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Your Next Steps for Business Growth

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 25, 2023 at 10:15 am / In: Uncategorized

Your Next Steps for Business Growth

Growing your business is no small feat. It takes dedication, perseverance, and an understanding of the steps you need to take in order to increase revenue and reach new heights. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to expand or a professional seeking more success, Investment Capital Growth shares steps that can help you get there.

Explore Undiscovered Markets

The next step is expanding into new markets that offer promising prospects for your products or services. This could mean reaching out globally or targeting local areas where demand is higher than supply, whichever works best for you. Doing market research before making any moves will help you make smart decisions about where best to focus your efforts going forward.

Develop Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partnerships can provide numerous advantages for a business, from expanding the reach of products and services to accessing unique resources. Such alliances can also create new contacts, boost brand recognition, and diversify revenue streams. By taking advantage of these opportunities and finding the right partner or partners, businesses can set themselves up for long-term success.

Purchase Other Companies

Acquiring other businesses can be an excellent strategy for growth if the acquisition is well-planned and carefully executed. Merging two businesses with complementary goods or services can result in better customer experience, access to new technologies, and a wider customer base. In addition, acquisitions enable companies to enter new markets more quickly and effectively than they otherwise could.

Improve Business Processes  

Business Process Management (BPM) can help you automate and streamline tedious processes. This is done by analyzing interactions between employees, systems, and data. By optimizing how your business works, you can increase efficiency and reduce labor costs. Researching and start implementing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning that allows for additional Business Intelligence and the ability to add automation to your ERP system. Make sure to monitor the effectiveness of your BPM framework and act on any monitoring info to make improvements accordingly.

Transform Your Business into a Profitable Exit    

I’ve co-founded the Merger and Acquisition Hyper Accelerator Program. Learn more about preparing to sell your business and get top dollar, and ensure you’re not leaving millions of dollars on the table. Learn more and let’s talk:  http://bit.ly/3FZIvM3

Upskill With a Business Degree

Going back to school can be a great way to sharpen your business skills. A business degree program can help you develop essential knowledge in accounting, business, communications, and management. Consider enrolling in an Executive MBA program, pursuing an online degree is convenient and allows you to continue working while also keeping up with your studies. Go here to learn more about your online schooling options.

Participate in Business Events   

It goes without saying that networking events are essential for growing any kind of business. Whether it’s local meetups or industry conferences, attending such events will allow you to make valuable connections. You’ll meet professionals who can provide advice on how best to move forward with growing your venture from a point of strength.

Stand Out

To move your business to the next level of success, you’ll need to have a strategy and plan in place that is backed by research. This could mean going back to school to gain more knowledge on business, implementing business process management solutions, looking into better organizational structures, attending conferences and trade shows, and hiring a mentor to work with you. Depending on what works best for your particular situation, taking these proactive steps will place you in a position to realize successful growth.

Looking for more ways to grow your business? Look to ICG Consulting for mentoring opportunities. Please reserve time to talk about your ‘Vision of Success’ and a few obstacles you see.  

Contributor: Cliff Locks, CEO | COO | Executive Strategy Consultant and Coach | Board of Directors | Governance | Private Equity Podcast Host | Reverse Logistics | Supply Chain | Advisory Board | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | Metaverse | AI | Thoughtful ESG & DEI Email me: at [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

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I’ve created a wonderful opportunity for you to obtain Executive Coaching through an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. The Executive Coaching program accepts clients throughout the World and is delivered via Zoom. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Learn more at https://millionairelife.services

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Restructurings Are Painful Including Optimizing People Costs

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 4, 2023 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Restructurings Are Painful Including Optimizing People Costs

A financial giant combining business units. A major pharmaceutical firm reshuffling divisions after a spinoff. A food producer scaled back after the spike in sales started fading. A big software company trimming headcount after a years-long hiring spree.

Those four high-profile announcements, all within the past week, could spell a larger wave of reorganizations, experts say. Leaders are aiming to get their organizations leaner, more accountable, and more efficient in front of a recession, which many economists believe will arrive within 12 months.

But in many cases, new changes are coming on the backs of massive pandemic-inspired shakeups, some of which haven’t been fully completed. Reorganizations are supposed to drive positive change, but if leaders aren’t careful, employees could resist a new wave of them. “It’s a nightmare scenario. When you do it too frequently you inoculate yourself to change,” says Nathan Blain, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and global lead for the firm’s Optimizing People Costs business. Indeed, employees’ resistance to change is a leading factor in why so many change transformations fail.

Even absent a softening economy, organizations often will trim payrolls near the end of the year. “Leaders often want to start fresh on January 1st,” says Jennifer Pitts, a Korn Ferry senior principal in the firm’s Merger & Acquisitions and Private Equity practice.

But this year there’s an added urgency to make changes. The US economy has treaded water for the past six months, and there’s a growing consensus that the Federal Reserve’s campaign of raising interest rates to tame inflation will throw the worldwide economy into a recession. “You don’t want to be the last person to throttle back,” Blain says.

Still, organizations can run into trouble with restructurings. Experts recommend not doing a “spreadsheet exercise,” or telling every department to cut costs by a flat amount. That tactic does not take into account divisions that are growing rapidly which could use extra investment, and it could overvalue other areas that are unproductive.

It’s also critical to communicate what’s changing and why. It’s particularly essential this time around, experts say, because, on the surface, companies are more profitable than ever. The US publicly traded firms had an average profit margin of 15.5% in the second quarter of 2022, the highest level in 72 years.

Experts say it’s important to immediately and clearly articulate the big picture – why change is important now and how it will positively affect the organization long-term. Then, keep employees informed with regular communication.

Finally, if layoffs are to happen, they should be done quickly and decisively. Oftentimes companies let the process linger for many weeks or even months, which can sap morale. Organizations also should treat employees empathetically, offering services big (such as outplacement help or training support) and small (letting people say they are still employed during job searches). “People talk about how they were treated on the way out,” Pitts says.

Inevitably, bad times will pass, and companies may want to try to rehire people they once let go. A bad experience going out the door could sour ex-employees on the organization forever.

Contributor: Nathan Blain, Senior Client Partner, and Jennifer Pitts, Senior Principal, at Korn Ferry and edits by Cliff Locks, CEO | COO | Executive Strategy Consultant and Coach | Board of Directors | Governance | Private Equity Podcast Host | Reverse Logistics | Supply Chain | Advisory Board | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | Metaverse | AI | Thoughtful ESG & DEI Email me: at [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

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I’ve created a wonderful opportunity for you to obtain Executive Coaching through an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. The Executive Coaching program accepts clients throughout the World and is delivered via Zoom. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Learn more at https://millionairelife.services

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Year-End Budgets Are In A State of Flux

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 7, 2022 at 10:10 am / In: Uncategorized

Year-End Budgets Are In A State of Flux

There’s an old adage in management: Don’t hire more people going into an economic downturn.

But that business aphorism is colliding headfirst with another staple of corporate life — spending every cent of the allocated budget before the end of the year. Combine that with the fact that many companies find themselves short of essential staff, and the final few weeks of the year could create some particularly contentious conversations between frontline managers and finance departments. “People is the most difficult spend category to discontinue,” says Nathan Blain, leader of Korn Ferry’s Optimizing People Costs practice.

Indeed, there are numerous companies that are short of workers, with about 10.7 million open roles in the US. And for the moment, most companies have the budgeted funds to pay for new recruits, since most expanded budgets this year are based on the robust financial performance of 2021. Moreover, despite some high-profile headlines about losses, corporate profitability is near a 70-year high.

However, recent surveys indicate that an overwhelming majority of corporate leaders expect a recession in the next 12 months. The accumulated impacts of inflation, the war in eastern Europe, and the continued effects of COVID-19 in Asia likely will slow the economy worldwide. Tech firms of all sizes have announced hiring freezes, layoffs, or both, and many analysts expect other sectors to follow.

From the C-suite perspective, CEOs and other high-level executives could personally get involved, signing off on every new hire, at least until they believe economic conditions look better. “CFOs should also start communicating with lower-level managers that they should be really cautious on any spending,” Blain says.

Internally, these executives might want to encourage holding back 2022 money for another reason: to have it on hand to deploy if any downturn turns out to be mild. Experts say executives will want to use cash in reserve to make strategic moves that could help the organization pick up market share.

That leaves a few options for managers that find themselves still short of roles. Some are considering going out and using this year’s budget to hire a couple of the highest-skilled people they can find, says Mark Grimshaw, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and member of its Global Sales and Service practice. At the same time, these managers are considering how they would reshape their departments if they had to cut costs next year. “It could be as simple as ‘We might lose our five least-performing salespeople, but we accept that might happen,’” Grimshaw says.

Importantly, these managers should present their plans to the company’s financial officers before they go out and hire anyone. That conversation can help keep the manager’s budget from being taken away at the last minute and can help protect the manager—and their department—in the future. “This creates an advanced dialogue. When it comes to cost-cutting, CFOs remember these conversations,” Grimshaw says.

Using contractors rather than new full-time employees to do critical work is another option. It allows managers to get work completed without signing up the organization to a long-term commitment.

Another option is to rein in non-employment spending for the rest of the year. There’s often the temptation to make down payments on next year’s events, such as big employee off-sites, conferences, or other events, with money left over in this year’s budget. “There are all sorts of things you can spend money on at the end of the year where the efficiency of every dollar spent gets lower and lower,” Blain says.

If you’re going to use the budget on non-hiring areas, make it for additional training or less expensive ways to get face-to-face with key customers. “Do you think you can do all you need to do with who you have now? If you think you can, then all of it becomes rebalancing what you have, training, and redeploying,” Grimshaw says.

Contributor: Nathan Blain, Senior Client Partner, and Mark Grimshaw, Senior Client Partner, Global Sales and Service Practice, at Korn Ferry and edits by Cliff Locks, CEO | COO | Executive Strategy Consultant and Coach | Board of Directors | Governance | Private Equity Podcast Host | Reverse Logistics | Supply Chain | Advisory Board | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | Metaverse | AI | Thoughtful ESG & DEI Email me: at [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

I’ve created a wonderful opportunity for you to obtain Executive Coaching through an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. The Executive Coaching program accepts clients throughout the World and is delivered via Zoom. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Learn more at https://millionairelife.services

Recent Blog Post: Essential Data Analytics Resources for Businesses

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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An Employee’s Guide for Adapting to an AI-dominated Workplace

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 30, 2022 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

An Employee’s Guide for Adapting to an AI-dominated Workplace

Given the current rate of technology development, it’s safe to assume that the workplace will look completely different in the coming 5-10 years. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT will become increasingly ingrained in day-to-day operations, and workers will need to learn new skills and, if needed, pivot to new industries. In this article by Investment Capital Growth, we’ll explore key developments AI will bring to the workplace and its impact on workers across industries.

  1. Hiring will be AI-based

In the coming years, expect your employer and many others to start implementing AI into their hiring process. Hiring employees is a time and cost-intensive process for any business, as reported by Business News Daily, businesses on average spend $4,000 on recruiting one employee.

AI will significantly streamline this process by undertaking the role of scanning applications and creating a list of prospective candidates having a high chance of succeeding in the organization. AI will achieve this by evaluating candidates based on various criteria such as skill level, personality, and organizational fit. While the final decision-making will rest in the hands of the HR manager, inputs provided by AI will benefit both the organization and the candidates.

  1. The collaboration will be easier with BPM

 Currently, all businesses use at least a couple of digital tools for managing day-to-day operations. Additionally, these tools are utilized by teams in silos and often have no interoperability. Not only does this lead to project delays, but makes collaboration a challenge.

As reported by BPMApp, business process management (BPM) software is an AI-powered tool that connects all tools used by the business. As a result, employees can seamlessly share information and do not need to depend on manual intervention to understand what other teams are working on. Additionally, BPM provides the functionality of automating processes such as data entry, report creation, etc., taking the burden of repetitive tasks off employees’ shoulders and providing them more time to work on projects of higher importance.

  1. Remote working will be simpler

A major challenge faced by workers working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic was the lack of work-life balance. This had many reasons, such as – remote working being a new phenomenon for most, the disconnect between employee and employer expectations, and more. But, with the use of AI, remote working can become simpler and more manageable for all employees in the following ways:

  • Reduced Time Investment: As mentioned in the previous point, AI tools can be used to automate tasks, reducing your daily workload. This will help to achieve a good work-life balance.

 On-Demand Assistance: Whether you work in customer service, marketing, finance, or project management, expect to have an AI bot working with you and providing assistance as needed, whether that be to retrieve files from the database, download reports, schedule meetings, and an array of other work-related tasks.

 Furthering your education will be key

While it is expected that employers will spend big on retraining employees, it’s in your best interest to upskill and develop expertise in the field of data science, programming, IoT, or any other emerging technology. The best way to achieve this will be to earn your master’s in data science online. Compared to a traditional degree, you’ll have greater freedom to choose a schedule and continue working while earning a new academic credential.

Additionally, the skills you learn will prove useful to make a seamless transition into an AI-dominated workplace and even open doors to better opportunities in different industries.

AI-powered workplaces are no longer a possibility. Rather, it has already become the norm in many industries. While this is bound to cause disruptions in terms of work processes and employee roles in businesses, as an individual, your go-to plan should be to develop in-demand skills through a degree in IT-related fields and develop expertise regarding up-and-coming technologies such as BPM, CRMs, etc.

I’m an expert in ethics in AI and can guide you as you look to implement Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) Email me: at [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

Contributor: Clifford Locks, CEO | COO | Executive Consultant and Coach | Board of Directors | Governance | Private Equity Podcast Host | Reverse Logistics | Supply Chain | Advisory Board | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | Metaverse | AI | Thoughtful ESG & DEI

I’ve created a wonderful opportunity for you to obtain Executive Coaching through an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. The Executive Coaching program accepts clients throughout the World and is delivered via Zoom. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Learn more at https://millionairelife.services

Recent Blog Post: Essential Data Analytics Resources for Businesses

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Preparing Your Team’s Financial and Personal Life for a Potential Recession

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 16, 2022 at 11:53 am / In: Uncategorized

Preparing Your Team’s Financial and Personal Life for a Potential Recession

Recessions can hit the economy hard, but they can also take a toll on your team member’s personal finances. However, that doesn’t mean that the bottom will fall out of the market. In fact, if you prepare properly, it’s possible to shore up your accounts and come out of a recession in better shape than ever.

Improve Your Budgeting Skills

Economic recessions create ripple effects that can affect wages, opportunities for promotions, and investments. When finances are tight, it’s helpful to tighten up your budget. Start by itemizing your expenses; then, find ways to cut costs. Easy ways to reduce monthly expenses include cooking at home rather than going out to dinner, cutting back on streaming subscriptions, and installing smart thermostats to reduce electricity usage during hot summers and cool winters.

Take your efforts a step further with informed buying decisions. Eliminate impulse buys by reading customer reviews and ratings online to ensure that you’re making a smart investment. That way, you can rest assured that each product is made to last.

Upgrade Your Homeowner’s Insurance and Home Warranty

In a tough economic climate, unexpected expenses can wreak havoc on your finances. Make sure you’re covered by upgrading to a homeowner’s insurance policy with a low deductible and ample coverage. The premiums might be higher, but you’re less likely to be stuck with hefty repair bills.

