In growth companies, the role of leaders at all levels of the organization is to develop action plans that support the overall corporate strategy. Carrying out these action plans is often referred to as the execution. But just how is execution measured? How can you be sure you fulfill the task assigned?
Goal setting is a necessary part of any action plan. By setting a goal, you’re in effect determining the finish line so that you, and everyone on your team, knows when you are successful.
However, that’s where some issues can occur. In risk adverse environments, goals are sometimes set lower than they should be. Too often we are conservative in our goal process. It’s one of those better safe than sorry type of scenarios whereby you’d rather reach a goal with ease than challenging yourself to see what’s even possible.
Why would anyone do that? Because they’d rather hit a modest goal and appear successful than fall short of a wildly ambitious stretch goal.
However, when growing a company, you need to think big. In fact, this was a common theme during a season of my life when living in Silicon Valley. It seemed everywhere I turned, I was told to think big. But how big is big?
Try 10 times big.
10X thinking (pronounced “ten-ex”) is a mindset of scalability, and was first touted by Google’s Larry Page. It forces you to think much bigger than your business is today. Amplifying what you’re doing today by a factor of 10 inspires new ideas and follows those ideas through with what I call “What if?” scenario planning.
Start with brainstorming sessions that encourage “blue sky” thinking where anything is possible. For example, imagining that you are the biggest company in the industry.
Applying 10X Thinking
I like 10X thinking because it establishes appropriate levels of thinking for any entrepreneur. 10X goals are what many would consider a stretch, on the verge of unachievable, but with a glimmer of realism, that if achieved, would be an amazing feat.
Regardless of how you define success, be it personal achievement, professional accomplishments, social status or financial results, allowing yourself to think bigger also pushes yourself to assess what actions may be required to achieve such heights.
Increasing Your Thinking to 10X Quantities
What you may find surprising is that it takes the same amount of energy to smash records as it does merely to approach the finish line. In order to do so, you’ll need to estimate the amount of effort required.
Effort could take the shape of number of calls, emails or other required business activities.
Individually, challenge yourself with reaching out to 10 times more prospects and send 10 times more proposals and quotes than your colleagues. Do it for a week and be amazed at the outcomes.
Crushing Competitors by a Factor of 10
The fact is that if you’re the new entrant into an existing market, you really need to put forth 10 times the effort as your competitors. Being slightly better isn’t aspirational. Being 10X better is.
Conducting competitive intelligence should be done through the lens of what’s possible. Identifying competitive metrics such as market share, sales figures or web traffic is a start. Now, consider what it would take to surpass those metrics. Your eyes should be opened.
Guaranteeing Your Success
To grow exponentially and scale a business, you must think and act in a wildly different way than you are currently operating. 10X thinking is the mindset you must have. Use this approach to operate at new and higher levels than you ever imagined were possible. The right acts, followed through at the correct levels, persisted over time will guarantee your success.