing success. This phenomenon is known as “mental rehearsal” and has been extensively studied.

For instance, a study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that individuals who mentally rehearsed playing a piano piece showed the same neurological changes as those who physically practiced the piece. This implies that our brain’s neural pathways can be strengthened through mental imagery alone.

The Power of Future Visualisation: Overcoming Limitations

By shifting our perspective from “How do we achieve it?” to “What does it feel like to have already achieved it?”, we unlock hidden potential. Future-oriented thinking, often associated with visualisation exercises, can break the barriers imposed by current-time thinking.

When we visualise our success, our brain begins to accept the imagined scenario as a possible reality. This shift in perception stimulates creativity and propels us to take bolder actions and make choices that align with our envisioned success.

Therefore, all we need to acknowledge is:

• Breakthrough innovations: Unconventional thinking leads to disruptive ideas.
• New perspectives: Overcoming limitations expands your worldview.
• Inspires innovation in others: Your audacity inspires others to think bigger.

Future-oriented thinking

Backed by neuroscientific evidence and documented success stories, we can unlock our hidden potential by breaking free from current time thinking. By envisioning our success, we reshape our neural pathways, expand our creativity, and propel ourselves toward achieving our goals. Through this transformative shift, we transcend the limitations of our current circumstances and open doors to endless possibilities.

Numerous successful individuals attribute their achievements to the power of visualisation. Athletes visualise their performance before competitions, musicians imagine flawless concerts, and entrepreneurs see their companies thriving. Consider Elon Musk’s SpaceX, aiming to establish a colony on Mars. While seemingly audacious, this mindset led to ground-breaking achievements in space exploration. Or Jim Carrey, who famously wrote a check for $10 million for “acting services rendered” and visualised achieving this success before he did.

By incorporating this perspective into our approach, we can effectively apply the Get BIG principles and begin to think beyond limits, embracing discomfort, iterating and adapting, collaborating for synergy, and pursuing audacious goals with precision execution. When grounded in future-oriented thinking, each principle becomes a powerful tool for harnessing our untapped potential and achieving remarkable success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 2: Embrace discomfort

Principle 2: Embrace Discomfort

 

Comfort zones can be the biggest hindrance to growth. The second principle encourages you to embrace discomfort. The path to success is often paved with challenges and uncertainties. By willingly stepping outside your comfort zone, you open yourself up to new experiences, skills, and perspectives that can propel your thinking and outcomes to new heights.

Growth occurs outside your comfort zone. Richard Branson’s journey from music to airlines exemplifies embracing discomfort. Venturing into uncharted territory, Branson transformed an industry with Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Understanding Discomfort

Discomfort, often viewed negatively, is a fundamental aspect of growth and innovation. Our brains are wired to seek safety and familiarity, which can lead to resistance when faced with the unknown. However, embracing discomfort is essential for personal and professional development.

Rewiring the Brain

Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganise itself, highlights the potential for growth through the discomfort. When we venture into uncharted territory, we stimulate new neural pathways and connections. This rewiring leads to increased adaptability and enhanced cognitive abilities.

The Birthplace of Innovation

Innovation rarely emerges from comfort zones. Historical examples abound – consider Steve Jobs and Apple. The introduction of the iPhone revolutionised multiple industries. Jobs’ willingness to disrupt the status quo required embracing discomfort, challenging conventional thinking, and venturing into unexplored territories.

In her book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” psychologist Angela Duckworth discusses how embracing discomfort is crucial in achieving long-term goals. Through extensive research, Duckworth finds that individuals who willingly endure discomfort and setbacks are more likely to achieve lasting success.

Learning Zone vs. Comfort Zone

The “learning zone” lies just beyond the comfort zone. It’s where growth occurs, and new skills are developed. The Yerkes-Dodson law, a psychological principle, suggests that optimal performance and growth occur when we’re slightly outside our comfort zones – neither overwhelmed nor complacent.

Discomfort as a Catalyst

Embracing discomfort is the driving force behind personal and professional growth. Neuroplasticity showcases the brain’s ability to adapt and evolve through discomfort. Historical success stories and documented evidence from experts emphasise the connection between discomfort and long-term achievement.