Alternatively, consider a home warranty. While homeowner’s insurance covers structural damage and property loss, warranties cover your home’s systems and major appliances. But is a warranty worth the price? If your water heater, furnace, stove, plumbing, or electrical system is getting old, a warranty can help you cover the cost of a replacement. Investigate any active warranties first to see if the cost is justified. If you’re not sure about major systems, check out the last inspection report on your house to look for notes about damage, age, or failure.

Consider Refinancing Your Home

When was the last time you evaluated your mortgage? If you’re in a better financial position than when you applied, you may be able to work with a lender in the US or elsewhere in your country to refinance your mortgage at a lower interest rate. Depending on the remaining balance, a new mortgage can also reduce your monthly payments and cut the price of mortgage insurance. This creates a buffer to help you offset the effects of a recession — and when the economy rebounds, you’ll be in a better position.

Cope With Financial Stress

Financial worries can create a significant amount of anxiety for your team members. Make sure they take care of their mental health by finding ways to cope with financial stress:

  • Relieve tension. Work out regularly to ease tight muscles and release stress.
  • Talk about it. Discuss your worries with trusted people; this brings perspective and prevents negative thoughts from festering.
  • Avoid comfort shopping. Buying little treats can feel good at the moment, but it only exacerbates the problem.

When you’re intentional about stress relief from the beginning, it’s easier to stave off depression.

Thriving in a Tough Economy

If you’re concerned about the possibility of an economic recession, now is a great time to prepare a conversation with your team to go over your business and personal finances to weather the storm. For ways to help your business thrive in tough times, too, contact me Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

Contributor: Clifford Locks, CEO | COO | Executive Consultant and Coach | Board of Directors | Governance | Private Equity Podcast Host | Reverse Logistics | Supply Chain | Advisory Board | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | Metaverse | AI | Thoughtful ESG & DEI

I’ve created a wonderful opportunity for you to obtain Executive Coaching through an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. The Executive Coaching program accepts clients throughout the World and is delivered via Zoom. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Learn more at https://millionairelife.services

Recent Blog Post: Discover the Ideal Compensation for your Company’s Team

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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The Essence of Leadership is Enhancing the Success of Our Team Members

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 9, 2022 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

The Essence of Leadership is Enhancing the Success of Our Team Members

Let’s start with a few leadership quotes:

“Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths.” — John Zenger

“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.” — Brian Tracy (Note: Brian Tracy is one of my mentors)

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.” — General Colin Powell

“The supreme quality of leadership is integrity.” — Dwight Eisenhower

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” — Steve Jobs

We’ve all had those moments of doubt when someone stepped in … and believed. One of the most memorable for me was the first time I got caught in an ocean riptide. I was young, and my initial instinct was to swim to shore, but I never got anywhere. Instead, I sank lower and lower.

Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, an older teenager popped up beside me. “You need to swim the other way!” he yelled. “Come on, follow me!” Swimming side by side, we crossed the current and finally got to shore.

I fell to my knees on the beach, completely spent and deeply grateful. It wasn’t just what the other swimmer said, it was what he did—after all, words motivate, but actions inspire.

And that’s the essence of leadership: inspiring others to believe—and enabling that belief to become reality.

When others are drowning in doubt, that’s when we need to step up—and believe for them. Because here’s the thing: believing in someone is an expression of confidence but believing for someone is a purposeful action.

Whether we want to admit it or not, doubts surface all the time and for everyone, including leaders. And that’s OK. When others feel discouraged or disappointed, our willingness to believe in them changes everything. Fear turns into confidence, ambivalence into motivation, and despair into joy.

The fact is the leader’s job is always to deliver belief. How they do that depends on leadership style, which is a function of a leader’s personal characteristics, the styles used by others, and an organization’s espoused values. Our firm’s research, drawing on assessments of hundreds of thousands of leaders in more than 2,000 organizations around the world, has identified six overall leadership styles—directive, participative, visionary, pacesetting, affiliative, and coaching.

Our research found that the majority of leaders only use one or two of those styles, but that the best organizational climates are created when leaders are proficient in multiple long-term leadership styles. In other words, the ability to toggle—to adjust the dial. Those leadership behaviors will then shape how others feel, think, and engage.

Inherent in every behavior and style is belief. It must be our opening act of leadership—and the encore that enables belief to become reality … for others.

In life and leadership, we all have stories of people who helped us face our fears, overcome our doubts, and enliven our spirits. Early in my days as a CEO, there was a board member who took the time to mentor me, saying: “I don’t just want you to be successful—I am going to ensure that you are successful.” And then there was my grandmother who, one dreary day after a funeral, uplifted me when she sang her favorite song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

But, if we’re honest, how often do we really go back and reflect on those times and those people who truly believed in us? More to the point, how often do we embody those beliefs for others?

To be a leader, you walk with others—occasionally in front, sometimes behind, and always by their side. Indeed, that’s when we think, say, and do, “I’ll believe for you…”

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO, and edited by Clifford Locks, CEO | COO | Executive Consultant and Coach | Board of Directors | Governance | Private Equity Podcast Host | Reverse Logistics | Supply Chain | Advisory Board | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | Metaverse | AI | Thoughtful ESG & DEI

I’ve created a wonderful opportunity for you to obtain Executive Coaching through an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. The Executive Coaching program accepts clients throughout the World and is delivered via Zoom. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Learn more at https://millionairelife.services

Recent Blog Post: The 5 Constants of Change Let’s Get You Prepared

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Discover the Ideal Compensation for your Company’s Team

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 2, 2022 at 10:25 am / In: Uncategorized

Discover the Ideal Compensation for your Company’s Team

Businesses need great people to thrive, and great talent today has more options than ever before. Employers in almost every industry are hiring — or, perhaps more accurately, attempting to hire — and almost all of them are facing lengthy search cycles and talent shortages as a result.

• Fortunately, there’s one lever every business can use to attract top talent: competitive compensation.

• It’s still the top factor for candidates when considering joining a new company or staying with their current employer, and it’s still your best bet for attracting the caliber of candidates your company needs to thrive.

• 2022 Salary Guide provides accurate, dependable benchmarks you can use to measure your own offerings against those of the broader market.

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Eight Ways for Boards to Combat Inflation

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 10, 2022 at 10:00 am / In: Uncategorized

Eight Ways for Boards to Combat Inflation

Most senior managers have never seen or dealt with hyperinflation and should be very concerned about inflation’s effect on business.

Therefore, boards should be worried about it, too.

According to Charan, a prominent business consultant for companies like Toyota, Bank of America, and Fast Retailing, higher inflation can be expected to stick around for three or more years. And, worse, factors such as fear of future price increases, rising energy costs globally, and the war in Ukraine may turn the situation toward hyperinflation, a state that Charan describes as “insidious.”

For Charan, author of 33 books, including his latest, Rethinking Competitive Advantage: New Rules for the Digital Age, the forthcoming Leading Through Inflation, and four bestsellers, boards can protect their companies from inflation by carefully monitoring the information and recommendations they get from management.

Boards must broaden their perspective and see the longer-term picture when considering whether the company is sufficiently protected from inflation. A three-year outlook for inflation’s impact is almost mandatory because cumulative cost increases over this period could be 20% or more in some industries.

The fact that most, if not all, in management have never experienced a phenomenon like hyperinflation makes the situation even more dire.

With that in mind, Charan provides eight actions that boards should be undertaking immediately to lessen risks caused by high inflation. They must keep in mind that the actions they take now will also help prepare for a recession, as well as the enormous opportunities that will come in the future.

Actively learn about inflation. The board should continually seek to update its knowledge base on inflation. Work to gain a 360-degree view. Search independent sources so you can anticipate new surges and watch for emerging practices to deal with the problems that arise. Expanding your knowledge about inflation will allow you to ask incisive questions of management and make quick, decisive judgments on leadership actions and performance. Timing and magnitude of price increases, for example, is critical.

Search for understanding on additional factors. Realize how inflation converges with other external and impactful factors, such as ESG, the building of infrastructure, war-caused shortages, rising wages, and the continuing battle with COVID. The board must continually study the actions of other industries for a diversity of thoughts, assumptions, and biases. Some industries portend what is to come for others.

Establish metrics. Boards should monitor performance on an inflation-adjusted basis, altering goals, KPIs and strategies accordingly. Create dashboards, monitor competitive data, and keep an eye on qualitative narrative psychological trends. These steps are useful for both boards and management, as it is essential for both groups to be on the same page during a period of inflation.

Adjust capital allocation. Allocation at this time should be based on a three- to four-year horizon. Make explicit assumptions based on the concept of cumulative inflation and compounding of risk.

Undergo cash flow planning. When conducting this step, make sure to keep in mind currency exchange issues globally.

Be prepared to change your business model. In a period of heightened inflation, you may have to adjust your business model. Be aware of consumer behavior, and do not hesitate to rethink your company’s strategy and business model. One such example Charan presents is Volkswagen, which recently announced its intention to stop “chasing volume and market share.”

Says Charan, “Volkswagen decided to do that based on shortages and inflation numbers they were seeing. Existing growth-oriented KPIs were not taking the company in the right direction. A focus on their ‘cash gross margin’ should strengthen the company even though they will lose some market share. They said, ‘We need to focus more on the higher-end electric vehicles that are coming along.’ They’re trying to create better market positioning.”

Consider new topics for executive sessions. According to Charan, there are several topics that boards would be wise to discuss during executive sessions. For instance, who are the critical people for the business during a time of higher inflation? Are they willing to increase prices? If they do not have the courage to raise prices, do they need to be removed or replaced? Another topic that should be up for discussion during alone time: is management goals and compensation challenges.

Weigh the worst-case scenario. Know what your approach will be if high inflation becomes hyperinflation. One step recommended by Charan would be to establish a special committee composed of the chairs of all other board committees for a focused discussion of all possible considerations, obstacles, and impacts.

 

Contributor: Ram Charan is a world-renowned business consultant, author, and speaker who has spent the past 40 years working with many top companies, CEOs, and boards of our time. and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Executive Consultant | Board of Director | Corporate Governance | Host – Private Equity Profits Podcast | CEO/Entrepreneur with 3 Exits | Reverse Logistics/Supply Chain | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | AI | ESG | DEI

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Recent Blog Post: Board Directors should plan for risks in talent, supply chain, public health, and more.

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 3, 2022 at 10:00 am / In: Uncategorized

Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime

Research on naps, meditation, nature walks, and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and encourage creativity.

Every now and then during the workweek—usually around three in the afternoon—a familiar ache begins to saturate my forehead and pool in my temples. The glare of my computer screen appears to suddenly intensify. My eyes trace the contour of the same sentence two or three times, yet I fail to extract its meaning. Even if I began the day undaunted, getting through my ever-growing list of stories to write and edit, e-mails to send and respond to, and documents to read now seems as futile as scaling a mountain that continuously thrusts new stone skyward. There is so much more to do—so much work I genuinely enjoy—but my brain is telling me to stop. It’s full. It needs some downtime.

Have you ever felt cerebral congestion? On a normal working day in modern America, there’s a sense of so much coming at you at once, so much to process that you just can’t deal with it all. The goal is to consider taking an especially long recess from work and the usual frenzy of life.

When you go on a long retreat there’s a kind of base level of mental tension and busyness that totally evaporates. Some people feel their ‘mind is not full.’ Currently, the speed of life doesn’t allow enough interstitial time for things to just kind of settle down.

Many people in the U.S. and other industrialized countries would wholeheartedly agree, even if they are not as committed to meditation. A 2010 LexisNexis survey of 1,700 white-collar workers in the U.S., China, South Africa, the U.K., and Australia revealed that on average employees spend more than half their workdays receiving and managing information rather than using it to do their jobs; half of the surveyed workers also confessed that they were reaching a breaking point after which they would not be able to accommodate the deluge of data. In contrast to the European Union, which mandates 20 days of paid vacation, the U.S. has no federal laws guaranteeing paid time off, sick leave, or even breaks for national holidays. In the Netherlands 26 days of vacation in a given year is typical. In America, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong workers average 10 days off each year. Yet a survey by Harris Interactive found that, at the end of 2012, Americans had an average of nine unused vacation days. And in several surveys, Americans have admitted that they obsessively check and respond to e-mails from their colleagues or feel obliged to get some work done in between kayaking around the coast of Kauai and learning to pronounce humuhumunukunukuapua’a.

To summarize, Americans and their brains are preoccupied with work much of the time. Throughout history, people have intuited that such puritanical devotion to perpetual busyness does not in fact translate to greater productivity and is not particularly healthy. What if the brain requires substantial downtime to remain industrious and generate its most innovative ideas? “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times. “The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration—it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

In making an argument for the necessity of mental downtime, we can now add an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence to intuition and anecdote. Why giving our brains a break now and then is so important has become increasingly clear in a diverse collection of new studies investigating: the habits of office workers and the daily routines of extraordinary musicians and athletes; the benefits of vacation, meditation, and time spent in parks, gardens and other peaceful outdoor spaces; and how napping, unwinding while awake and perhaps the mere act of blinking can sharpen the mind. What research to date also clarifies, however, is that even when we are relaxing or daydreaming, the brain does not really slow down or stop working. Rather—just as a dazzling array of molecular, genetic, and physiological processes occur primarily or even exclusively when we sleep at night—many important mental processes seem to require what we call downtime and other forms of rest during the day. Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future. Moments of respite may even be necessary to keep one’s moral compass in working order and maintain a sense of self.

The rest is history –  for much of the 20th century many scientists regarded the idea that the brain might be productive during downtime as ludicrous. German neurologist Hans Berger disagreed. In 1929, after extensive studies using an electroencephalogram—a device he invented to record electrical impulses in the brain by placing a net of electrodes on the scalp—he proposed that the brain is always in “a state of considerable activity,” even when people were sleeping or relaxing. Although his peers acknowledged that some parts of the brain and spinal cord must work nonstop to regulate the lungs and heart, they assumed that when someone was not focusing on a specific mental task, the brain was largely offline; any activity picked up by an electroencephalogram or other device during rest was mostly random noise. At first, the advent of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the early 1990s only strengthened this view of the brain as an exquisitely frugal organ switching on and off its many parts as needed. By tracing blood flow through the brain, fMRI clearly showed that different neural circuits became especially active during different mental tasks, summoning extra blood full of oxygen and glucose to use as energy.

By the mid 1990s, however, Marcus Raichle of Washington University in Saint Louis and his colleagues had demonstrated that the human brain is in fact a glutton, constantly demanding 20 percent of all the energy the body produces and requiring only 5 to 10 percent more energy than usual when someone solves calculus problems or reads a book. Raichle also noticed that a particular set of scattered brain regions consistently became less active when someone concentrated on a mental challenge but began to fire in synchrony when someone was simply lying supine in an fMRI scanner, letting their thoughts wander. Likewise, Bharat Biswal, now at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, documented the same kind of coordinated communication between disparate brain regions in people who were resting. Many researchers were dubious, but further studies by other scientists confirmed that the findings were not a fluke. Eventually, this mysterious and complex circuit that stirred to life when people were daydreaming became known as the default mode network (DMN). In the last five years, researchers discovered that the DMN is but one of at least five different resting-state networks—circuits for vision, hearing, movement, attention, and memory. But the DMN remains the best studied and perhaps the most important among them.

