What the Best Transformational Leaders Do (hbr.org)

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Companies that claim to be “transforming” seem to be everywhere. But when you look more deeply into whether those organizations are truly redefining what they are and what they do, stories of successful change efforts are exceptionally rare. In a study of S&P 500 and Global 500 firms, our team found that those leading the most successful transformations, creating new offerings and business models to push into new growth markets, share common characteristics and strategies. Before describing those, let’s look at how we identified the exceptional firms that rose to the top of our ranking, a group we call the Transformation 10.

Whereas most business lists analyze companies by traditional metrics such as revenue or by subjective assessments such as “innovativeness,” our ranking evaluates the ability of leaders to strategically reposition the firm. Some companies that made the list were obvious choices; for example, the biggest online retailer now gets most of its profit from cloud services (Amazon). But others were surprising, given their states before embarking on transformation. The list includes a health care company that was once near bankruptcy (DaVita), a software firm whose stock price stagnated for a decade (Microsoft), a travel website that faced overwhelming competition (Priceline), a food giant that seemed to lose its focus (Danone), and a steel company that faced new pressure from lower-cost rivals (ThyssenKrupp).

The team began by identifying 57 companies that have made substantial progress toward transformation. We then narrowed the list to 18 finalists using three sets of metrics:

New growth. How successful has the company been at creating new products, services, and business models? This was gauged by assessing the percent of revenue outside the core that can be attributed to new growth.

Core repositioning. How effectively has the company adapted its legacy business to change and disruption, giving it new life?

Financial performance. How have the firm’s growth, profits, and stock performance compared to a relevant benchmark (NASDAQ for a tech company, for example, or DAX Index for a German firm) during the transformation period?

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12 Habits of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs (entrepreneur.com)

The most important factor determining success or failure is how much value you get from what you do every day.


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There are several small, but key commitments, effective entrepreneurs practice in their daily routine which help them to stay a cut above the rest. When it comes to success, these types recognize it is often the smaller disciplines which catapult them far beyond others who may be smarter, more talented or who have access to more resources which would seemingly give them the advantage. Highly effective entrepreneurs are scrappy, and succeed beyond their peers and colleagues because they commit to the simple things, which provide them the grit and resilience to push ahead.

1. They hydrate.

To function well, effective entrepreneurs start their day hydrated. Once they’ve had their coffee or tea, they start pushing the water. They are aware that staying hydrated keeps their memory sharp, their mood stable, and their motivation intact. Of course, highly effective entrepreneurs also give themselves permission to indulge in ending their day with an adult beverage to take the edge off, but they are mindful to do this with a balance. They would never choose to start their next day hung over. They start their next day hydrated from the previous one.

2. They exercise.

There is a misconception that successful people have the freedom to exercise whenever they want; however, this is not true for the exceptionally busy. With all the different variables at hand during a workweek it can be near to impossible to workout at the same time, or even in the same location each day. What is important, is not when or where they exercise, or even how long for that matter, but just that they do it. They exercise because exercise has proven to increase the neuroplasticity of the brain; making them smarter and more able to exist on the cutting edge of intelligence. Aside from the undeniable stress and health benefits, they will not sacrifice an opportunity to produce growth in their brain’s ability to stay sharp.

Related: 25 Best Habits to Have in Life

3. They get ready for the day.

Effective entrepreneurs are always ready for their day. No matter how busy they are, they accept that to be totally on-point they must be prepared and organized. The more prepared they are, the more confident, relaxed and efficiently they operate. They prepare lists, goals, calls, meetings, calendars, what they’re going to eat, sleep, what clothes they will wear, travel itineraries, time for exercise, family and friends. They make sure to start each day ahead of the game, rather than consistently behind the 8 ball.

4. They involve others.

Many entrepreneurs feel because they are on their own journey, they shouldn’t enlist the help of others. However, highly effective entrepreneurs embrace that success is never a one-man job. The more people they have on their team believing in their mission, the more innovative and successful they become. No one can succeed in a cocoon. They let go of their fears, guilt’s and doubts around their personal responsibility. They know their limits, and value the need to involve others to help complete them as person to get to the top. Success is the most fulling when it’s a shared experience.

5. They take time for themselves.

To be successful it takes a tremendous amount of grit and sacrifice. Effective entrepreneurs need time for themselves to recharge. They carve time in their daily schedules to make this happen, and view these meeting with alone with themselves as just as important as the meetings they have with others. They understand that to be truly be present to others, they must first nurture the connection they have with themselves. This time serves to keep them proactive in their mindset, rather than reactive.

