~ John F. Kennedy, 16th United States President
We are living in an age where the disparity between what you can imagine and what you can achieve has never been less significant. Creating a game-changing future, for yourself and your organization, is a life altering, transformational experience. To get out of the proverbial box, a leader must think in ways s/he has never thought before, and must significantly change who s/he is in order to designate where the organization will go. A Global Extreme Leader must understand one key concept: The Impossible Is Possible.
An enormous challenge to be sure, however by leveraging a few key principles, it is achievable:
1) Understand and leverage your potential – be open to personal transformation. Until you, as a leader, are prepared to analytically assess your strengths and weaknesses and create an action plan to close any gaps, you will not be able to scale to transform the organization (or your domain). You must a) determine what is missing, that if provided, would make all the difference, and b) determine what, if employed, can be leveraged to make all the difference. Most people are not willing to do the work of radically exposing themselves, to become an Extreme Global Leader that creates a game-changing future. The bottom-line is constant – in order to transform an organization (or your domain within it), you must first be willing to transform yourself.
2) Work backward from your imagination, rather than forward from your past. The old adage, “What got you here, will not get you there” is an absolute truth. A significant indicator of Extreme Global Leadership is continual learning and growth beyond current capacity. We can learn from history, however, history is unlikely to take you to a place where you surpass the competition and make the impossible possible. Look forward – far into the future – and start from what you dare to dream or imagine. Look to a place where human potential is unleashed, where you realize a future beyond what your industry, company, customers, and partners can see…establish a game-changing future based on the difference that you and your organization would passionately like to make – a difference that will have earth-shattering consequences in your domain. Once you are secure in your game-changing future, create the steps backward from your imagination to make the vision a reality – create a gameplan. It is critical to realize that a game-changing future does not happen as a result of enthusiastic dreamers with more talk than action. It comes about as a result of passionate global leaders willing to take a stand for an impossible dream and the courage to set talented people in motion to make radical innovation happen.
Guy Laliberté, Creator and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, is a current day Extreme Leader who created a game-changing future. He rethought the circus, removing the animal acts and focusing on the adult audience. As a result, he was able to create a new and innovative version of the “circus” that provides an unforgettable entertainment experience for people worldwide. He has produced more revenue in ten years than Barnum and Bailey has in the last 100 years. Now that is a game-changing future!
3) Remember that whatever you can imagine, you can accomplish. Ask yourself some revealing questions in your quest for a game-changing future:
A. Knowing your customers, and understanding the need for continuous change:
- What is an enormous strategic opportunity?
- What would change your business and their business forever?
- What is missing that, if provided, would truly make a difference?
B. What is missing in your industry that would truly revolutionize the products/services/processes/etc.? (Think Apple, Microsoft, Facebook…)
C. What will take your company/domain from status quo to breakthrough?
D. What are you so passionate about that you would be willing to transform not only your company, but yourself?
Above all, know that achieving a game-changing future is far beyond the realm of stretch goals and general improvement programs. Creating a game-changing future is not just about self-satisfaction and self-empowerment – it is about inspiring and empowering others to also be everything they can be – it is all about unleashing human potential.