In a recent thought-provoking review of research on the default mode network, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the University of Southern California and her co-authors argue that when we are resting the brain is anything but idle and that, far from being purposeless or unproductive, downtime is in fact essential to mental processes that affirm our identities, develop our understanding of human behavior and instill an internal code of ethics—processes that depend on the DMN. Downtime is an opportunity for the brain to make sense of what it has recently learned, to surface fundamental unresolved tensions in our lives, and to swivel its powers of reflection away from the external world toward itself. While mind-wandering we replay conversations we had earlier that day, rewriting our verbal blunders as a way of learning to avoid them in the future. We craft fictional dialogue to practice standing up to someone who intimidates us or to reap the satisfaction of an imaginary harangue against someone who wronged us. We shuffle through all those neglected mental post-it notes listing half-finished projects and we mull over the aspects of our lives with which we are most dissatisfied, searching for solutions. We sink into scenes from childhood and catapult ourselves into different hypothetical futures. And we subject ourselves to a kind of moral performance review, questioning how we have treated others lately. These moments of introspection are also one way we form a sense of self, which is essentially a story we continually tell ourselves. When it has a moment to itself, the mind dips its quill into our memories, sensory experiences, disappointments, and desires so that it may continue writing this ongoing first-person narrative of life.

Related research suggests that the default mode network is more active than is typical in especially creative people, and some studies have demonstrated that the mind obliquely solves tough problems while daydreaming—an experience many people have had while taking a shower. Epiphanies may seem to come out of nowhere, but they are often the product of unconscious mental activity during downtime. In a 2006 study, Ap Dijksterhuis and his colleagues asked 80 University of Amsterdam students to pick the best car from a set of four that—unbeknownst to the students—the researchers had previously ranked based on size, mileage, maneuverability, and other features. Half the participants got four minutes to deliberate after reviewing the specs; the researchers prevented the other 40 from pondering their choices by distracting them with anagrams. Yet the latter group made far better decisions. Solutions emerge from the subconscious in this way only when the distracting task is relatively simple, such as solving an anagram or engaging in a routine activity that does not necessitate much deliberate concentration, like brushing one’s teeth or washing dishes. With the right kind of distraction, the default mode network may be able to integrate more information from a wide range of brain regions in more complex ways than when the brain is consciously working through a problem.

During downtime, the brain also concerns itself with more mundane but equally important duties. For decades scientists have suspected that when an animal or person is not actively learning something new, the brain consolidates recently accumulated data, memorizing the most salient information, and essentially rehearses recently learned skills, etching them into its tissue. Most of us have observed how, after a good night’s sleep, the vocab words we struggled to remember the previous day suddenly leap into our minds or that technically challenging piano song is much easier to play. Dozens of studies have confirmed that memory depends on sleep.

More recently, scientists have documented what may well be physical evidence of such memory consolidation in animals that are awake but resting. When exploring a new environment—say, a maze—a rat’s brain crackles with a particular pattern of electrical activity. A little while later, when that rat is sitting around, its brain sometimes re-creates a nearly identical pattern of electrical impulses zipping between the same set of neurons. The more those neurons communicate with one another, the stronger their connections become; meanwhile neglected and irrelevant neural pathways wither. Many studies indicate that in such moments—known as sharp-wave ripples—the rat is forming a memory.

In a 2009 study Gabrielle Girardeau, now at New York University, and her colleagues trained rats to find Cocoa Krispies consistently placed in the same branches of an eight-armed octo-maze. Following training sessions, while the rats were either sleeping or awake and resting, the researchers mildly zapped the brains of one group of rodents in a way that disrupted any sharp-wave ripples. Another group of rats received small electric shocks that did not interfere with ripples. The former group had a much harder time remembering where to find the food.

All in a day’s work – that learning and memory depend on both sleep and waking rest may partially explain why some of the most exceptional artists and athletes among us fall into a daily routine of intense practice punctuated by breaks and followed by a lengthy period of recuperation. Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson of The Florida State University has spent more than 30 years studying how people achieve the highest levels of expertise. Based on his own work and a thorough review of the relevant research, Ericsson has concluded that most people can engage in deliberate practice—which means pushing oneself beyond current limits—for only an hour without rest; that extremely talented people in many different disciplines—music, sports, writing—rarely practice more than four hours each day on average; and that many experts prefer to begin training early in the morning when mental and physical energy is readily available. “Unless the daily levels of practice are restricted, such that subsequent rest and nighttime sleep allow the individuals to restore their equilibrium,” Ericsson wrote, “individuals often encounter overtraining injuries and, eventually, incapacitating ‘burnout.’”

These principles are derived from the rituals of the exceptional, but they are useful for just about anyone in any profession, including typical nine-to-fivers. Corporate America may never sanction working only four hours a day, but research suggests that to maximize productivity we should reform the current model of consecutive 40-hour workweeks separated only by two-day weekends and sometimes interrupted by short vacations.

Psychologists have established that vacations have real benefits. Vacations likely revitalize the body and mind by distancing people from job-related stress; by immersing people in new places, cuisines, and social circles, which in turn may lead to original ideas and insights; and by giving people the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep and to let their minds drift from one experience to the next, rather than forcing their brains to concentrate on a single task for hours at a time. But a recent comprehensive meta-analysis by Jessica de Bloom, now at the University of Tampere in Finland, demonstrates that these benefits generally fade within two to four weeks. In one of de Bloom’s own studies, 96 Dutch workers reported feeling more energetic, happier, less tense, and more satisfied with their lives than usual during a winter sports vacation between seven and nine days long. Within one week of returning to work, however, all the feelings of renewal dissipated. A second experiment on four and five days of respite came to essentially the same conclusion. A short vacation is like a cool shower on an oppressively muggy summer day—a refreshing yet fleeting escape.

Instead of limiting people to a single weeklong vacation each year or a few three-day vacations here and there, companies should also allow their employees to take a day or two off during the workweek and encourage workers to banish all work-related tasks from their evenings. In a four-year study, Leslie Perlow of the Harvard Business School and her colleagues tracked the work habits of employees at the Boston Consulting Group. Each year they insisted that employees take regular time off, even when they did not think they should be away from the office. In one experiment each of five consultants on a team took a break from work one day a week. In a second experiment every member of a team scheduled one weekly night of uninterrupted personal time, even though they were accustomed to working from home in the evenings.

Everyone resisted at first, fearing they would only be postponing work. But over time the consultants learned to love their scheduled time off because it consistently replenished their willingness and ability to work, which made them more productive overall. After five months of employees experimenting with deliberate periodic rest were more satisfied with their jobs, more likely to envision a long-term future at the company, more content with their work-life balance, and prouder of their accomplishments.

Tony Schwartz, a journalist, and CEO of The Energy Project has made a career out of teaching people to be more productive by changing the way they think about downtime. His strategy relies in part on the idea that anyone can learn to regularly renew their reservoirs of physical and mental energy. “People are working so many hours that not only in most cases do they not have more hours they could work, but there’s also strong evidence that when they work for too long they get diminishing returns in terms of health costs and emotional costs,” Schwartz says. “If time is no longer an available resource, what is? The answer is energy.”

Schwartz and his colleagues encourage workers to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night, to use all their vacation days, take power naps and many small breaks during the day, practice meditation, and tackle the most challenging task first thing in the morning so they can give it their full attention. “Many things we are suggesting are in some ways very simple and on some level are things people already knew, but they are moving at such extraordinary speed that they have convinced themselves they are not capable of those behaviors,” Schwartz says.

The Energy Project’s approach was a tough sell at first—because it contradicts the prevailing ethos that busier is better—but the organization has so far successfully partnered with Google, Apple, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Green Mountain Coffee, Ford, Genentech and a wide range of Fortune 500 companies. To gauge how employees improve over time, Schwartz measures their level of engagement—that is, how much they like their jobs and are willing to go above and beyond their basic duties—a trait that many studies have correlated with performance. Admittedly, this is not the most precise or direct measurement, but Schwartz says that time and again his strategies have pushed workers’ overall engagement well above the average level and that Google has been satisfied enough to keep up the partnership for more than five years.

Put your mind at rest – many recent studies have corroborated the idea that our mental resources are continuously depleted throughout the day and that various kinds of rest and downtime can both replenish those reserves and increase their volume. Consider, for instance, how even an incredibly brief midday nap enlivens the mind.

Long naps work great when people have enough time to recover from “sleep inertia”—post-nap grogginess that, in some cases, can take more than two hours to fade. In other situations micronaps may be a smarter strategy. An intensive 2006 study by Amber Brooks and Leon Lack of Flinders University in Australia and their colleagues pitted naps of five, 10, 20 and 30 minutes against one another to find out which was most restorative. Over a span of three years 24 college students periodically slept for only five hours on designated nights. The day after each of those nights they visited the lab to nap and take tests of attention that required them to respond quickly to images on a screen, complete a word search and accurately copy sequences of arcane symbols.

A five-minute nap barely increased alertness, but naps of 10, 20 and 30 minutes all improved the students’ scores. But volunteers that napped 20 or 30 minutes had to wait half an hour or more for their sleep inertia to wear off before regaining full alertness, whereas 10-minute naps immediately enhanced performance just as much as the longer naps without any grogginess. An explanation for this finding, Brooks and Lack speculate, may involve the brain’s so-called “sleep switch.” Essentially, one cluster of neurons is especially important for keeping us awake, whereas another distinct circuit induces sleepiness. When neurons in one region fire rapidly they directly inhibit the firing of neurons in the other region, thereby operating as a sleep/wake switch. Neurons in the wake circuit likely become fatigued and slow down after many hours of firing during the day, which allows the neurons in the sleep circuit to speed up and initiate the flip to a sleep state. Once someone begins to doze, however, a mere seven to 10 minutes of sleep may be enough to restore the wake-circuit neurons to their former excitability.

Although some start-ups and progressive companies provide their employees with spaces to nap at the office, most workers in the U.S. do not have that option. An equally restorative and likely far more manageable solution to mental fatigue is spending more time outdoors—in the evenings, on the weekends and even during lunch breaks by walking to a nearby park, riverfront or anywhere not dominated by skyscrapers and city streets. Marc Berman, a psychologist at the University of South Carolina and a pioneer of a relatively new field called ecopsychology, argues that whereas the hustle and bustle of a typical city taxes our attention, natural environments restore it. Contrast the experience of walking through Times Square in New York City—where the brain is ping-ponged between neon lights, honking taxies and throngs of tourists—with a day hike in a nature reserve, where the mind is free to leisurely shift its focus from the calls of songbirds to the gurgling and gushing of rivers to sunlight falling through every gap in the tree branches and puddling on the forest floor.

In one of the few controlled ecopsychology experiments, Berman asked 38 University of Michigan students to study lists of random numbers and recite them from memory in reverse order before completing another attention-draining task in which they memorized the locations of certain words arranged in a grid. Half the students subsequently strolled along a predefined path in an arboretum for about an hour whereas the other half walked the same distance through highly trafficked streets of downtown Ann Arbor for the same period of time. Back at the lab the students memorized and recited digits once again. On average, volunteers that had ambled among trees recalled 1.5 more digits than the first time they took the test; those who had walked through the city improved by only 0.5 digits—a small but statistically significant difference between the two groups.

Beyond renewing one’s powers of concentration, downtime can in fact bulk up the muscle of attention—something that scientists have observed repeatedly in studies on meditation. There are almost as many varieties and definitions of meditation as there are people who practice it. Although meditation is not equivalent to zoning out or daydreaming, many styles challenge people to sit in a quiet space, close their eyes and turn their attention away from the outside world toward their own minds. Mindfulness meditation, for example, generally refers to a sustained focus on one’s thoughts, emotions, and sensations in the present moment. For many people, mindfulness is about paying close attention to whatever the mind does on its own, as opposed to directing one’s mind to accomplish this or that.

Mindfulness training has become more popular than ever in the last decade as a strategy to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Many researchers acknowledge that studies on the benefits of mindfulness often lack scientific rigor, use too few participants and rely too heavily on people’s subjective reports, but at this point, they have gathered enough evidence to conclude that meditation can indeed improve mental health, hone one’s ability to concentrate and strengthen memory. Studies comparing long-time expert meditators with novices or people who do not meditate often find that the former outperforms the latter on tests of mental acuity.

“When people in the military have a gym they will work out in the gym. When they are on the side of a mountain they will make do with what they have and do push-ups to stay in shape,” Jha says. “Mindfulness training may offer something similar for the mind. It’s low-tech and easy to implement.” In her own life, Jha looks for any and all existing opportunities to practice mindfulness, such as her 15-minute trip to and from work each day.

Likewise, Michael Taft, a meditation teacher, bestselling author, and podcaster advocates deliberate mental breaks during “all the in-between moments” in an average day—a subway ride, lunch, a walk to the bodega. He stresses, though, that there’s a big difference between admiring the idea of more downtime and committing to it in practice. “Getting out into nature on the weekends, meditating, putting away our computers now and then—a lot of it is stuff we already know we should probably do,” he says. “But we have to be a lot more diligent about it. Because it really does matter.”

 

Contributor: Ferris Jabr is a contributing writer for Scientific American. Edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Executive Consultant | Board of Director | Corporate Governance | Host – Private Equity Profits Podcast | CEO/Entrepreneur with 3 Exits | Reverse Logistics/Supply Chain | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | AI | ESG | DEI

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Recent Blog Post: Board Directors should plan for risks in talent, supply chain, public health, andHow Machine Learning Is Disrupting Businesses for the Better more.

Email me: [email protected] or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Essential Data Analytics Resources for Businesses

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 20, 2022 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Essential Data Analytics Resources for Businesses

Data analytics can play a major role in the success of any business. Not only can utilizing the right data tools and processes help streamline operations, but it can also help businesses cut costs by focusing funding and efforts on the right areas.

Of course, the success of any business relies on its customers, and analytics can also improve customer relations by tracking the effectiveness of marketing strategies and the products or services themselves. When there are customer complaints, analytics can help business owners suss out the issue quickly and prevent bigger issues. Some data analytics tools can even predict the future, in a way; predictive data can give you a sense of what the trends will be in the coming months, which will inform your budget and help you plan for launches and other events.

Different forms of data can also help you minimize unsavory risks, which assists with cutting costs as well as protecting your reputation. Because analytics is such a varied field, it’s crucial to do some homework and figure out which areas you need the most help with. Break down your needs according to tasks like marketing, customer acquisition, and daily operations, and take a look at this guide from Investment Capital Growth when you’re ready to get started.

Streamline Your Marketing Strategy

You may feel that your marketing strategy is already working well; if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? Wrong. Every marketing campaign has room for improvement, and that’s where data analytics comes in. The right tools can give you essential information about your customers and their shopping habits, where they live, how old they are, and what they think of your competition. These same tools can also show you seasonal patterns and trends, which are crucial to any business’s success. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you’ll need to find out what they like about your products or services and where they’ll access them. Rethinking your marketing strategy may seem overwhelming at first, but once you start using analytics, the process will become easier.