Related: The 7 Financial Habits of the Most Successful Small Business Owners

6. They join groups outside of work.

There is a life outside of the office and effective entrepreneurs embrace this. They involve themselves in all kinds of groups that fit their tastes, whether it be CrossFit, yoga, church, charity, travel, or other extracurricular fun. These groups get them out of “business mode” into a more relaxed state where they can enjoy the fruits of their hard work. It also connects them with people who have nothing to do with business, which is enriching to their life. Involvement in these groups gives them a healthier work/life balance.

7. They ignore the naysayers.

Successful entrepreneurs have likely lost more relationships than they have gained. Why? The path narrows as they get to the top. The more successful they become the more people shoot arrows of jealousy and naysaying in their direction. They do not give them attention. If Matt Damon can drop out of Harvard, write a movie, have Robin Williams star in it, and win an Oscar then it’s possible for any of us to achieve the dreams we set out to achieve. The great successes work hard, ignore the jealous chatter, cruel stabs and have the grit to not stop until they make it to the top.

8. They don’t negotiate with their time for self-care.

Effective entrepreneurs value time as their most precious commodity. They understand they must maintain their much-needed quiet time to avoid burnout. For this reason, they pre-plan vacation time, take days off when sick or otherwise necessary. Because they take the breaks to enjoy their lives, they are actually more successful than the entrepreneur who works non-stop, lives on caffeine, nicotine and fast food in order to not miss work. Time for self-care is sacred in an effective entrepreneur’s world.

9. They embrace the chaos.

Any journey towards success will have chaos as a fundamental part of the process. Mistakes will be made, they will need to fire people, they will get screwed over, lose money and have to recover; hence, there will be frustration and failure. To be effective, they know they cannot shy away from the chaos or cower under its power. Rather, they see chaos as something they must study, face and conquer. Every run-in with chaos, successfully handled, is one step further along the path to living their dream.

Related: 10 Habits That Help You Learn Twice as Fast

10. They seek support of like-minded people.

Effective entrepreneurs view themselves as ‘learners.’ It’s no easy task working to be the best at what they do; however, the healthy medicine they need is the support they get from like-minded and similarly driven others. Effective entrepreneurs do not see and end-date to their success, so to continue learning and growing, it is crucial to have successful others to mentor, support and teach them. It is also important for them to play this role for others. They believe wholeheartedly the more help, support and encouragement they give and receive, the more enjoyable their journey to success will be.

11. They have supplies of motivation and information on hand.

Successful entrepreneurs are never without motivational quotes, books, audiobooks, or seminars on hand at all times. They are consistently tracking their written goals and organizing their next moves. They have copious notes on their computers, on paper and contacts in their rolodex. If they have questions, they have the resources at their fingertips necessary to get the answers they need.

12. They don’t take themselves too seriously.

Effective entrepreneurs are well aware that not everything is going to go their way, and it is for this reason they train themselves to keep a lighthearted attitude. Innovative solutions cannot come to a rigid and controlling thinker. They recognize how important it is to be able to laugh at themselves. They have learned the more open they are to what is in front of them, the clearer they see where they have control and where they don’t. This openness helps them come up with the solutions they need and to also know when it is time to stop controlling and let something go.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/294080?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email


11 Ways Successful People Think Differently Than You (entrepreneur.com)


There are those people who seem to have no problem achieving goals but it’s not because they have a higher IQ or more time than you. It’s because they think and act differently. Here are 11 mental habits of successful people that you can apply in your life.

1. They’re specific.

Successful people master the art of goal-setting by being as specific as possible. Instead of making broad statements like “I want to get more sleep” or “I need to lose weight,” they will set goals like “I’m going to be in bed by 9:30 on weeknights starting tonight” or “I’m going to lose 10 pounds by eating salads for lunch and walking after dinner.”

They apply that specificity to business with statements like “I’m going to get five new clients this week by calling five prospects every day.”

Specifying the goal makes it easier to determine the actionable steps required to make your goal a reality. When you have pinpointed exactly what you want to achieve you’re more motivated to follow through.

2. They think in minutes when scheduling.

There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Successful people know this and waste as few minutes every day as humanly possible. They realize that they can never reclaim even one minute wasted on meaningless tasks and activities.