By pushing ourselves beyond comfort, we enter the learning zone where innovation flourishes and growth is nurtured. In the context of the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, embracing discomfort serves as the springboard for thinking beyond limits, iterating and adapting, and pursuing audacious goals. Ultimately, it’s through embracing discomfort that we unlock our hidden potential and reach new heights of success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 3: Adaptability

Principle 3: Iterate and Adapt

The ability to iterate and adapt is crucial in a rapidly evolving world. The third principle of #ADDAZERO advocates for a mindset of continuous improvement. Treat failures as learning opportunities, and view setbacks as stepping stones toward success. By embracing a mindset of adaptation, you foster resilience, agility, and the capacity to pivot when needed, resulting in more successful outcomes.

Iteration is a cornerstone of progress. Apple’s iPhone series demonstrates this principle. Each version builds on the previous one, incorporating user feedback and technological advancements.

The Engine of Evolution

Iteration is the process of repeatedly refining and enhancing an idea or solution. It’s coupled with adaptation – the ability to adjust strategies based on feedback and changing circumstances. These principles are the driving force behind progress and innovation.

Learning Through Repetition

The brain learns through repetition and reinforcement. Each time we iterate, we reinforce certain neural pathways. As we adapt our strategies, we engage in cognitive flexibility – a hallmark of higher-level thinking. This process rewires the brain, optimising our approach and enhancing problem-solving skills.

Consider the evolution of the automobile. Continuous iteration and adaptation have transformed the industry from the Model T to modern electric vehicles. Companies like Tesla, led by Elon Musk, are known for their iterative approach – releasing software updates that enhance vehicle performance and features.

The Lean Start-up methodology emphasises iteration and adaptation. Eric Ries’ book “The Lean Startup” demonstrates how start-ups can minimise waste and maximise learning by frequently testing assumptions and adjusting strategies based on real-time feedback. This methodology has been widely adopted and has led to numerous start-up successes.

Innovation Through Iteration

Innovation doesn’t emerge fully formed; it results from incremental improvements. The concept of “failing fast” is rooted in iterative thinking. By quickly testing ideas and adapting based on feedback, we avoid sunk costs and optimise resources for what works.

The Path to Perfection

Iteration and adaptation form the path to perfection. Neurological evidence underscores the brain’s capacity for learning through repetition. Historical examples like the automobile industry and the success of the Lean Start-up methodology highlight the power of iterative thinking.

In the context of the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, iteration and adaptation are pivotal for precision execution, embracing discomfort, and achieving audacious goals. By embracing these principles, we navigate challenges flexibly, continually refine our strategies, and ensure we’re on a trajectory of growth and success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 4: Collaboration

Principle 4: Collaborate for Synergy

The power of collaboration is unrivaled. Principle four emphasises the importance of collaboration for achieving bigger and better outcomes. By working with diverse individuals who bring unique perspectives, skills, and ideas to the table, you harness the power of synergy. Collaborative efforts can lead to innovative solutions and a collective drive toward success far greater than any individual could achieve alone.

Collaboration leverages diverse expertise. The development of the Internet showcases this principle. Innovators across fields united to create a global network that transformed communication.

Amplifying Strengths Through Unity

Collaboration is more than working together; it’s about combining diverse strengths to achieve outcomes beyond individual capacities. Collaborative synergy occurs when the collective effort generates results greater than the sum of its parts.

Neuroscience of Collaboration

Mirror neurons, neural structures that fire both when we perform an action and when we observe someone else perform the same action, highlight the brain’s predisposition for collaboration. This neural response is the foundation for empathy, understanding, and effective communication – key elements of successful collaboration.

The partnership between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak exemplifies collaborative synergy. Jobs’ visionary ideas and Wozniak’s technical expertise resulted in ground-breaking innovations. Together, they co-founded Apple and revolutionised technology.

Furthermore, research from the Harvard Business Review emphasises the benefits of diverse collaboration. Diverse teams bring various perspectives and insights, leading to more innovative solutions. A study by Deloitte found that inclusive collaboration can improve team performance by up to 60%.

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

Innovation often emerges at the intersection of diverse fields. The collaboration between engineers and medical professionals resulted in the development of MRI technology. These cross-disciplinary partnerships harness unique expertise for transformative breakthroughs.