Keep an Eye on Your Cash

Marketing, like anything else in business, takes money. When it comes to managing your cash flow and learning ways to reduce spending, analytics is invaluable. When you need to figure out where your capital is going, you can use software specifically designed to utilize API to get bank transactions. This will show you 24 months’ worth of transaction data, which can be separated into categories to provide detailed insights. Not only that, it will provide real-time transaction updates so you always know where your money is going. Getting your finances in order can prevent major problems down the road, and the right tools can help you stay organized and on track.

Boost Your Efficiency

From managing money to ensuring that customer service is the best it can be, your business may have room for improvement where efficiency is concerned. If your computer system is clunky, your customer service will likely suffer. If your eCommerce program is hard to navigate, you may be losing sales without even realizing it. Analyzing the way your employees, programs, and customers interact with one another will give you some insight into just how efficient your business is and will show you where you can make some changes. Business process management, or BPM, can automate certain workflows to make everything run more smoothly. Because BPM is an operation management framework, you’ll need to constantly monitor the data it provides so you can take steps to improve the output.

Get More In-Depth Information

You may be able to utilize a spreadsheet to see your revenue, but those numbers won’t give you the whole picture. What was your customer engagement like? What was the percentage of conversions on your website? How satisfied were those customers after their experience? Measuring and analyzing this data can help you figure out where to make changes to your site, such as using a messenger bot to encourage conversations, helping customers subscribe to your email newsletter, or creating a customer satisfaction survey.

Tracking engagement is also a great way to learn more about how well your social media pages are working for your business. Certain content metrics will show you how many people saw your posts versus how many clicked on the link attached, how many people viewed videos, and how many followed you or signed up for subscriber lists. If you have a lot of page views but not much engagement, it may be time to reconsider your strategy. Change up the media you use and add live videos to encourage real-time viewers; post at peak times of the day to ensure that your content doesn’t get lost in the feed.

Find Out How Customers Found You

Traffic data can also be a big help when it comes to getting into your customers’ minds. How did they arrive at your website? Was it through a search engine, or did they read a review of your services on another customer’s blog? When they landed on your site, how long did they stay? Not only can this information help you plan for a marketing strategy, but it can also help you form a deeper connection with your customers as well as find new opportunities. After all, consumers have access to a variety of different shopping and payment methods these days, so it’s important to have an understanding of how those are used. When it comes to customer retention, this information provides crucial details that will allow you to hold onto those loyal individuals and keep them coming back. This data can also give you important insight into whether your website is working or if it needs a few tweaks.

Find the Best Team Members

Not only can data analytics help you streamline processes with sales and customer service, but certain metrics can also help you make valuable changes to your hiring and training processes. Rather than reading through a stack of resumes – which is time-consuming – you can use analytics to identify certain skills and qualities in job candidates and match them to the right position, which saves you both time and money.

Make Sure Your Data is Accessible

No matter how you use your data analytics tools, it’s important to make them accessible to your entire team, especially if you have remote workers or employees who are spread out. Ensuring that the right people can see this valuable information will keep everyone on the same page and will allow them to make better decisions throughout the workday. You can even use software to distill specific types of data into a report that can be shared with your team or investors.

Utilizing data tools for your business can seem daunting at first if you don’t have experience with them, so do some reading on your options. With so many resources at your fingertips, you can choose the best ones for your needs without creating stress for yourself.

At Investment Capital Growth, our proven methodologies raise brand awareness, nurture leads along the buyers’ journey, close new customers, and ensure lasting client relationships. Call (631) 338-2114.

Contributor: Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Executive Consultant | Board of Director | Corporate Governance | Host – Private Equity Profits Podcast | CEO/Entrepreneur with 3 Exits | Reverse Logistics/Supply Chain | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | AI | ESG | DEI

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Recent Blog Post: Board Directors should plan for risks in talent, supply chain, public health, and more.

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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How Machine Learning Is Disrupting Businesses for the Better

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 13, 2022 at 10:15 am / In: Uncategorized

How Machine Learning Is Disrupting Businesses for the Better

Machine learning is certainly drawing attention to itself in business – in a good way, of course! Moreover, machine learning is often used interchangeably with artificial intelligence because their design is often so similar. This must be why so many companies welcome the disruption of machine learning/artificial intelligence in their workflows because they see what it can do for their business’s growth. Here’s why you should, too.

 This article is one of several great pieces of content you can find on the Investment Capital Growth blog.

What exactly is machine learning?

While machine learning may sound like something that’s out of sci-fi books, it is, in fact, something that many of us are familiar with and use nowadays already. In essence, machine learning involves the programs computers use to execute many of the basic tasks humans would ordinarily be responsible for.

For example, the use of software bots is a commonality these days when it comes to promptly attending to basic customer queries online. Other more complex tasks that machine learning might be responsible for include speech and pattern recognition, image recognition, etc. But there are other, more inherent benefits that come from using machine learning in the digital age.

It enhances teamwork and workplace culture

With machine learning, there is no room for misinterpretation. This is where teamwork can be enhanced by using the sophisticated methods of artificial intelligence to alleviate the pressures associated with repetitive and menial tasks so that teams can put their best efforts into areas where their skills and expertise really lie. Moreover, when machine learning is combined with automated systems like Business Process management, workflows and processes tend to work even more efficiently than they already do because they are programmed to function better and deliver even better results. Furthermore, BPM is an operations management framework that is designed to improve efficiency in business processes, reducing the likelihood of human errors, which has a positive impact on your balance sheet and bottom line at the end of the day. However, as efficient as a Business Process Management is, there will always be room for improvement, which is why you will need to be cognizant of the fact that the system may need to be monitored closely to ensure it achieves the output for which it was designed.

It improves learning opportunities

Machine learning can be used to improve learning opportunities in the workplace, as far as matching employees with options that will best suit their talents and abilities. Machine learning can also be used to develop training opportunities and plans for further growth.

It can be used to predict more accurate forecasts

Machine learning and artificial intelligence can also be used to predict future outcomes of current projects more accurately. Moreover, because the predictive methods are more advanced, there are more in-depth insights into what will work or not, which can also give your business the edge it needs to succeed in an age where digital technology reigns supreme.

It enhances customer interactions

Customer interactions can be improved and simplified. And because maintaining customer service standards is so crucial, artificial intelligence and machine learning can automate many of the ways in which we interact with customers, whether by text, email, social media, or phone so customers are attended to promptly – all the time.

All in all, machine learning is showing no signs of slowing. Rather, its rapid advancement is set to take over the ways things are traditionally done in business for streamlining and simplifying business processes for the better.

Contributor: Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Executive Consultant | Board of Director | Corporate Governance | Host – Private Equity Profits Podcast | CEO/Entrepreneur with 3 Exits | Reverse Logistics/Supply Chain | SaaS | Clean Tech | Med Tech | AI | ESG | DEI

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Recent Blog Post: Board Directors should plan for risks in talent, supply chain, public health, and more.

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Board Directors should plan for risks in talent, supply chain, public health, and more.

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 6, 2022 at 10:23 am / In: Uncategorized

Board Directors should plan for risks in talent, supply chain, public health, and more.

The notion that every company is a technology company became a popular idea over the past decade, as advancements in software, data analytics, and artificial intelligence profoundly transformed the business landscape. Companies of all stripes are now coming to recognize that the same holds true when it comes to thinking globally. The past three years have provided a master class in how quickly events that were once considered black swans can become a cascade of real-time risks that require a significant shift in the approach to both company strategy and risk management.

Every Company Is a Global Company

Overlapping shockwaves of a worldwide pandemic, historic supply chain shortages, and war in Europe have reinforced that companies of all sizes, across industries, are impacted by disruptions as far-flung as Wuhan or Kyiv. “The interconnectedness of the world’s economies is significant. This is true despite protective measures countries have taken, starting with the Great Financial Crisis and continuing through the US-China trade wars, COVID-19 lockdowns, and the Ukraine conflict,” says Krishna Kumar, VP, international, at the RAND Corporation. “Supply chain risks that had started becoming evident during COVID-19 have been amplified by the conflict in Ukraine. It illustrates how events not exactly in our backyard can cause serious disruptions to companies and societies.” He points out that while the disruption is most immediate for companies that fled Russia either because of sanctions or public pressure, “other companies that do not directly have business in Russia and Ukraine are also impacted due to shortages and increasing prices.”

 

(Continued on LinkedIn Article)

 

Contributor: Erin Essenmacher is a Board Director and Strategic Advisor, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world.Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

 

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Why Your Company Needs a Chief Sustainability Officer

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 29, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Why Your Company Needs a Chief Sustainability Officer

Learn about the key opinions and experiences executives shared with us, together with our analysis of the blueprint for a higher-performing CSO.

Exploring the role of the CSO

There is a great definition for the perfect Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO).

A strategic activist, but one you’d feel comfortable about inviting to the end-of-year party.

It’s strange, of course, to imagine a C-suite executive ruining a work social event. But, this image does raise some interesting questions. How much of an activist should a CSO be? And, in broader terms, what distinguishes successful CSOs from those who fail to deliver on the ESG and Sustainability agenda?

Until recently, these questions have been difficult to answer. The role of CSO simply hadn’t been around long enough to assess it credibly. In 2021, however, Korn Ferry conducted a new research study into the Chief Sustainability Officer.

We talked to successful CSOs and their CEOS to get a holistic perspective of the role. In all, more than 50 leaders contributed to our research and subsequent The Rise of the Chief Sustainability Officer paper.

In this article, we share some of the key opinions and experiences these executives shared with us, together with our analysis of the blueprint for a higher-performing CSO.

Whether you’re looking to hire a CSO, you aspire to be one, or you are already a CSO, read on for more insights and advice to become successful in this role.

The rise of the Chief Sustainability Officer

“There is no longer a tension between sustainability and profit – the only tension is one of timeframe.” CSO, Korn Ferry Survey 2021

The role of sustainability leadership is at a turning point. Customers, investors, and employees all want companies to prove they look beyond profit within their business. As Steve Howard, Temaseks Chief Sustainability Officer, explains, “…for the first time in history, the sustainability agenda has become a material determinant of success, and perhaps even survival, for companies.”

The CSO role has never been more important in influencing operations, strategy, culture, and leadership. It is imperative for businesses to find high-performing sustainability leaders. For current and aspiring CSOs, the future is full of potential opportunities.

What counts as success for a Chief Sustainability Officer?

“Others delivering on my agenda!” CSO, Korn Ferry Survey 2021

Before considering what makes a CSO successful, it is important to establish what success looks like. One universal theme stood out: buy-in that leads to company-wide action. Eric Soubeiran, Vice-President of Nature and Cycles (CSO) at Danone, put it in these terms, “Success is when you have made sustainability everyone’s job. It should sit at the highest corporate level and be integrated into executive leadership.”

Once a business buys in from top to bottom, sustainability can be embedded into every aspect of strategy and operations. From there, increasingly ambitious targets can be set. Reaching targets means they can now be linked tangibly to growth, brand transformation, top-line revenue, share price, and other financial measures.

The 4 ways high-achieving Chief Sustainability Officers get results

Our research identified four key signs of success that distinguish the top Chief Sustainability Officers from their less high-performing peers. A CSO who combines all four of these capabilities will be primed for success.

1. They break down business silos

“Be a tempered radical, with a healthy disregard for rules and the status quo.” CSO, Korn Ferry Survey 2021

Sustainability leaders have seen a rapid increase in demands and pressures on their roles. This creates differing priorities and expectations across an organization – leading to inefficiencies, duplication, or even chaos. As one leader described this issue, “The word sustainability is much misunderstood, and there is a prevailing sense of ‘where exactly do I fit?’”

The CSO, therefore, must be a silo-buster. Their success is highly dependent on building relationships across multiple business areas such as strategy, risk, finance, corporate affairs, R&D, and commercial functions. It takes a mix of credibility, conviction, and courage to break down longstanding structures. The CSOs who get results are unafraid to shake things up and bend a few rules along the way.

2. They change the mindsets of managers

“Sustainability has to be part of the value proposition – demonstrating at least one of growth, building trust, reducing the risk, or lowering cost. In this way, you show the direct link to the business case.” Rebecca Marmot – Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever

CSOs need to influence at scale to change mindsets across an entire organization. There is often resistance to change, especially at the middle-management level where sustainability can be viewed as a threat to business performance. Motivation alone will fail to build the case for change.

The key is to meet employees where they are, particularly middle managers. Collaborate together on a vision to expand their market and deliver new value. Change perceptions so sustainability becomes an enabler or even creator of the business, rather than a cost or reporting function.

3. They set ambitious goals and are comfortable with vulnerability

“Avoid paralysis by analysis. Set challenging targets, and do not be nervous over being held to account for failure. Embrace the mistakes, be courageous and confident in an authentic purpose.” Dorothee D’Herde – Head of Sustainable Business, Vodafone Group

One CSO we spoke to used a wonderful turn of phrase, “The best goals are the ones we have no clue how to get to.” Another had this piece of advice, “’Be bold and learn by doing, was the best lesson learned on the journey.” The strategy must be clear and ‘all in’, or it is immediately undermined. At the same time, progress is more important than perfection.

To be successful, a CSO has to think big. But as Vodafone’s Dorothee D’Herde describes, you also have to embrace failure and “demonstrate collective vulnerability.” Listening to all stakeholders with an open mind is essential because, “you can’t have all the answers – and empathy can build bridges.” What all high-achieving CSOs show is resilience in the face of resistance, setbacks, and uncontrollable external forces.

4. They get the job done through others

“Be the spider in the web – know how to get traction at the highest levels. Shape, but don’t deliver.” CSO, Korn Ferry Survey 2021

High-performing CSOs make an impact on others. That starts with understanding all points of view, then using that understanding to inspire a movement and develop the momentum for change. The key is to identify opportunities, then enable them. Lead through consensus – and learn to let go.

The blueprint for a successful Chief Sustainability Officer

Using our CSO research we developed a talent and leadership blueprint for the role – a success profile with a future-focused view on high-performance.

For a quick snapshot, the Success Profile highlights four features of successful leaders: competencies, experience, traits and drivers.

1. Competencies

There may be momentum today, but the CSO needs grit and persistence to capitalize on this and drive meaningful change.

2. Experience

Possessing a strong degree of business acumen, CSOs are future-focused thought leaders with the ability to communicate with impact.

3. Traits

With a strong sense of agency, successful CSOs believe in their ability to drive change and secure a more sustainable future.

4. Drivers

CSOs are almost universally driven by their mission and will increasingly act as the ‘purveyor of purpose’.

The striking thing to note is the CSO profile emphasizes Enterprise Leadership qualities, rather than functional expertise or narrow sustainability experience.

Lookout for these warning signs within the CSO role

Our research highlighted the drivers for CSO success. We also identified the balance of traits associated with failure in the role.

  • Altruism over business acumen
  • Ego or over-confidence while exploring possibilities
  • Rigidity over tolerance for ambiguity
  • Thinking too small over a world view of the business in society
  • Inauthenticity over the ability to influence at every level

Getting Chief Sustainability Officer accountabilities right

We’ve focused on the traits and actions of successful CSOs in this article. But there is another important issue to consider: talented CSOs will still fail if given the wrong accountabilities. In defining the Success Profile for the role, we identified three key functional accountabilities. If you are creating a CSO role or negotiating the detail of a role these should be the expectations.