Mark Zuckerberg got around this by wearing the same outfit pretty much everyday for years. He was teased but Zuck’s signature grey t-shirt has saved him a ton of time every morning. Instead of wasting time going through his wardrobe, his decision was automatic so he could focus on more important things.

Elon Musk creates a regimented schedule by breaking his calendar into five-minute slots. Here are a few ways to track your time better.

3. They know it’s the team that wins.

Michael Jordan is hands-down among the greatest basketball players of all-time, but playing with the likes of Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman throughout his career made Jordan the legend he is today. As his former coach Phil Jackson said, “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”

Successful people seek people they can collaborate with, as well as those who complement their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve worked hard on having the best team surround me. This encourages and motivates me to become 10x better. If you want to become the best programmer, join that community. If you want to become the best freelancer, surround yourself with other freelancers.

4. They learn continuously.

Successful people make the time to read, attend classes, take workshops and watch worthwhile webinars. They know enhancing their current skills and developing new ones is essential.

If Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey can find the time to read, then so can you. Read in a book before you go to bed or listen to a podcast during your daily commute. You can pick a book or podcast to listen to when you exercise, or choose to attend an online lecture during your lunch-break.

As Gates explains about reading, “It is one of the chief ways that I learn, and has been since I was a kid. These days, I also get to visit interesting places, meet with scientists and watch a lot of lectures online. But reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”

5. They grow their EI.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify your emotions, as well as those of people around you. It assists in problem solving and inspiring others. Even if you weren’t born with a high emotional intelligence, successful people look for ways to strengthen it by:

  • Not being a perfectionist.
  • Knowing how to balance work and play.
  • Embracing change.
  • Eliminating distractions.
  • Being empathetic.
  • Knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Being self-motivated.
  • Focusing on the positive.
  • Setting boundaries.

6. They’re realistic optimists.

Positive thinking is crucial to your willingness to set challenging goals but successful people never underestimate how difficult it will be to reach those goals. Research has found realistic optimists tend to be happier and have better control of themselves and their emotions than those who are unrealistic optimists.

“Every time they face an issue or a challenge or a problem, they won’t say, ‘I have no choice and this is the only thing I can do.’ They will be creative, they will have a plan A, plan B and plan C,” said Sophia Chou, an organizational psychology researcher at National Taiwan University.

7. They don’t self-sabotage.

Humans by nature are inconsistent. That’s why you can’t trust your future self to follow through on the plans you make today.

Let’s say you plan to begin eating a salad every day for lunch. You buy all the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers you need but you forgot you have a lunch meeting scheduled, and the next day you skip lunch because you’re swamped. There is a good chance you won’t actually eat that salad everyday and most of those ingredients will rot before you eat them.

Before making any decisions about goals, successful individuals think of what might sabotage their effort and how to work around it. A consistent schedule and sticking to it helps you follow through.

8. They meditate.

“The results have been awesome. Better sleep. Improved relationships with spouses, children, coworkers. Some people who once suffered migraines don’t anymore. Greater productivity and creativity all around,” said Oprah Winfrey on meditation.

No wonder Oprah, and other successful people like Russell Simmons, have made meditation a priority. There is no shortage of meditation apps to help you get started on meditating daily. You can have big benefits for just five or 10 minutes of your day.

9. They take care of their health.

A healthy body and mind are cornerstones of success. Regular exercise and a healthy diet decrease stress, relieve anxiety, help you sleep, boost your immune system, increase your productivity and improve your mental state.

Finding time to take care of yourself is challenging when you have a hectic lifestyle or do a lot of traveling. Small things like investing in a standing desk, taking a walk during your lunch break or doing simple exercises in your office are all good ways to start an exercise habit. Eating in moderation and skipping cheap, fatty fast foods will take you a long way toward eating a better-balanced diet.

10. They carry notebooks.

Richard Branson, Drew Hansen, J.K. Rowling, Eminem and Jack Dorsey keep journals to write down their thoughts, track their progress, set goals and reflect on the lessons of past mistakes.

As Dorsey said, “Find a simple way way to track your progress. You really get to see how you have grown, how your business has grown and how your own leadership has grown.”

11. They know what they value in life.

While successful people are known for their hard work, they also realize that they need time to unwind and recharge. After all, they’re only human. They know there’s more to life than just work. Successful people make it a point to enjoy their lives.

Whether that’s unplugging for the weekend so that you can go away with their spouse, getting home for dinner every night, volunteering, reading, exercising or working on a hobby, they always allocate some of that 1,440 minutes in a day to something that they value.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293944?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email