Collective Genius

Collaborative synergy taps into the brain’s neural wiring for empathy and understanding. Historical examples like the Apple founders and documented research underscore the value of diverse collaboration in generating innovative solutions.

When applied to the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, collaborative synergy amplifies audacious goals, fuels precision execution, and enhances the ability to embrace discomfort. By embracing collaboration, we tap into the collective genius of diverse minds, harnessing their strengths to drive innovation and achieve remarkable success.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 5: Audacious Goals

Principle 5: Set Audacious Goals

Setting audacious goals is the fifth principle that drives the #ADDAZERO philosophy. When you aim for the stars, you push yourself to reach heights you might not have thought possible. You channel your energy and focus toward achieving remarkable outcomes by setting ambitious targets. Even if you fall short of your ultimate goal, you’re likely to achieve more than you would have with a conservative approach.

Set ambitious goals and meticulously plan their execution. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos envisioned becoming Earth’s most customer-centric company. This audacious goal fueled strategic execution that revolutionised e-commerce.

The Dance between Vision and Action

Audacious goals are ambitious objectives that push the boundaries of what’s considered attainable. Precision execution, on the other hand, involves meticulous planning and flawless implementation. These two principles together form a powerful duo that drives innovation and success.

Setting audacious goals triggers the brain’s reward centre. The anticipation of achieving a challenging goal releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motivation and pleasure. This dopamine surge encourages us to pursue our goals with vigour.

John F. Kennedy’s audacious goal of landing a man on the moon is a classic example. This goal inspired the Apollo program, which led to the historic Apollo 11 mission. The collaboration of NASA’s precision execution with the audacious goal resulted in a monumental achievement. And Edwin Locke’s Goal Setting Theory, backed by extensive research, emphasises that specific, challenging goals lead to higher performance. A study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that setting audacious health goals increased participants’ adherence to healthier behaviours.

Furthermore, the development of the iPhone by Apple exemplifies precision execution. Steve Jobs’ attention to detail and insistence on perfection resulted in a product that seamlessly integrated hardware and software, revolutionising communication and technology.

The Dance of Achievement

The dance between audacious goals and precision execution is a dance of achievement. Neuroscientific evidence, historical examples, and documented research highlight the synergy between setting ambitious objectives and executing them with precision.

When applied to the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, audacious goals fuel thinking beyond limits, while precision execution ensures the journey is marked by iterative adaptation and collaboration. This dynamic duo propels us to new heights, transforming aspirations into tangible successes.

#ADDAZERO The Get BIG or Go Home Principles:Principle 6: Precision Execution

Principle 6: Execute with Precision

The final principle revolves around executing with precision. While big thinking is important, it must be backed by focused, well-executed actions. Details matter, and the smallest adjustments can significantly improve outcomes. Implementing your ideas precisely ensures that your efforts align with your vision, driving you closer to your desired results.

A Symphony of Excellence

Precision execution is the art of meticulous planning and flawless implementation. It involves attention to detail, adherence to standards, and a commitment to delivering excellence in every aspect of a project or endeavour.

Attention to detail is a cognitive process governed by the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This region is responsible for higher-order thinking, decision-making, and complex problem-solving. Precision execution stimulates this area, optimising cognitive functions.

NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing is a prime example of precision execution. The meticulous planning, rigorous testing, and flawless implementation of each step led to a successful landing on the moon. The Mars rovers, known for their longevity and success, also demonstrate precision execution in space exploration.

In his book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell famously popularised the idea that achieving mastery requires approximately 10,000 hours of practice. This concept underscores the significance of precision execution – the relentless pursuit of excellence through practice and refinement. Companies like Tesla and SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, prioritise precision in every aspect of their operations. This commitment to excellence results in ground-breaking products and advancements.

The Elegance of Excellence

Precision execution is an embodiment of excellence. Neuroscientific evidence, historical achievements, and documented principles all underscore the significance of meticulous planning and flawless implementation.

Applied within the context of the “Get BIG or Go Home” principles, precision execution ensures that audacious goals are achieved, iteration and adaptation occur seamlessly, and collaboration is optimised for synergy. This principle transforms vision into reality with the elegance of excellence, marking the difference between success and mediocrity.