1. Executive committee membership

Typically, the CSO reports directly to the CEO, following the mandate and perception that comes along with that. Alternative homes include Strategy or Corporate Affairs, with a small, lean central team within a ‘hub and spoke model’.

2. Address material sustainability impacts

The CSO must understand deeply the material impact of sustainability risks to create a positive impact and unlock value. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide additional reference points to measure business impact, but materiality should guide focus.

3. Partnership approach

The business delivers – the CSO is the guide. The capabilities to achieve SDGs must come from across the organization. To make the business case, CSOs need to anticipate business trends and understand how sustainability relates back to the business with shared accountability.

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

 

Contributor: Andrew Lowe, Senior Client Partner, ESG and Head of Sustainability & Corporate Affairs, EMEA, Cheryl D’Cruz-Young, Senior Client Partner, ESG COE, Audrey Tan, Managing Director, Singapore at Korn Ferry CEO, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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The 5 Constants of Change Let’s Get You Prepared

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 22, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

The 5 Constants of Change Let’s Get You Prepared

Leaders don’t know what kind of disruption is coming next — but they know it’s coming. Our experts discuss five mindsets that can help manage continuous change.

The problem: Amid unending change, leaders must find new ways to rise above the tumult resiliently.

Why it matters: Finding new ways to navigate change is critical to a leader’s ability to make decisions from the viewpoint of the entire enterprise ecosystem.

The solution: Use the five mindsets of an enterprise leader to foster consistency and continuity from entirely new perspectives.


COVID-19. Black lives matter. Supply chain disruption. The war in Ukraine. For corporate leaders, it has been a crisis-riddled last two years — and it’s not going to stop.

Whether it’s another health crisis, a natural disaster, or a controversial decision on an ESG initiative, enterprise leaders are sure to face challenges that have few clear choices in the years ahead. Kevin Cashman, global co-leader of CEO and Enterprise Leader Development at Korn Ferry, says the twin objectives of growing performance while simultaneously accelerating change, or as he calls it, “the agile oscillation between performing to transform,” is the biggest challenge leaders face today.

While leaders don’t know what kind of disruption is coming next, Cashman says they can develop mindsets that open us up, individually and collectively, to elevate across enterprise and ecosystem change. “Amid continuous change, leaders have to paradoxically find constants,” says Cashman. By opening up the mindsets of an enterprise leader, where decisions are made from the viewpoint of the entire organization and its extended network of stakeholders, Cashman says leaders can bring some clarity to the chaos change creates. “Leaders can’t control disruption, but mastering these mindsets can help them control their relationship to disruption,” he says.

Here are the five mindsets of an enterprise leader and how they can help manage change.

“Amid continuous change, leaders have to paradoxically find constants.”

Purpose Mindset

The purpose is more than just an organization’s mission and values — it is the grounding that informs every decision the organization makes. Leaders with a purpose mindset can be more open, deliberate, and consistent in how they handle change. “Purpose is what elevates us,” says Cashman. As study after study shows, when employees who believe in an organization’s purpose and feel like it reflects their values have higher engagement, more motivation, and stay longer — all critical factors to navigating change.

Conversely, lacking purpose creates a big leadership gap, particularly in times of crisis. “Without purpose, you can still work your people hard but they won’t be inspired,” says Cashman. The other obstacle to developing a purpose mindset is that it requires leaders to transcend self-interest and serve something more important and enduring.

Courage Mindset

For leaders to harness the power of change, says Korn Ferry senior client partner Margie Warrell, they have to be willing to take a professional risk for the good of the entire enterprise. “Leaders who are willing to lay their pride and vulnerability on the line open up a whole new realm of possibility for bolder action and stronger outcomes,” she says.

Having a courageous mindset allows leaders to take risks that balance where the enterprise is now with where it wants to go. Courage is also contagious. “It ripples outward and emboldens others to think bigger and step up in braver ways,” says Warrell, adding that leaders who think and act courageously also help employees feel less anxious about change and embrace the new.

The challenge with developing a courageous mindset, however, is that leaders must risk falling short or losing out. Warrell points out that we’re neurologically wired to be twice as sensitive to potential losses as we are to potential gains. Fear of their reputations taking a hit or even losing their jobs or bonuses drives many leaders to protect what they have in the short term at the expense of enabling their enterprise to be more competitive in the longer term. In an environment of constant change, says Warrell, the tendency to “play not to lose” can ultimately make the organization less agile, less innovative, and less secure.

Awareness of Self and Other’s Mindset

Understanding what shapes attitudes, beliefs, and motivations can help leaders weed out unconscious or limiting biases in their decisions and actions. Leaders with a self-aware mindset seek out opinions and are willing to learn and be challenged. “Leaders with this mindset are more open to the collective intelligence of the group to maximize impact,” says Cashman. He says that kind of emotional fortitude spills out into the rest of the organization, helping transform cults of personality into cultures of teamwork and collaborative innovation.

The problem, of course, is that this mindset requires leaders to be comfortable letting others be deeply involved in creating the new and the different. It requires them to share control and instead be co-creators with the group.

“The tyranny of their previous success can often lead leaders to be blind to new ways of thinking.”

Inclusion Mindset

Most leaders figured out a while ago that they couldn’t figure out every challenge their organizations face on their own. The problem is they are still getting input from people who think just like them. Andrés Tapia, Korn Ferry’s global diversity and inclusion strategist, says that’s inadequate to drive the innovation businesses needed to compete with change today. “It’s one thing to have diversity,” says Tapia, “it’s another to leverage that diversity into insights that drive outcomes.”

Leveraging diversity into insights requires an inclusive mindset. The more leaders invite, listen, probe, and advocate for a diversity of backgrounds and voices in decision-making, the more they can see and address change from all sides and angles.

One of the biggest mental blocks preventing leaders from developing an inclusive mindset, however, is that they narrowly assume it will slow decisions down. While it’s true that it can at the beginning, “the ROI is faster and the decision-making is better as the team revels in its inclusion.” After all, leaders have historically been rewarded for their take-charge personas. “The tyranny of their previous success of driving toward decisions on their own can often lead leaders to be blind to new ways of thinking,” says Tapia.

Integrative Thinking Mindset

In the context of change, integrative thinking enables leaders to connect what’s happening in one part of the enterprise with its impact across the entire enterprise ecosystem. That kind of holistic mindset is particularly critical given the current supply chain disruption and social, political, and environmental unrest.

Stu Crandell, a senior client partner and global leader of the CEO and executive assessment practice at Korn Ferry, says integrative thinking can help leaders see the whole picture rather than being blindsided by the impact of a decision after the fact. “It’s about maximizing an organization’s current business model while simultaneously building a new one to navigate change,” he says.

The problem is this kind of thinking goes against traditional leadership development, which has been oriented toward vertical, hierarchical, and siloed decision-making. “People learned how to lead their area,” says Crandell. Now, however, navigating change requires leaders to think not only across their entire organization but also its broader ecosystem of suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders.

Conclusion

Developing these mindsets is not easy, as it goes to the very core of leadership development. Many executives have one, two, or even three of these mindsets. But few have all of them — our research shows that less than 14% of executives today are enterprise leaders. That’s a very small number when juxtaposed against the 100% chance that another seismic change to the business environment is around the corner. Opening up these mindsets will make or break how leaders engage the next big disruption.

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

 

Contributor: Kevin Cashman, Global Co-Leader, CEO & Enterprise Leader Development, Andrés Tapia, Senior Client Partner, ESG and DE&I Strategist, Margie Warrell, Ph.D., Senior Client Partner, Stuart S. Crandell, Senior Client Partner, the evolution of the Chief at Korn Ferry CEO, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Are Big Wages Losing Steam?

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 15, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Are Big Wages Losing Steam?

For the first time in a year, wage growth is slowing. But experts aren’t sure if the bidding wars are over.

The firm’s project managers used to earn $140,000 per year. Then came the Great Resignation, and to retain them, the company hiked their wages to $165,000. A third left anyway. To attract new applicants, HR bumped salaries yet again, to $175,000, then $190,000.

For almost a year, amid all the talk of fantastic bidding wars for talent, it didn’t seem possible. But figures suggest that an era of ever-increasing compensation may be losing steam—at least for now. According to the latest government figures, wage growth slowed for the time since spring in 2021, falling this May to 5.2% from 5.5% in April. All of which are critical for firms trying to compete more and boost profits. “Labor costs are integral to profitability and how well a company does overall,” says Tom McMullen, a senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s ESG and Inclusive Rewards practice. Indeed, wages are typically the largest cost for organizations in labor-intensive fields.

To be sure, talent wars are far from over in some fields, such as engineering and healthcare, fueled in part by Great Resignation and baby-boomer retirements (more than 10,000 per day, on average). But for a growing number of roles, experts say, budget-minded leaders are noticing a downtick in salary raises.

How long they will is anyone’s guess. Wages over the past year have not kept up with inflation, which may limit companies’ ability to temper wage growth. What’s more, supply-chain disruptions and the ongoing geopolitical conflict, along with the scarcity of labor, are working in tandem to produce a roller coaster of fluctuations in wage growth and inflation. “There’s a lot of moving parts to this, and it’s still pretty dicey,” says McMullen. A lot of wage growth is due to job-hopping, he says, so slower wage growth could be an early indicator that the stream of workers seeking to change their jobs has also slowed. He predicts that employees in some sectors will experience the shift more than others, especially those in industries with struggling stock prices.

HR departments expect to see calmer hiring patterns. “I think we’ll see a slowing of turnover,” says Brian Bloom, vice president of global benefits for Korn Ferry. “With a looming recession and possible layoffs, people will be less motivated to change jobs.”

But experts caution that the feistiness of applicants and employees is not going anywhere. Lower wage growth may mean employees won’t leave for higher pay elsewhere, but it won’t stem their demands for flexibility, for example. “It doesn’t end the Great Resignation,” says Andy DeMarco, vice president of human resources for the Americas at Korn Ferry. He suggests that managers remain mindful of the fact that most turnover is not driven by money. “You still need to provide the right experience for high performers around career growth, workload, and opportunities,” he says.

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Tom McMullen, Senior Client Partner, ESG and Inclusive Rewards, Brian Bloom, Vice President, Global Benefits, and Andy De Marco, Vice President, Human Resources, Americas at Korn Ferry CEO, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach.

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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How to Awaken the Happiness Inside of You

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 8, 2022 at 10:25 am / In: Uncategorized

How to Awaken the Happiness Inside of You

Far too many people are suffering from unhappiness right now, and I want to get to the bottom line of why and offer a solution. Fortunately, happiness is within our control.

I’m here to share how to attain true happiness from my own experience, and from years of extensive research by some of the world’s foremost professionals.

If this sounds like it might be you, I hope you read the information below, where I explain the chemistry behind our emotions and how we each have the power to control them, and truly feel better.

How to Awaken the Happiness Inside of You

Are you unhappy? You’re not alone. The pandemic has created an epidemic of stress, anxiety, depression, and a whole bunch of people who simply don’t feel happy. Many would say that all that unhappiness is totally warranted. Life pretty much stinks now in far too many ways

But while there are many, many, many reasons to feel bad, frustrated, and fearful, what if I told you that happiness is within your control?

No, I haven’t lost my mind. The truth is that, for many years, I have watched people give away their happiness every day – not only during times of great challenge but also when life wasn’t nearly as difficult as it is now.

For some reason, we all think that happiness occurs “out there” and that something or someone makes us happy or unhappy. This would suggest that we have no control over our happiness, rather than putting us in control of our lives. This externalization gives away all the power over our emotions and outcomes to occurrences “out there,” – leaving us as victims.

Here’s what happens.

If something good happens, we are happy.
If something bad happens, we are unhappy.
If someone is nice to us, we are happy.
If someone is mean to us, we are unhappy.
If someone says “yes” to us, we are happy.
If someone says “no” to us (yup, you guessed it), we are unhappy.

Do you see the pattern? We’re letting circumstances outside of ourselves control our happiness.

This isn’t how happiness has to work.

What if I told you that you have control over your feelings of happiness? Because, aside from those with serious chemical imbalances, happiness is a physiological reaction resulting from the interaction between mind and body. That’s right – happiness is generally controlled by the thoughts you think and their effect on your body’s physiology. Specifically, your body releases hormones in response to your thoughts and experiences.

Four of these hormones make us feel good, and one of them puts us in panic mode.

Dopamine is the hormone that rewards us when we achieve or reach a goal. Author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek describes dopamine as the feel-good chemical released when your phone chimes. Hooray, I have a message! Hooray, someone responded to me! When you reach for something and achieve it, your body rewards you with dopamine.

Oxytocin is the hormone of human connection. It is released when mothers breastfeed their babies, when adults make love, and when we connect with others physically or emotionally.

Serotonin is considered our primary mood stabilizer. When doctors diagnose a patient as depressed, they typically prescribe antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The problem is that antidepressants only work 50% to 65% of the time on average and can cause unpleasant side effects. The interesting thing about serotonin is that it is produced in the digestive tract and the brain. There is a high correlation between people with depression and those with digestive issues – which raises interesting questions about which comes first, the depression or the digestive issues.

Endorphins are often referred to as the body’s natural painkillers. They are the hormones that athletes get “addicted” to because they make us feel good after physical activity.

And the one “evil” hormone? Cortisol. Cortisol protects us in many ways by providing energy, regulating blood pressure, and managing blood sugar during times of stress. When we perceive danger, our bodies create it during the “fight or flight” survival response. But in modern-day society, many of us perceive everything to be an affront, reacting with stress and emotional intensity far too often. The result? Our bodies are bathed in cortisol. A little cortisol is good, but long-term exposure to this hormone creates inflammation throughout the body and overtaxes your system. When this happens, your ability to produce the feel-good hormones can become impaired.

What does all this science mean?

It means your body releases hormones that drive your emotions in response to a thought. So, if we change our thoughts, we can feel differently in many cases.

Motivational author Louise Hay said, “It’s only a thought, and a thought can be changed.” In my opinion, these are some of the most powerful words ever spoken. Consider this, you can just as easily have a positive thought in response to a situation as you can a negative one.

Now take a moment to reflect on your day.

You release happy hormones with nearly every positive thought and action. Think about how many positive thoughts you have versus negative ones. You may have many more negative thoughts – minor frustrations, self-criticism, fear, and anxiety. With almost every negative thought, you release cortisol and suppress your body’s natural happiness system. When someone cuts you off in traffic, you flip them the bird; when you don’t receive the delivery on time, you get annoyed; or when you have an unreasonable work deadline or work in a hostile environment, you live in stress.

We simply don’t need to react with such venom to everyday occurrences – it’s quashing our joy.

The sad thing is that as adults we have spent many years practicing these fearful and frustrating thoughts. We watch bad news, not good news. We binge-watch movies and television programs about sad stories, life crises, and criminals. We surround ourselves with inputs that feel bad rather than good, so much so that we “practice” reacting with stress rather than joy every day. We’ve gotten really good at spending our days complaining and blaming.

