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Leaders. Get your head in the clouds

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, April 17, 2016

The big picture doesn't cut it any more. It's the friggin HUGE picture that matters now.

Remember that famous analogy of the rocks, pebbles and sand that Dr Stephen Covey made famous? (If you've been living under a rock - pun intended - thencheck out this video from FranklinCovey). Well in the 90's and early 2000's that was a great way to plan, execute and manage your time.

But today in 2016 it's simply not going to cut it.

As suggested by Gary Vaynerchuk, today you need to act more like a futurist and have your head in the clouds and far ahead on the horizon as well as still keep your feet in the sand (Gary says the dirt but I prefer the beach) at the granular level.

Today the companies and leaders who succeed have learned to reach up high and tap down low, to think 30 years ahead and to execute and innovate in the now. Think like Apple and Tesla.  

Think about your own industry for a moment. Where do you see it heading in 30 years time? Will it still exist? Will it have been replaced by robots and artificial intelligence? What technology will be needed to support the people driving change?

And what can you do about that now? How can you begin to be more like sand in the surf, being flexible and nimble, light and able to shift and move with the current. Or are you still focused on the rocks, stuck, stagnant and unable to adapt and adopt? Is there a massive ship about to crash into your rock and because you weren't checking the view from the lighthouse in the clouds, and now you're unable to adjust course and move your business left or right, up or down?

VISION is worthless without EXECUTION

and 

EXECUTION is pointless without VISION.

You not only have to know your craft intimately (your sand) but also understand where your business and industry is heading (your clouds). If you stick with the rocks you'll be average and get average results. You have to start reaching up and tapping down rather than spreading out. Gone are the industrial age days of growth for growth sake. Bigger larger plant sizes, more staff, bigger contracts, even when the margins were getting smaller and smaller and profits less and less we saw big companies still aiming for lateral growth, taking up space, wasting energy on their middle aged spread.

Tomorrow's successful businesses will be vastly different they'll be grounded, long, lean and wiry, reaching, reaching, reaching for the clouds. They'l be architects and masons. Grounded yet unsettled. Think Uber, Air BNB and Alibaba.

Those companies stuck in the middle bland land will get lost in the sea of sameness, stuck with massive overheads, large volumes of wasted stock, with buildings, land and machinery of little worth. They'll have large footprints that take up a lot of space and have massive environmental impacts. They'll play it safe when safe is no longer a valid strategy.

If you're thinking 1-3 years in the future, you're leaving yourself and your company vulnerable and exposed. If you're spending three days at a leadership retreat planning your three year strategic plan and then reporting blindly for the next three years against that plan then you're essentially dead in the water. 

You need to forget the big picture and aim for the HUGE picture. You need to think where do we need to be in 2050 not in 2017. All the best leaders and companies now are bringing in futurists to consider 10, 20, 30 years into the future and then executing in three day, three week and three monthly cycles. 

Remember just five short years ago Netflix weren't streaming movies, and Snapchat and Instagram didn't exist. Where did they come from? The clouds.

You can't go for incremental improvement any more, you need to evolve. Start losing yourself in the clouds and then getting gritty in the sand. That way you're more likely to create something remarkable, something epic that will change the game.

Leaders you have to be the brains but you have to get your hands dirty too. Stop stressing so much about the dumb little sh*% and start playing the bigger game. Most of our daily grind is just a result of not having clarity about the huge picture 30 years out. Once you have that kind of huge clarity, everything falls into perspective.

Build an epic vision and a huge why, solve a future global problem, then build and create all the time listening to the market as you course correct, adjust and improvise every day. Oh yeah and remember to keep your eye on the clouds!

If you want to read more about this topic see my recent presentation for the April meetings of Higher Power Leaders Network here on Slideshare.


Brendan Burchard Masterclass demonstrates How to Identify, Package, Market and Drive Your Expertise

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, June 08, 2014

My favourite nuggets of wisdom from the day

Last week I attended the event How to Identify, Package, Market and Drive Your Expertise Master Class in Sydney at Luna Park in the Big Top and after posting this photo on Facebook:

I had several friends and clients send me messages asking how it was, who the speakers were and what did I learn.