Conclusion

The #ADDAZERO Get BIG or Go Home Principles™ are not just a set of guidelines; they are a transformative mindset that can reshape your thinking and redefine your outcomes. By thinking beyond limits, embracing discomfort, iterating, collaborating, setting audacious goals, and executing with precision, you position yourself to accelerate your growth and achieve lasting results.

So, are you ready to #ADDAZERO to your aspirations, your efforts, and your outcomes? Embrace the principles, adopt the mindset, and watch as you propel yourself toward a bigger and more rewarding future than you ever imagined.

CLICK HERE to get started!

We’ve made it our mission to eradicate unemployment in the UK.  By supporting business owners (just like you) to significantly and sustainably scale up their businesses. That collectively, we can create demand for more new roles, than there are those actively seeking employment. 

Why you should choose Relationships over Transactions

Why Business Owners Choose Relationships over Transactions

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, it’s becoming increasingly common for business owners to prioritize meaningful relationships over relentless client acquisition. More and more entrepreneurs are recognizing the importance of working with providers who genuinely care about them and their businesses.

In this post, we’ll explore why this shift is occurring and the benefits that arise when businesses prioritize relationships over transactions.

The Power of Trust and Loyalty

Business owners understand that trust and loyalty are vital components of long-term success. And yet, we continue to see a glut of businesses continuing to focus all their time, attention, and marketing spend on winning ‘new’ business.

But at what cost?

By choosing providers who genuinely care, you begin to build a foundation of trust and loyalty that goes beyond a simple transactional relationship. Providers who clearly demonstrate theirs take the time to get to know you and your business by investing the time and effort to understand their client’s needs, challenges, and goals will always win in the long term over the ‘stack ’em high attitude of only ever looking at the front door.

As a result, they can provide tailored solutions and support that truly align with their client’s business objectives.

This is why, Amanda Daniels-Allen and Jay Allen have chosen to ‘cap’ entry to our collaboration event: Fusion at no more than 20 people. ensuring we are able to truly serve each and every one present with the questions, queries, and challenges they face within their businesses.

A Focus on Partnership and Collaboration

When business owners work with providers who care, they often find themselves in true partnerships. Instead of just being another customer, they become valued collaborators, working together towards mutual success. Providers who take the time to listen, communicate, and engage with their clients, foster a sense of teamwork and shared purpose. This collaborative approach leads to innovative solutions, improved efficiency, and ultimately, better business outcomes.

It’s why everyone who signs up to join us, are sent a questionnaire, enabling us to ensure the entire day’s learning is tailored specifically to those in the room!

Enhanced Customer Experience

Providers who genuinely care about their clients understand the importance of delivering exceptional customer experiences. They go above and beyond to ensure their clients’ needs are met, providing personalized attention and support. By prioritizing the customer experience, these providers create a positive and memorable impression, fostering client satisfaction and loyalty. This, in turn, can lead to valuable referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations, driving organic business growth.

Amanda Daniels-Allen is a #customerexperience #specialist with an exceptional eye for detail and a devotion to creating memorable and immersive experiences. The sessions she shall be leading on shall be showing exactly why and how to achieve this within your businesses.

Long-Term Value Creation

Business owners recognize that working with caring providers isn’t just about immediate gains; it’s about long-term value creation. That’s why both Koogar : Marketing + Alignment and My TrueNORTH, The UK’s leading Ethical Business Coaching Company take a holistic approach, considering the bigger picture and the impact our services have on the client’s overall business success. We provide ongoing support, guidance, and expertise, adapting offerings to meet evolving needs. This commitment to long-term value creation solidifies the client-provider relationship and fosters sustained business growth.

Positive Impact on the Bottom Line

Contrary to popular belief, prioritizing relationships over transactions has a positive impact on the bottom line. Business owners who work with caring providers experience increased client retention rates, reduced customer churn, and higher customer lifetime value. Happy and satisfied clients are more likely to become repeat customers, increasing revenue and profitability. Additionally, the strong client-provider relationship can lead to valuable cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

Conclusion

The paradigm shift towards working with providers like Koogar and My TrueNORTH who genuinely care about business owners and their businesses is gaining momentum. It’s no longer just about chasing more clients; it’s about fostering meaningful relationships that drive long-term success. As business owners prioritize trust, collaboration, and exceptional customer experiences, they find themselves reaping the rewards of increased loyalty, customer retention, and business growth.