But what if you realized that you’re in control of your life instead of being the victim?

You can appreciate that your spouse or child prepared dinner without being frustrated about the messy kitchen or that the recipe wasn’t followed. You can have patience with the slow sales clerk who is likely trying the best they can despite being new to the job, having received inadequate training, or covering a second shift for a friend. We are so quick to be affronted, yet the truth is that the only one we hurt with these frustrations is ourselves!

Fuel your happy hormones!

If you want happiness, you need to flip that practice by engaging in behaviors and thoughts that fuel the parts of your body that release the feel-good, happy hormones. Physical activity. Social interaction. Quality foods. Positive thoughts and reactions. Physical touch. Smiling. Noticing the good rather than the bad.

Think happy thoughts and the happy hormones fire. Think negative, angry thoughts, and the stress hormone cortisol suffocates your happiness. Yes, this is an oversimplification of an incredibly complex physiological network, but the truth is that the high-level concept is genuinely not that complicated.

Our bodies react to the inputs we give them.

Discover that happiness is right in her own backyard. Once you stop giving the power to “them” (the external factors causing your unhappiness) and understand the Chemistry of Happiness, you are free to awaken your happiness and live the life of your dreams.

Have a Wonderful day!

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Sarah Hiner, President, Bottom Line Wellness and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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How to Develop a Longevity Mindset

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 1, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

How to Develop a Longevity Mindset

How long you live is a function of many factors, including your mindset. You can actually “Will yourself to death—or will yourself to a longer health span.”

How long do you think you will live? 80 years old? Maybe, 90? What would have to change for you to believe that you could live to 120 years old?

My mission is to transform the way you think: to transform your mindset around many factors, including longevity.

The best way for me to do this is to give you overwhelming evidence of the massive medical advancements that can and will extend your health span.

I want you to go from thinking: “That sounds possible” to thinking: “Amazing! This is really happening!”

WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF A LONGEVITY MINDSET?

One way to understand something is to understand its opposite.

The opposite of a Longevity Mindset is accepting the societal norms that life expectancy for females is about 80 years and for males is roughly 75 years old—and that there is nothing you can do about it. Just accept the cards you’ve been dealt. (Data is for the US population as of 2020, according to the CDC.)

Now that’s fine if that’s what you want, but there is another option… and it’s sad that most people spend all their savings in the last 5% of their lives fighting disease with extreme measures, rather than using the capital earlier to keep them healthier longer.

The mindset of “mortality is normal and expected” is pervasive in society.

For many years, it has been taboo in medical and research circles to talk about extending the healthy human lifespan, or to even mention the idea that “aging is a disease.” Scientists proclaiming this doctrine were shunned and feared that their grant funding might evaporate.

This negative mindset also permeates life outside the lab. You can see its effects everywhere. Many of our institutions, services, and markets are structured around the ostensibly inevitable reality of people dying in their sixties, seventies, and eighties. As well as the belief that anyone making it to 100 means a wheelchair and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Government policies, insurance, medicine, religion—they’re all organized around this mindset and its assumptions.

So, what’s changed?

Now more than ever, during a period of exponential medicine, you don’t have to accept the cards you’re dealt. Technologies like genome sequencing, RNA transcriptomics, Wnt pathway modifiers, vaccines, CRISPR, liquid biopsies, CAR-T cells, Gene Therapy, exosomes, and stem cells are just some of the technologies in development.

Please remember that human beings were never designed to live past age 30 (the point after which you had already passed on your genes). The fact that we routinely double or triple that life expectancy is miraculous.

Because of this reality, after 30 years of age, many of our body’s systems (specifically gene expression) go into dysregulation and we begin to accumulate significant cellular damage. As a result, our bodies develop a multitude of diseases, which we now call aging.

Ultimately, aging is a disease—a disease that many are beginning to believe can be slowed, stopped, and perhaps even reversed.

To date, we’ve seen maybe 10% of all the possible longevity-extending technologies that will impact us in the decade ahead…

By the way, get ready for a massive acceleration coming from AI and the arrival of quantum computers able to model molecular interactions within cells and on the cell surface. Given all of these exciting developments, the right mindset to have is one that’s optimistic and focused on maximizing your health and adding decades of healthy years to your life.

That’s the spirit of the Longevity Mindset.

DO YOU HAVE A LONGEVITY MINDSET?

So, what shapes your Longevity Mindset? It may seem obvious, but we regularly ignore shaping our mindset and just accept what we have.

Below are 6 key areas of a Longevity Mindset that you can shape today. As you read through them, ask yourself: Where can you improve? What would it take to improve?

#1) What You Believe: At one end of the spectrum, you see life as short and precious—you’ll consider yourself lucky if you make it to 75 or 80 years old. At the other end, you’re focused on making “100 years old the new 60.” You see aging as a disease, and you actively track breakthroughs in biotech that have the potential to slow or even reverse aging (e.g., CRISPR, cellular medicines).

#2) What You Read / Your Media Consumption: The type of content and media you consume (e.g., books, blogs, movies, news) directly affects your outlook on life—for better or worse. Are you reading the obituaries of old friends? Or are you reading books like David Sinclair’s LIfespan and Life Force (which Peter Diamandis recently wrote with Tony Robbins)?

#3) Your Community: The people you spend time with shape who you are and what you do. At one end of the spectrum, you only hang out with older people who constantly talk and worry about death. It’s just a matter of time… But on the other end, you spend time with people who are optimistic and youthful, and who actively pursue longevity.

#4) Sleep: Sleep is fundamental and critical. A great book that details this is Why We Sleep by Dr. Matt Walker. We physiologically *need* 8 hours of sleep per night. Do you believe the motto that “There’s plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead”? Or do you prioritize sleep and use the best techniques to help you achieve 8 healthy hours of sleep?

#5) Diet: There is truth to the saying that “You are what you eat.” Do you eat whatever you want, whenever you want? Are you overweight, and eating way too much sugar? Have you intentionally shaped your diet, with a no-sugar/keto or vegan diet? Or have you explored and mastered intermittent fasting to maximize your energy and longevity?

#6) Exercise: Along with your mindset, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet, exercise is fundamental to longevity. The latest research on longevity makes it clear that increasing muscle mass is critical. At one end of the spectrum, you don’t exercise at all. But on the other end, you consider exercising a must. You exercise at least three times each week, for example, interval training and weightlifting. Perhaps you even take peptides to manipulate your growth hormones to increase muscle mass.

Do you desire a Longevity Mindset? Are you interested in how to increase your health span? Email me, and I’ll make an introduction to a talented Entrepreneur, and a team of World Renown Doctors and Nurse Practitioners, that is building a wonderful company, to address longevity and the quality of wellness. Living to a ripe old age should be in good health.

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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The ‘Work From Anywhere’ Solution

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 25, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

The ‘Work From Anywhere’ Solution

Airbnb is letting nearly every employee work remotely, a move that other “asset-light” firms facing talent shortages may need to consider. Carefully.

Workers have made their feelings known about working in the office full-time. They’ve filled only about 40% of offices in major US cities, and surveys indicate that about two thirds would look for new jobs if they’re required to return. A big-name outfit has now turned to what it hopes will be the ultimate recruiting tool: the fully remote workplace.

In a move that’s turning a lot of heads, Airbnb formally made coming into the office optional for all 6,000 of its workers. They are, the firm said, free to work from virtually anywhere in the world. Smaller firms have embraced remote work, but few $6 billion companies have done this so openly and thoroughly. The firm’s CEO, Brian Chesky, said he hopes the policy will draw new recruits. “I think this will become the predominant way that we all work ten years from now. This is where the world is going,” he told employees recently.

But can it work? Such a move isn’t possible for asset-based firms, such as large manufacturers or service-sector outfits with heavy brick-and-mortar operations requiring on-site staffs. And it’s a far cry from what corporate leaders envisioned just a few years ago. Tech companies and others spent billions to build corporate campuses offering free food, dry-cleaning services, and other amenities, says Barbara Rosen, a senior client partner and global accounts lead for Korn Ferry’s Technology Market practice. Now many of those firms are trying to determine whether everyone should return to those offices, work remotely, or do some combination of the two.

For his part, John Kuper, who leads the North American Technology practice for Korn Ferry Professional Search, sees the advantages the move gives Airbnb and other “asset-light” firms that don’t need on-site staffing. “On the surface, working from anywhere looks like a big talent attractor,” he says. Given the crippling talent shortage many firms are facing—with a record number of job openings—that’s no small advantage.

But HR pros say that going all-remote might impact a firm’s talent pool in some unexpected ways. A company will be able to open itself up to a vast number of potential job candidates who live nowhere near its headquarters or facilities. That’s particularly valuable for firms in mostly homogenous areas that are looking to diversify their employment base, says Andrés Tapia, Korn Ferry’s global diversity and inclusion strategist. “The advantages from that perspective can’t be overlooked,” he says.

Meanwhile, there are still many employees who miss the camaraderie of working and brainstorming side by side with colleagues. Innumerable skilled people are eager to get out of their homes and into the office. An all-remote company probably wouldn’t appeal to these workers. “You’re self-selecting candidates,” says Bradford Frank, a senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s Global Technology practice.

Compensation becomes complicated. While Airbnb says it will pay workers by the role, not the location, several other firms have reduced salaries for those living in less expensive regions. Many experts say the issue of equitable pay—when cost of living, taxes, and other issues are taken into account—could create a host of financial obstacles. “What you pay remote people is going to become a big issue which many companies haven’t figured out yet,” says Kuper. “There will be some level resetting on that at some point. And when there is, there will be some friction from employees.”

Kristi Drew, a senior client partner and global account leader for Korn Ferry’s Financial Services practice, believes there is no “one size fits all” answer here. “It will continue to be a company-by-company decision,” she says. Kuper agrees. “I don’t think 100 percent remote or 100 percent in-office will be the answer for the majority of companies,” he says.

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Contributor: Barbara Rosen, John Kuper, Andrés T. Tapia, Bradford Frank, and Kristi Drew and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Top 10 List to Thrive in 2022

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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What Drives Our Most Innovative People To Success

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 18, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

What Drives Our Most Innovative People To Success

Most people (and companies) are happy with incremental progress.

They are happy with 10% more revenue, or a 10% reduction in costs.

The challenge is that if you’re only aiming for 10%, then 10% is likely all you’ll get.

A 10% objective is anchored in an incremental and scarcity mindset, but the world’s most successful people don’t act based on scarcity. They act based on an Abundance and Exponential Mindset that enables them to pursue 10x (1,000%) growth—a Moonshot.

A Moonshot Mindset lets us set goals that are radically difficult. Billion-person challenges. Products that sound crazy until they suddenly become breakthroughs. Ventures that require a lot of risks, but that pay exponential rewards.

A Moonshot Mindset allows us to ask: What is the 10X version of my product? My company? My industry?

In today’s blog, I’ll discuss how three of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs—Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk—each use different strategies to think at scale and deliver 10X impact.

You might call this “Billionaire Wisdom.”

As you read through their strategies, ask yourself: How can you apply these insights and thinking in your business?

Let’s dive in!

HOW THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE CREATE A 10X IMPACT

JEFF BEZOS

You probably know that Amazon.com started out as an online bookstore. By 1997, Bezos’ bookshop was doing $148 million in annual revenue. To most people, that probably sounds like a lot.

Not to Bezos. His goal? To make Amazon “the point of reference for anyone who had anything to sell online,” as Time Magazine pointed out in 1999 when they named him Person of the Year.

Fast forward to 2022, and Bezos’s bookshop has turned into The Everything Store. In 2021, Amazon pulled in $469.82 billion in revenue.
Bezos isn’t interested in small shifts or polite progress. He wants to effect change on a massive scale, with 3 primary drivers behind this revolution: long-term thinking, customer-centrism, and experimentation.

Long-term thinking:

Bezos has never been interested in quick profits or short-term rewards. From the start, Amazon has been playing the long game.

In his now-famous 1997 letter to his shareholders, Bezos put it this way:

“We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. . . . Because of our emphasis on the long term, we may make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies.”

Customer-centrism:

We can find Bezos’ focus on the customer encapsulated in one of the bullet points from that same 1997 letter to shareholders, “we will continue to focus relentlessly on our customers,” and then reinforced at the letter’s close:

“From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value. We realized that the Web was, and still is, the World Wide Wait. Therefore, we set out to offer customers something they simply could not get any other way and began serving them with books. We brought them much more selection than was possible in a physical store, and presented it in a useful, easy-to-search, and easy-to-browse format in a store open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day…”

Experimentation

As I’ve mentioned countless times, the only constant change and the rate of change is increasing.

Ultimately, standing still equals death, and the only way to succeed is to be constantly experimenting and innovating (think of it as Darwinian evolution in hyper-speed).

Bezos famously said: “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day…”

RICHARD BRANSON

Branson is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.

Three of his core success strategies are: being passionate and committed to fun, experimentation, and risk mitigation.

Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Being passionate and committed to fun

Branson is a fun junkie. He has set world records in balloons. He has set world records in speedboats. He has set world records in outlandishness.

But what’s often lost in this discussion is that fun-junkie-dom has been critical to Branson’s success.

Fun matters more because Branson employs it as a strategy for thinking at scale—both as a fuel (i.e., a way of harnessing his passion) and as a first principle, assuming that if something is fun for him—like an airline that makes you say “Wow!”—then it’ll also be fun for everyone else.

Experimentation

To make sure he’s right (and also because it’s fun), Branson always conducts an experiment.

Branson’s fiery devotion to fun translates directly to his dedicated clientele and fervent fans. Similar to Bezos, it’s become a business strategy based on experimental customer-centrism.

This methodology has allowed Branson to scale. By putting his customers’ needs first, Branson can triangulate vast distances, find industries that are stuck or broken, and apply his brand and experimentalism to take his shot.

But he also runs his empire like a competitive ecosystem—letting some companies live, letting others die, and always, ceaselessly, experimenting.

Risk mitigation

As Branson says:

“Superficially, I think it looks like entrepreneurs have a high tolerance for risk. But, having said that, one of the most important phrases in my life is ‘protect the downside.’ It should be one of the most important phrases in any businessperson’s life.” 

Virgin Galactic is a fantastic example.

In October 2004, when Burt Rutan demonstrated the success of the three-passenger SpaceShipOne vehicle, winning the $10M Ansari XPRIZE, Branson and his team came in with a multi-hundred-million-dollar commitment to scale that design up to an eight-passenger vehicle able to make multiple flights per day and carry thousands into space per year.

But, as is Branson’s style, in 2009, he was brilliantly able to offset that risk by bringing in Aabar, the Mideast investment fund, to purchase 32% of Virgin Galactic for $280 million. Then, two years later, Aabar increased their stake by 6%, committing an additional $110 million to fund small satellite launch capability.

So, sure, Branson bet a huge amount on Virgin Galactic, but he then protected that investment and brought in an extra $390 million in working capital to ensure its success.

ELON MUSK

Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success is a direct result of his mindset, strategies, and intelligence.

Having known Elon for 20+ years, I’ve had the opportunity to watch his meteoric rise into someone who is arguably the greatest entrepreneur of our age.