Always keen for an opportunity to sharpen the saw, and I had attended this event in particular to see Brendan Burchard in person after observing his internet success. I came away from the event with my wallet intact (no I didn’t fall for any of the limited number of seats act now sales pitches) but my notebook full. Surprisingly for a pitch-fest style event (we all gotta eat) I found that I did have some really great takeaways and nuggets of wisdom in my notepad from the day.

Below I've included a quick takeaway from each of the speakers on the day. (For my full seven pages of notes leave your name and email below and I'll happily send you a full copy of my notes.)

Speaker 1 – Scott Harris from Australia - Developing the Psychology behind Your Success

Scott suggested you need to:

1 - Become an expert in your life - really understand yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, habits and beliefs
2 - Invite some experts into your life - surround yourself with smart people who have been there before so you don't have to recreate the wheel and can replicate their systems.

Speaker 2 - KERWIN RAE from Australia  - The 5 Pillars of a fast growth Expert empire
Keys to Getting the Basics Down
  • Simplify
  • Streamline (know the things that don’t matter)
  • Automate
  • Immerse

Speaker 3 - ANDY HARRINGTON [UK] - Promoting Yourself as the Authority in Your Subject

Five Areas to be an extraordinary speaker:
  • IMPACT – break people’s pattern en masse.
  • INFORM – a message that informs people without overwhelming them.  
  • INSPIRE – more people emotionally by changing their state.
  • INFLUENCE – move them into action.
  • INCOME – too many poor coaches and consultants and authors.

Speaker 4 - BRENDON BURCHARD [USA] - Positioning yourself as an Expert on any topic area
  • “Experts are always students first.” Brendan Burchard.  If you’re waiting for someone to tell you, you’re a divine being, well here it is “you’re good to go.”.
  • You don’t have energy or confidence, you generate it.
  • It’s about adult learning – you just have to apply the science to it.
  • You can teach any topic to anyone whenever you decide to.
  • You just need to believe and decide to start.
Thanks to a post a US friend Jennifer Bourn shared recently from the Copyblogger’s Authority Intensive 2014 that I found really interesting, I figured I would get my fabulous assistant Claire to type up my notes of the best bits, the quotables, and the action items — so you can benefit from the most notable content shared too.
To access my full simply click on this link and leave your full name and email. Enjoy! 

I hope this post and my full notes helped you provide you with some of the best bits without the pitch fest parts in between!

How about you? Did you attend the event in the Big Top? What did you think? Did one of the nuggets of wisdom listed above speak to you or catch your attention? Or did you think it was all just too much hype and sell, sell, sell at the back of the room? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


How To Breed Unique Ideas Into Your Business

Alexandria Joy - Monday, November 18, 2013

As a fun activity at our live UQ Power workshops, we ask people to change three things about their appearance. Every time we do this 100% of participants take away parts of what they’re wearing or simply re-arrange their accessories. Isn’t this interesting?

We behave the same way when it comes to innovating and creating within business. Think back to a time when you were on a mission to improve your operations or create a new service or product. Did you look within areas of your own business – how you operate, what you do, where you can improve? These are all great things to do, but you may be limiting your creative thought processes by “looking within”.

Get Inspired By Fields Outside Of Your Business

At our workshops, once we highlight the fact that everyone “looked within”, we ask them again to change their appearance. This time around, we see people picking up things from around the room (even a chair!) and wearing them Lady GaGa style.

How can you do the same within your business?

Do some online research, take note of what other industries are doing, talk to a colleague in another field. What are they doing successfully? How can you tailor that suit your business?

Innovation Means Creation

Another activity we get participants to do at our workshops (if the group consists of a bunch of people from a range of industries), is to chat to the person sitting next to them about how they could “partner”. No matter how polar opposite some of the pairs may seem, there are always amazing new business ideas that come to light.

The best thing about innovating this way is that the ideas are often completely – unique.

Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere

Watch a movie, take your morning walk via a different route, view some random Youtube videos – you never know where your next big idea will come from. Our Founder and CEO, Heidi Alexandra Pollard loves to watch this unique video when she wants to get her creative juices flowing.

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