If you’re a business owner looking to learn more about how to embed this within your business – you can do far worse than to check out https://www.mytruenorth.biz/masterclasses/ and imparticular our #Fusion interactive seminar.

You’ll find both Koogar and My TrueNORTH really cares about your success. Look for providers who align with your values, demonstrate a genuine interest in your business, and prioritize building long-term relationships. Remember, the path to sustainable success lies in the hands of those who understand the power of long-term partnerships over front-end sales.

Choose to work with Amanda Daniels-Allen and/or Jay Allen and you’ll quickly see how they go beyond transactions, and discover the transformative impact they have on your business’s growth and prosperity.

The truth about influence

Exponential impact requires exponential influence.

If we can’t win hearts and minds, our ability to make big things happen is limited by our own personal productivity.

In fact, we could say:

Impact = Skills X Influence

The brutal truth is, no matter how influential we are, we don’t (yet) have the influence we need to achieve our biggest goals.

  • You can influence your team – but can you mobilise your organisation?
  • You can influence your client – but can you get in front of their CEO?
  • You can influence your entire business – but how about your industry?

You can see that influence is one of the key constraints that can hold us back at any time in this journey of ever-greater impact.

The obvious next question – how do we grow our influence?

Here are three key principles to put to work immediately.

  1. Master one conversation at a time

Self talk

The importance of honing your conversational skills is essential to enhance your influence, leading to successful business expansion.

Conversations serve as the building blocks of relationships, and relationships are the foundation of business success. When you engage in meaningful conversations with clients, investors, or employees, you have the opportunity to foster connections, establish trust, and convey your vision effectively. Each conversation is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression, and by mastering the art of communication, you can expand your influence and propel your business forward.

To make a significant impact in your conversations, active listening is paramount. Practice truly listening to others, allowing them to express their thoughts and concerns. By paying attention to their words, body language, and emotions, you can better understand their needs and expectations. This insight will enable you to respond appropriately and tailor your message to resonate with your audience, thereby increasing your influence.

Influence is built on trust, and establishing rapport is vital in this process. Focus on building genuine connections with the people you engage with. Show empathy, ask relevant questions, and show sincere interest in their perspectives. Creating a positive and trustworthy atmosphere will foster stronger relationships and increase your ability to influence others meaningfully.

In the realm of business conversations, clarity and conciseness are key. Learn to articulate your thoughts, ideas, and business propositions in a straightforward and concise manner. Be mindful of your audience’s time and attention span, delivering your message with clarity and purpose. The ability to convey complex concepts in a simple and understandable way will enhance your influence and help you garner support for your business endeavours.

To scale up your business successfully, you need to master the art of persuasive communication. Clearly communicate the benefits, value, and competitive advantage of your products or services. Use compelling storytelling techniques to engage your audience emotionally and intellectually. Support your arguments with data, case studies, or testimonials to strengthen your credibility. You can influence decisions, secure partnerships, and drive business growth by mastering persuasive communication.

Improving your conversational skills is an ongoing process. Actively seek feedback from trusted mentors, colleagues, or even clients to identify areas for improvement. Embrace constructive criticism and make necessary adjustments to enhance your communication style. Continuously learn from your experiences, engage in personal development activities, and stay updated with industry trends further to refine your conversational prowess.

  1. Calibrate push and pull behaviours

Tug-of-war

Mastering the delicate balance between push and pull behaviours can be a game-changer when it comes to scaling up your company. The ability to calibrate these behaviours effectively allows you to enhance your influence, build strong relationships, and drive business growth. In this blog, we will explore the significance of push and pull behaviours in the context of business expansion and provide practical strategies for calibrating these behaviours to improve your influence.

Push and pull behaviours represent two distinct approaches to influence and persuasion. Push behaviours involve assertiveness, directness, and proactive efforts to persuade or convince others. On the other hand, pull behaviours revolve around attraction, collaboration, and creating an environment where others are drawn to your ideas and vision. Both approaches have their merits, and mastering the calibration of these behaviours is key to successfully scaling up your business.

To effectively calibrate your push and pull behaviours, it’s crucial to assess the situation and understand the context in which you’re operating. Consider factors such as the personalities involved, the organisational culture, and the specific goals you want to achieve. By comprehensively understanding the situation, you can adapt your communication style and determine the appropriate balance between push and pull behaviours for maximum influence.