One of the many key strategies behind his success has been starting with first principles.

First-principles thinking is a mode of inquiry borrowed from physics that is designed to relentlessly pursue the foundations of any given problem from fundamental truths.

It works so well because it gives you, as an entrepreneur, a proven strategy for editing out complexity and sidestepping the tide of popular opinion.

Elon has deployed this thinking strategy to give himself an unfair advantage when developing new batteries, a key component for both Tesla and SolarCity.

Here’s Elon describing first principles thinking in an interview with Kevin Rose:

“First-principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, ‘What are we sure is true?’ … and then reason up from there.

Somebody could say, ‘Battery packs are really expensive and that’s just the way they will always be… Historically, it has cost $600 per kilowatt-hour. It’s not going to be much better than that in the future.’

With first principles, you say, ‘What are the material constituents of the batteries? What is the stock market value of the material constituents?’

It’s got cobalt, nickel, aluminum, carbon, some polymers for separation and a sealed can. Break that down on a material basis and say, ‘If we bought that on the London Metal Exchange what would each of those things cost?’

It’s like $80 per kilowatt hour. So clearly you just need to think of clever ways to take those materials and combine them into the shape of a battery cell and you can have batteries that are much, much cheaper than anyone realizes.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

The 10% mindset looks at the world’s problems, considers them unsolvable, and grabs a handful of provisions to get through the year.

But when you have a Moonshot Mindset and aim to create 10X impact, you see the biggest challenges as the biggest business opportunities.

So, ask yourself: What’s my Moonshot? How can I create a 10X impact? What steps am I going to take today to start making my Moonshot a reality?

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: What Exactly is the Future of Longevity and why are Billionaires Like Jeff Bezos are Investing in Age-Reversal

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Effective Leadership Starts by Walking in Another Person’s Shoes

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 11, 2022 at 10:25 am / In: Uncategorized

Effective Leadership Starts by Walking in Another Person’s Shoes

“Yes, sure—unfortunately can’t tonight. Several missile attacks on Kyiv near my apartment. I am in the bomb shelter. Air sirens still on.”

Those were the words Gary heard two days ago from the head of our Ukraine office after reaching out for a call, just to connect with him. It made my heart stop—and put things in perspective. Here was a colleague, still eager to have a conversation, even amid unthinkable circumstances.

“Today marks one full month of home-based lockdown in Shanghai for me and most of our Shanghai-based colleagues, though some have already been in lockdown for one-and-a-half months…”

This chilling reality was shared by Gary regarding a colleague in China.

“We have stayed at home for 28 days … not allowed to walk outside.”

Another senior colleague in Shanghai described the soul-crushing isolation.

“The food supply and everything was almost in crisis at the beginning … I hope we are at the end of the tunnel, seeing the light finally.”

Another leader in Shanghai offered a reminder for all of us—even in the darkest times, there is always light. But if you don’t look for it, you won’t find it.

Just like the experiences of so many across the globe, these sentiments embody the front lines of some of humanity’s heartbreaks today.

In the world, these days, so many paradoxes abound. War vs. peace. Lockdowns vs. liberation. Isolation vs. connection. Gray days vs. blue skies. Despair vs. hope. Egocentric vs. empathetic. Self-interest vs. shared interest.

One thing, though, bridges these gaps: the heart-to-heart connections forged in compassion. But even with that empathy, we can only strive to walk in their shoes.

Our best hope is to leave behind our myopia—the lens that often can point mostly to ourselves. Only then can we broaden our perspective and elevate our horizons to truly appreciate and understand the problems and challenges that disrupt, impact, and imperil the lives of others.

With greater awareness, our empathy transcends from words alone to genuine feeling—and then to actions that truly uplift others.

The journey starts with Accountability. What we wish to see in the world begins with each of us. In other words, we must first be accountable to ourselves for our own behaviors. After all, when we desire peace, we act with peace. When we value truth, we uphold it. When we feel compassion, we show it.

The bridge to possibility is Belief. When we believe we can make a difference—that change is possible—then our actions will follow. This is what leadership is all about: inspiring others to believe and enabling that belief to become tomorrow’s reality.

The destination is our greater Capability. This is a broad brush: listening, caring, connecting, inspiring, expanding, exploring, and learning. Now, everything we do is grounded in the human experiences of empathy, authenticity, and connection.

Embodying these ABCs of leadership is not dependent on any title or position—it’s for everyone. In fact, the person who will forever stand for these values is someone I knew many years ago—my friend, Brett. Throughout his life, Brett was a man of modest means. But when it came to the amazing reach of his inspiring good works, he was the richest of all.

I can remember as if it were yesterday when I attended Brett’s funeral. When it came time for him to be eulogized, people held back at first—waiting for someone else to go up to the podium to speak. Then came the first story—and then another.

Each recollection … helping others, caring for others … elevated into a crescendo, taking us through an entire emotional spectrum from grief to gratitude, consolation to elation. At that moment, each in our own way, we were inspired and transformed.

We may not be able to change the circumstances of people’s lives—especially those who are half a world away. But there is that something we can do—I see you. I hear you. You matter. I care. Indeed, that’s when we start walking in their shoes.

And so we end where we began, with the words from the head of our Ukraine office: “I can tell you, optimism and the ability to generate hope are the most critical to surviving. And compassion—be kind to yourself and other people. That’s how we support others every day to overcome uncertainty and fear.”

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: What it takes to thrive in a more complicated global world – A Five-Step-Plan 7

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

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7 Key Topics Leaders May Be Ignoring

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 4, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

7 Key Topics Leaders May Be Ignoring

While it’s natural to fixate on inflation and a war, experts say leaders can’t drop the ball on key issues. A special report on the most critical leadership topics and challenges.

Two subjects currently dominate the headlines: inflation and war. It’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re a company in search of raw materials or a consumer seeking to buy a finished product, prices are rising at their fastest pace in forty years. At the same time, the death and destruction in Eastern Europe means that leaders must create plans to keep employees safe as well as consider both short- and long-term plans for operations in the region.

But experts worry that these issues may be overshadowing some other very important concerns that leaders must address. These include a pandemic that hasn’t let up in parts of the world, chronic employee shortages, and worker- and leadership-development programs that have been sidelined. “With so many big incoming issues and adversity, it is easy to forget the new leadership needed for this new, relentless, ever-morphing world,” says Kevin Cashman, Korn Ferry’s global leader of CEO and executive development.

Companies have had little choice but to postpone dealing with some issues, such as succession planning, leadership development, or even product development. “My sense is that companies and leaders are hitting pause while they react to urgent priorities,” says Evelyn Orr, Korn Ferry’s head of CEO and executive assessment for North America. But Korn Ferry experts see seven ongoing issues that need to stay on leadership’s radar:

Leadership topics that should not be put on hold

COVID: Remember Me?

Cases have been falling in the United States, vaccines are making their way around the world, and a new pill is going into production that could mitigate the severity of COVID-19 and its variants. However, the virus’ latest iteration, BA.2, is spreading rapidly throughout Asia and Europe, and public-health experts believe it’s only a matter of time before it surges in the United States as well.

If the spread continues, experts worry that some firms may not be focused on its repercussions for their operations. That’s partly because many employees and leaders have grown tired of the lockdowns and other precautions of the past two years. Still, the new variant is estimated to be 30 to 50 percent more contagious than Omicron, which itself was far more contagious than the original virus. Experts say keeping employees informed about the virus—and taking firm steps—is mandatory. “Companies have an obligation to communicate,” says Ron Porter, senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s Global Human Resources Center of Expertise.

Workers still have the power.

The unemployment rate nationwide is 4.4%, close to generational lows, but in numerous regions of the country, it’s 3.5 percent or lower. At the same time, the Great Resignation is by no means over. There were 4.2 million voluntary quits in January, slightly fewer than in December 2021, but still 28% more than in January 2021.

Experts say the scramble for talent should be making leaders rethink nearly everything around the positions they offer: pay, hours, responsibilities, and locations. “Managers and leaders need to make sure that they are working hard to provide meaningful work for people, focus on advancement and training, and let people know that they are appreciated,” says Bill Sebra, a global operating executive for Korn Ferry’s Recruitment Placement Outsourcing (RPO) and Professional Search business. Don’t expect a recession to bring things back to pre-pandemic norms, either. “It feels like a fundamental shift, not a temporary market condition,” says Juliana Barela, vice president, and general manager of Korn Ferry’s RPO and solutions business in North America.

Back-to-the-office is still stumbling.

Leaders really want their people back in the workplace, and many of them are setting hard deadlines for employees to return to full-time in-office work weeks. But the numbers suggest this has become something of a standoff. After a surge in January and February, the number of workers returning the office has leveled off at about 40 percent, according to Kastle Systems, which monitors the number of people who swipe into office buildings in ten major cities across the US.

The problem, experts say, is that many firms haven’t made a real effort to ease the transition. Some employees aren’t comfortable returning to the office, others have moved farther away, and still, others have found they’re considerably more productive working remotely and don’t want to come back. “Being too firm and too definitive likely will not behoove leaders,” says Elise Freedman, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and leader of the firm’s Workforce Transformation practice. In the end, workers who feel they’re being pushed to return to pre-pandemic office life may just quit. “Our research shows employees will vote with their feet,” Freedman says.

There’s a human impact of digital transformation.

“Remember the intensity and focus we had on digital pre-COVID?” says Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry’s global head of leadership development solutions. “It hasn’t gone away.” During the pandemic, organizations spent billions on technology to help make supply chains more resilient and sales channels more efficient, along with other improvement efforts. What firms often overlooked, however, is how the latest technologies could rapidly change not only how employees interact with one another, but also how managers should lead them. “This all means less reliance on structural solutions and planning, and much more of a focus on building trust and bridging the disruption for our workforces,” Baltzley says.

Some of these technologies—which include both digital tools, such as the metaverse, and newer forms of social communication, such as TikTok—could unleash new approaches to training, development, and building camaraderie, but very few people are talking about them, says Andrés Tapia, Korn Ferry’s global strategist for diversity, equity, and inclusion. And that omission is critical, given that technology will make some workers’ jobs obsolete even as it also allows other high-potential employees to excel. “Are you wrapping your arms around your top talent? Do you even know who your high performers are?” says Andy De Marco, Korn Ferry’s vice president of human resources for the Americas.

Cyberattacks: the mode of combat that could impact everyone, everywhere.

Just because there hasn’t been a successful major cyberattack outside Eastern Europe since fighting began doesn’t mean it won’t happen. This week, President Joe Biden warned of potential cyberattacks against US institutions and companies in retaliation for economic penalties imposed on Russia. “I think this is unfortunately a reminder of just how uncertain the global environment is,” says Lieutenant General (ret) William C. Mayville, Jr, a senior adviser to Korn Ferry’s Cybersecurity practice and a former vice commander of US Cyber Command.

Awareness of the problem isn’t enough, Mayville says. Executives should sit down with their security leaders and review action plans. They should test backup power generators and other systems that their organization will need in the event of an attack. It’s also a good idea to give employees at all levels a refresher on how to reduce the chances of a successful attack, Mayville says. “Many of us undergo regular cyber training. Why not do it twice?”

We are nowhere near done on diversity.

Many organizations are still looking for ways to become more diverse and inclusive, says Tapia. Now is not the time to let up on these ongoing efforts. Some experts worry that back-to-the-office efforts, along with the raises and promotions are thrown around during the Great Resignation, may unintentionally create gaps in pay and development.

As companies seek to bring people back to the workplace—and try to develop ways to attract and retain employees generally—they need to be mindful of how these efforts could affect a firm’s demographic makeup. “Leaders have to make sure their diversity and inclusion effort is not just a moment. It is forever,” says Divina Gamble, Korn Ferry’s sector co-leader for the firm’s Nonprofit Philanthropy and Social Enterprise practice.

Be ready for another crisis.

The war in Eastern Europe may end soon, and the pandemic may eventually fade, but something else likely will replace them—maybe a hurricane that levels a factory, or another war, or climate change. No one knows, but leaders have to expect and plan for challenges above and beyond ordinary competitive forces.

Crisis management is increasingly becoming a mission-critical skill that boards and CEOs are looking for, says Stu Crandell, global leader for Korn Ferry’s CEO and Executive Assessment practice. The best CEOs are not being reactive, Baltzley says. “They’re trying to create sustainable strategies to prepare for and address new crises, and building resilient and agile organizations that can weather them.”

Let me introduce you to an exciting new program for CEOs, C-Level Executives, and high-potential employees. This program helps team members to gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives, unlock their potential, create actionable strategic plans, and thrive in a competitive global world. Please visit and join as a member. 

Contributors: Kevin Cashman, Global Leader, CEO & Executive Development, Kevin Cashman, Global Leader, CEO & Executive Development, Kevin Cashman, Global Leader, CEO & Executive Development, Ronald Porter, Senior Client Partner, Global Human Resources Center of Excellence, Ronald Porter, Senior Client Partner, Global Human Resources Center of Excellence, Juliana Barela, Vice President & General Manager, RPO, North America, Elise Freedman, Senior Client Partner, Workforce Transformation Practice Leader, Dennis R. Baltzley, Ph.D., Global Solution Leader, Leadership Development, Andrés Tapia, Senior Client Partner, ESG and DE&I Strategist, Andy De Marco, Vice President, Human Resources, Americas, Divina Gamble, Office Managing Partner, Washington DC, Senior Client Partner, Co-Leader of Nonprofit Practice, Stuart S. Crandell, Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach.

Recent Blog Post: 7 leadership development activities for Executives and CEOs to become better leaders

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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What Exactly is the Future of Longevity and why are Billionaires Like Jeff Bezos are Investing in Age-Reversal

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 20, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

What Exactly is the Future of Longevity and why are Billionaires Like Jeff Bezos are Investing in Age-Reversal

The world’s billionaires are pouring money into age-reversal investments.

Last September, it came out that Jeff Bezos had invested in Altos Labs, a company pursuing biological reprogramming technology. “Reprogramming” is the scientific term for turning old cells young again. It was discovered in 2012 by Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka, who called it a potential “elixir of life.” The Nobel Prize in Medicine committee seemed to agree.

Bezos—and Altos—aren’t the only ones.

There’s Google-backed Calico Labs, also focused on longevity via reprogramming. And Lineage Cell Therapeutics, backed by BlackRock, Raffles Capital Management, Wells Fargo, and others.

Coinbase Co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong recently invested in a company working to radically extend human healthspan using epigenetic reprogramming therapies. Altogether, the anti-aging industry is expected to grow to $64.04 billion by 2026, a 45% increase from its 2020 value ($44 billion).

So, why are billionaires like Jeff Bezos investing in age-reversal or “anti-aging” tech?

Because they have a Longevity Mindset.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A LONGEVITY MINDSET?

One way to understand the Longevity Mindset is by looking at its opposite.

Most people take the aging process for granted. If they’re disciplined, healthy, and lucky, they’ll get 20 or so years of youth, start declining in their 40s, and died sometime between 60 and 80.

They accept that life expectancy is 81.2 years for females and 76.4 years for males—nothing they can do, just take the lemons and make lemonade.

