If you want the big bucks you must be a leader. If you want to establish yourself or your company as the most Elite in your industry, you must be a leader. If you want success in anything you must be a leader.
These statements may seem unnecessarily obvious, but the problem of today is that most people never understand how critical it is to ensure that you are the leader at whatever you do, and to remain a leader from then on in by outperforming everyone else.
So what mindset, behavior, and attitude are necessary to become this Alpha-leader? Broken down into the ten most important attributes, here is the list of what you need to embody now to take yourself to greatness.
1. Challenge the status quo.
The often-heard saying, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” is one of the dumbest things ever said in business. Basically, this statement is preaching against innovation. Another way of saying this is: “only adapt and improve if faced with destruction”. Expunge this attitude from your brain. As an entrepreneur, you must always be innovating.
When you do, the greatest solutions will arise, which distinguishes you from the rest. Disrupting the status quo with something better, more efficient, and proficient – in any industry from commercial real estate brokerage to rocket science – will cause your competitors to react just to keep up and will bring you more customers and clients. Embrace innovation!
2. Forget yesterday's champion.
Every product and strategy has a life span--don't hang onto your Big Idea until it's on life support. Always be passionate about what you do, but never get attached to a product or way of doing business. In the fast-paced global business world of today, what is “in” one day is “out” the next. You must always on top of this.
One way to do this is by having trusted customers give you feedback on what your business is doing well and what needs to be improved. Then, act on their suggestions. Visit and read about competitors and successful businesses in other sectors to see how they're growing and changing and get ideas that you can apply to your own products and services.
3. Keep taking risks.
It goes without saying that the “no risk, no reward” philosophy does and always will apply to all facets of business. When you play the game conservatively, you will be rewarded conservatively as well. That is not how Elite men work.
When you put yourself out there and go for the grand prize every single day of your life – that’s risking it – and you will undoubtedly lose sometimes… but your reward will be paramount. You can’t reach a certain level of success without engaging in what others would find too risky.
One way to embrace a risk-taking attitude is by implementing a 'Fail cheap, fail quick,' system. In doing such, every day you are risking something yet the consequences are small. By doing so, you can find what works and what doesn’t quicker than everyone else out there, which is what you need to stay ahead.
4. Put your networking skills to work.
Find people you can learn from"
Whether it be mentor or just someone who can teach you a thing or two about your business, its better to learn from someone else’s mistakes than having to learn them on your own.
As an Elite man, you are always expanding your network, making more and more connections every day. But make sure you actually build a relationship with these people and aren’t just adding them on LinkedIn. Even those that seem like they may not bring anything to the table right now.
What you may not need from them today, you may need tomorrow."
Also, make an effort to get out of your comfort zone and network at events or in places where the people are not necessarily “your type” or maybe just in a different industry. By doing so, your network will trump anyone elses.
5. Don't be swayed by naysayers.
By definition “successful” and “elite” refer to the top tier of the world - the 1% - an exclusive, behind-the-curtain establishment that 99% of the world is never exposed to. So, while on your path to success, don’t let the shit that others say or do bother you. They will hate, criticize, and not be able to understand why you are doing what you are doing and that’s because they will never taste true success.
These haters don’t know what it takes to get there, because if they did they would be doing it. Don’t let their take on things slow you down or poison your energy. But, feel free to take mental notes of these people so that you can laugh at them a couple years from now when they’re still in the same spot in life as they are now.
6. Don't be a control freak.
Entrepreneurs of any kind often have a tough time delegating important responsibilities. As an Elite man, you feel like you can and should do everything. Although this is a good trait, you must learn that you are only as strong as the weakest link on your chain.
The consequence is simple: Delegate or die. Hire smart, creative people and give them specific areas of responsibility. Resist the urge to micromanage--if the task or project was done well, let it stand even if it wasn't done "your way." New approaches might teach you a thing or two.
7. Hire your weaknesses.
Remember as an entrepreneur, you're probably a big-picture person and the details aren't as important, but they will be and it'll come back to haunt you. Again, since you may feel like you want to take on everything, take the time to narrow down what you are not the best at.
Then, hire people who are the best in that field.
If you're not good at something, make sure you have someone beside you that is, as you grow."
Also, ensure the people you are bringing on board are just as ambitious as you are and have an energy that fits yours.
8. Don't be afraid to share your idea.
The days of guarding and protecting your big idea like a mama bear over her cubs are gone. 2012 is a time of collaboration and free information. When you share your idea, you will attract people that can help you execute it. No matter where you are, there's always the opportunity where they may not be able to help you, but somebody else will and you must take advantage of that. Remember, no idea is too ambitious.
9. Check your ego at the door.
When an employee contradicts you or presents different ideas or solutions, listen and praise them for speaking their minds. Make it clear that no one is punished for ideas, whether they work out or not. Give credit, rewards, and recognition to employees who come up with new ideas.
If you act like you are always the smartest in the room (whether its true or not), then this positive system cannot be put in place. But if you check your ego at the door, you will create a productive and open environment, and -in turn- you will breed success.
A financial incentive and public praise within the company can help them share in the glory of good solutions and inspire others to come forward. It's essential to meet with each employee one time, tell them their ideas are valued and invite them to offer suggestions to the company's management.
10. Always be Hungry
The world is not enough. Never get comfortable or complacent… that will be the death of you. Your hunger for that rare success is what separates you from everyone else. It is what motivates you to do great things, work harder and smarter than your competition, and to never stop wanting more. In fact, the degree of hunger may be the one single distinguishing fact that separates the true Alpha-leaders from the rest. Never lose it, no matter where you are at in life.