Push behaviours are particularly useful when conveying a clear vision, making critical decisions, or driving organisational change. Be assertive in expressing your ideas and beliefs, providing logical reasoning and supporting evidence to strengthen your position. However, it’s essential to avoid becoming overly aggressive or dismissive of others’ perspectives. Strike a balance between assertiveness and openness to maintain trust and collaboration.

Pull behaviours are essential for fostering collaboration, building strong relationships, and attracting others to your cause. Cultivate empathy and actively listen to the needs and concerns of your team, clients, and stakeholders. Seek common ground and build consensus by involving others in decision-making processes. Incorporating their input and making them feel valued creates a sense of ownership and loyalty, increasing your influence in the process.

The key to effective influence lies in striking the right balance between push and pull behaviours. Recognise that different situations may require varying degrees of assertiveness and collaboration. For example, a more assertive approach may be necessary when faced with a high-stakes negotiation. However, a collaborative and empathetic style will yield better results when building long-term relationships or inspiring your team. Continuously assess the dynamics of each interaction and adapt your behaviour accordingly.

Authenticity is paramount regardless of whether you lean more towards push or pull behaviours. People are more likely to trust and follow those who are genuine and consistent in their actions. Be true to your values, communicate with transparency, and let your passion shine through. At the same time, remain flexible and adaptable. Recognise that different individuals may respond better to varying degrees of assertiveness or collaboration, and adjust your approach accordingly.

  1. Practice big asks.

As an entrepreneur or business leader, scaling up your company often requires bold actions and influential requests. The ability to practice BIG asks—seeking out significant opportunities, partnerships, and resources—can greatly impact your ability to grow your business. So let’s delve into the importance of practising BIG asks to improve your influence and provide practical strategies to help you unlock new avenues for scaling up your business.

BIG asks involve stepping outside your comfort zone and seeking opportunities that may seem ambitious or even audacious. These requests can range from securing major partnerships and investments to negotiating strategic alliances or accessing valuable resources. By practising BIG asks you can challenge conventional limits and open doors that were previously unimaginable, propelling your business towards exponential growth.

Before embarking on your journey of BIG asks, it’s essential to cultivate a growth mindset. Embrace the belief that anything is possible and that you have the ability to overcome challenges and achieve extraordinary results. A growth mindset allows you to approach opportunities and setbacks with resilience and determination, increasing your chances of influencing others to support your BIG asks.

To effectively make BIG asks, meticulous research and preparation are key. Identify potential partners, investors, or resources that align with your business goals and values. Understand their needs, motivations, and pain points. Develop a compelling case for why your request is mutually beneficial and present a well-crafted plan to demonstrate your commitment and potential for success. Thorough preparation will instil confidence and credibility when making your BIG asks.

Influence is built on trust and strong relationships. Prioritise relationship-building efforts with key stakeholders long before making BIG asks. Establish connections by engaging in networking events, industry conferences, and relevant communities. Nurture these relationships by offering value, demonstrating your expertise, and actively supporting others in their endeavours. Building trust and rapport increases the likelihood of receiving positive responses to your BIG asks.

When making BIG asks, it’s crucial to articulate the value and vision behind your request. Clearly communicate how your proposal aligns with the interests and goals of the other party. Highlight the potential benefits and outcomes that can be achieved through collaboration or investment. Craft a compelling narrative that captivates their attention and conveys your passion and determination. A well-presented value proposition significantly enhances your influence and increases the likelihood of obtaining a positive response.

Not every BIG ask will yield the desired outcome. Rejection is a natural part of the process. Instead of being discouraged, view rejection as an opportunity for growth. Analyse the feedback received, learn from the experience, and refine your approach for future BIG asks. Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders often encounter multiple rejections before achieving breakthroughs. Perseverance and the ability to iterate based on feedback are crucial for continuous improvement. What’s your influence goal?

Let’s end by coming back to the brutal truth I started with:

You don’t (yet) have the influence you need to achieve your biggest goals.

The fourth Impact Multiplier, then, is Increasing Influence.

So, dream a little.

If you could expand your scope of influence, who would you be able to reach and what would become possible?

Drop a comment below and let’s strike up a conversation about that……