And who can blame them? Nearly every human institution—governments, the insurance industry, medicine, religion—is organized around this mindset.

The anti-Longevity Mindset is: mortality is inevitable, youth is fleeting.

So, the Longevity Mindset is: mortality is avoidable, youth is extendable.

If that sounds shocking to you, you’re not the only one. For years, scientists supporting a Longevity Mindset were shunned, and as a result, tabled longevity studies for fear of losing grant funding.

But medicine has evolved.

We’ve entered a period of exponential medicine: Innovations like genome sequencing, RNA transcriptomics, Wnt pathway modifiers, vaccines, CRISPR, liquid biopsies, CAR-T cells, Gene Therapy, exosomes, and stem cells are just a sampling of the technologies that the world’s billionaires are fast-tracking.

Free from the narrow paradigm of academies, these scientists earn as much as 5-10 times a top professor’s salary by working for Altos and others.

Ultimately, aging is a disease—a disease that many of the most powerful people on the planet believe can be slowed, stopped, even reversed.

That’s the spirit of the Longevity Mindset.

HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR OWN LONGEVITY MINDSET

Examine and assess the seven basic areas of life that everyone, whether you live on the margins or in a mansion, must negotiate.

  1. Beliefs. At one end of the spectrum are people who see 75 years old as the end. And at the other end are people who see aging as a disease, and who actively track breakthroughs in biotech that have the potential to slow or even reverse aging. Which are you?
  2. Media Diet. The films, books, articles you consume have a deep, direct impact on how you think. Does your media diet reinforce the anti-longevity mindset?
  3. Community. The people we spend time with also shape our mindset. Do you spend time with people who constantly worry about death? Or do you hang with a younger, more vital crowd who surround you with optimism and a youthful vision of the future?
  4. Sleep Habits. We physiologically need eight hours of sleep per night. Do you burn the candle at both ends? Or do you prioritize this most valuable resource, using the best techniques to help you?
  5. Your Diet. You very literally are what you eat. The nutrients (or non-nutrient) you consume become your body, your mind, your spirit. Do you overindulge in good-tasting (sugar-rich) but destructive foods? Or do you craft a sensible diet and practice intermittent fasting to maximize your energy and longevity?
  6. Exercise Habits. Exercise—especially that which increases muscle mass—is crucial to longevity. Do you exercise a minimum of three times a week—perhaps taking peptides to maximize growth hormones and increase muscle mass?
  7. Mindset. Do you cultivate your Longevity Mindset? Do you see your future as bigger than your past?

Laying the foundation of a Longevity Mindset doesn’t take any capital investment. Everyone has beliefs, a media diet, a community. Everyone must sleep, eat, and move around.

In the background, billionaires like Bezos are accelerating the industry, working to bring cutting-edge longevity tech to all of humanity.

When they do, will you be ready?

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Top 10 List to Thrive in 2022

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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What it takes to thrive in a more complicated global world – A Five-Step-Plan

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 13, 2022 at 10:25 am / In: Uncategorized

What it takes to thrive in a more complicated global world – A Five-Step-Plan

For each of the 5 steps below, Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation shares the exact actions he took when pursuing my XPRIZE Moonshot.

You’ll find that to compete globally in the next five years and thrive you’ll want to consider including Moonshot thinking. This exercise is as actionable as possible for you.

STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR MOONSHOT AND TARGET

What exactly is your Moonshot? Once you’ve identified it, write a clear description of your 5-Year Target for that Moonshot.

Now in detail, answer this question: What will you have accomplished 5 years from now towards that Moonshot goal?

You want to use specific numbers and dates: What will you accomplish by when?

This will make it clear to YOU and others whether you have achieved your goal.

Peter’s Version of Step 1 for the Spaceflight XPRIZE:

I will raise a $10M prize purse. The purse will be offered to the first team to carry 3 people to 100 kilometers altitude in a privately financed rocket, and to do it again within 2 weeks, using the same vehicle. I will have at least 20 serious competitors in the competition.

Note: I typically use a 5-year horizon because it is close enough, but not too close. If you prefer to do this exercise with a 10-year horizon, you’re welcome to do that.

STEP 2: SPECIFY YOUR OBJECTIVE FOR YEAR 1

What concrete, measurable targets do you need to hit by the end of your first year of work to give you confidence that your Moonshot is on track?

Think: “If I achieve ‘X’ in one year’s time, I will have increased confidence that I could achieve my full Moonshot in 5 years.”

Peter’s Version of Step 2 for XPRIZE:

  • Incorporate a non-profit to run the competition
  • Get the support of the top leaders in space (NASA, FAA, astronauts)
  • Raise $500,000 in operating capital

STEP 3: YOUR 30-DAY PLAN

What can you do in the next 30 days to test and “de-risk” both your 1-Year and 5-Year objectives?

Be as specific as possible!

Peter’s Version of Step 3 for XPRIZE:

  • Talk to 3 experts and get their insights
  • Present the idea at a space conference and get feedback

STEP 4: HOW ACHIEVABLE IS YOUR MOONSHOT?

What evidence can you provide to your team (and friends) to help them believe that your Moonshot is real and achievable?

Again, you want to be very specific. Give them reasons to believe. You can use first principles thinking or historical analogs to help.

My Version of Step 4 for XPRIZE:

There is a rich history of Aviation prizes that accomplished the equivalent. Research them and gather the comparative metrics.

STEP 5: WHAT CAN YOU DO RIGHT NOW?

What is one action that you can take right now to make immediate progress?

This should be something you can do in the next hour.

Peter’s Version of Step 5 for XPRIZE:

Peter called his friends Gregg Maryniak and Byron Lichtenberg, shared the idea with them, and asked for their feedback.

So, that’s the framework for your Five-Year, Five-Step Moonshot Planner!

If you’re serious about engaging in a Moonshot, PLEASE take the time to complete these 5 steps.

AND take your first action right now to initiate this journey: send an email, a text or make a call with someone to discuss your idea. Set up a meeting or do some research!

Does this framework help you clarify the next steps toward your Moonshot? What will you accomplish?

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks, or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Three Surprising Costs Are Busting Corporate Budgets

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 6, 2022 at 10:25 am / In: Uncategorized

Three Surprising Costs Are Busting Corporate Budgets

It’s not the skyrocketing price of oil or other headline grabbers that are causing the sharpest budgetary pains at most firms.

Has your company tried to buy aluminum lately? Its price is already up 16% this year, only seven weeks into 2022. For those doing the math, that’s a rise of one-third of a percentage point every day. And that’s on top of a 42% price increase last year. As for aluminum costs over the next five to 10 years, just imagine an arrow shooting straight up. .

Enormous cost increases are on view throughout the economy. The producer price index for final demand is up nearly 10% from a year ago. The looming problem is straightforward: “Companies are not prepared for these huge jumps,” says Melissa Hadhazy, an advisory leader in Korn Ferry’s Industrial practice. Corporate budget crunchers are caught off guard.

To be sure, some companies have adequately budgeted for labor and materials price rises—or are so profitable that such cost jumps are survivable. But most are facing a more precarious budgetary scenario.

The unpredictability is best explained by thinking about a common electronic device, such as a printer. Base components for printers are in short supply, and this snarls supply chains. That, predictably, increases the cost of new printers.

But the impact of those shortages also trickles down to the aftermarket and the used-printer market. Perhaps two years ago, a used printer would have ended up on a store shelf for $25. But now people worldwide are taking apart the printers and selling the parts for $45. This raises the cost of both used printers and new printers. This phenomenon, which is being repeated with numerous products across the entire corporate and consumer marketplaces, can become unsustainable and unpredictable. “It’s a complicated equation,” says Hadhazy. “Recycled paper and used cars—they’re all more valuable than ever, which is crazy, right?”

Three types of expenses are unexpectedly skyrocketing the cost of all those printers, cars, and paper reams—and one may be devastating. Many of the unexpected cost jumps originate online. The pandemic accelerated digitalization across corporate and consumer platforms. In turn, corporate demand soared for engineers, coders, and metaverse builders. But the additional trained labor force needed to meet that demand did not appear. “The shortage of talent across the board is just breathtaking,” says Cheryl D’Cruz-Young, a senior client partner in Korn Ferry’s Supply Chain practice. “It’s such a shallow talent pool.” In turn, prices have climbed for e-commerce, web hosting, data storage, and media production.

Another cost rise, says D’Cruz-Young, involves cybersecurity and compliance costs. Online fraud is up, so both cybersecurity costs and insurance costs are up too. At the same time, businesses are required to meet privacy and data standards online: the common acronyms often heard are PCI (Payment Card Industry) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance. European standards are more stringent—and therefore costly. In EU nations, individual customers can request that companies erase their personal data, a task that staffers must carry out. “It’s a nightmare, but you have to comply, and all of it costs money,” says D’Cruz-Young.

But this all pales alongside the true price disaster slowly unfurling in supplier contracts. Most suppliers work under 5-to-10 year contracts, says Hadhazy, a system that exists largely to provide price stability from year to year. “The contracts are up for renewal, and they’re coming in at twice the previous price,” she says. Budgets, experts say, had best hold on to their seatbelts—if they’re not on backorder.

Contributor: Melissa Hadhazy, Senior Client Partner and Cheryl D’Cruz-Young, Senior Client Partner, ESG and CPO Center of Expertise at Korn Ferry and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

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The Great Resignation’s and How To Fix It In Your Organization

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 30, 2022 at 10:20 am / In: Uncategorized

The Great Resignation’s and How To Fix It In Your Organization

Money can’t buy loyalty. It just rents it for a while. If employers believe that higher wages alone can stop the Great Resignation as people quit their jobs at the highest rates on record, they’re probably in for a disappointment.

As bosses look for answers, culture is at the forefront—and the stakes are higher these days for almost every company on the planet. We’ve witnessed seismic shifts across the workscape, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Industrial Revolution. We’ve gone from subways and freeways to home office bedrooms and kitchen table desks. Liberating, but also isolating.

Culture can be the missing link. Unfortunately, it can also be a bit of a conundrum.

Ask six people to define culture and you’ll probably get 12 different answers. Some say it’s mission and values. For others, it’s Ping-Pong tables and work attire. However, culture really boils down to just one definition: It’s how things get done.

Culture will vary, company to company, industry to industry. It’s never one-size-fits-all. Culture needs to be lived, breathed, and experienced every day.

Companies have a culture quandary.

Having the right culture, at the right time, and with the right people can elude many companies. Often, it’s more art than science. In a survey our firm conducted, nearly three-quarters of executives described culture as being extremely important to organizational performance. Yet, only a third said that their culture was fully aligned with their business strategy!

We need to ask ourselves: How do we continue to empower people? How do we interact with and help each other? What should collaboration look like? How will the best ideas emerge? Do we need to be in physical proximity so that the happenstance of meeting in the hallway or getting coffee can spark insightful conversations? Or can we replicate that in other ways?

Lead by example.

The leader plays a disproportionately large role: Culture starts at the top, where it is created and shaped. Given all we’ve been through over the past few years, leading is all about “grace”—that inner voice that constantly whispers, “It’s not about you.”

When leaders make others’ success their priority, they help define and differentiate the culture. That’s why our Korn Ferry Institute describes leaders as having two core roles today. First, they are the culture champions: the role models who embody the mindset, beliefs, and desired behaviors. Second, they are the culture architects who make sure that the right structures are in place to support those desired behaviors. Leading by word and by example can ensure that a healthy, inclusive culture takes root and grows.

The culture fit factor

We all know the questions people ask as they weigh whether to stay in their current jobs or pursue new opportunities: “What is it like to work there? What’s the culture like? What are the people like?”

What they’re really asking (in many different ways) is simply: “How will I fit in?”

We’re all vulnerable, we all have insecurities. We want to be loved, to belong, and to be part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s the culture that opens the door and reassures people, “You matter, you make a difference, you belong here.”

There are unwritten rules.

Policies and procedures certainly have their place as an important way for guiding people to come together as a society, a community, or an organization. But these structures alone do not adequately describe culture. For that, we must look to the unwritten rules—and every organization has them.

It’s “code” for how things really get done. For example, there’s the entrepreneurial culture where it’s all about performance, and the norm is to “ask forgiveness, not permission.” Other places are far more hierarchical. But within every company, there are informal networks and unwritten rules that will never be found in any employee handbook.

Culture should be on the walls and in the halls and, most importantly, in the hearts and minds of every employee. Elusive to define, powerful when deeply felt, it is best experienced together. Indeed, it may be the difference between people staying or going.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Why digital transformation is a matter of survival

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 23, 2022 at 10:15 am / In: Uncategorized

Why digital transformation is a matter of survival

As new competitive realities emerged during the pandemic, many companies embraced digital transformation. Most adopted tools such as Teams, digital payments, and marketing automation to improve productivity.

However, digital transformation can’t be viewed in an incremental, linear fashion. Siebel founder Thomas Siebel refers to digital transformation — the confluence of cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things (IoT) — as a “mass extinction event.”

Entire industries and businesses will either adopt these technologies or be eliminated.

By reaching critical mass, the interconnectivity of billions of devices will drive the value created through big data and advanced analytics.

The bridge we must cross is from levering technology to improve service or reduce cost, to utilizing digital transformation to redefine our core product in a way that creates new demand and drives enterprise value.

Consider the case of an orange farmer. His core product has been found in nature for thousands of years and is a commodity.

What if the seeds he uses to grow oranges could be selected for ultimate flavor and yield by AI, planted and picked by autonomous vehicles, harvested at the ideal time based on moisture, heat, sunlight detected by IoT sensors, and sold at the highest market price based on advanced analytics?

While the product may be ostensibly the same, the grower would be far more competitive and profitable and would deliver a superior product using tools that are already commercially available today.

We must leverage these tools now, or face the consequences. Here are 4 ways digital transformation is taking form:

1. Cloud computing is a shared pool of configurable hardware. i

In recent years, cloud solutions have become more “virtualized,” enabling greater hardware efficiency.

As a result, leading providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been successful in compartmentalizing their solutions in the form of hybrid clouds (a combination of on-premise infrastructure and public cloud), which offer greater security, agility, and speed.

Cloud computing costs have dropped over 60% in the last two years. While cloud computing is the host of digital transformation, our understanding of it is only scratching the surface.

Metcalfe’s Law dictates that the power of any network is the square of the devices sitting upon it. That is, as IoT devices and networks are combined with other networks, they become infinitely more powerful.

For example, the integration of CRM and ERP systems makes each of them much more valuable.

When Facebook started at Harvard, its value was contained, but when it spread to other schools (network effects), its power was unleashed.

2. Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. ii

Artificial intelligence (AI) will either amplify America’s standing as an economic superpower, or it will allow China to propel ahead of us.

As pseudo-government-controlled companies operate there, Chinese companies could gain a foothold on AI technologies. Siebel points to the following commercial use cases of AI:

  • Financial services: Fraud detection, credit analysis, and scoring, loan application review and processing
  • Healthcare and medicine: Medical image diagnosis, automated drug discovery, disease prediction, genome-specific medical protocols, preventative medicine
  • Manufacturing: 3D customization, inventory optimization, predictive maintenance, quality assurance
  • Oil and gas: Predictive oilfield and well production, well production optimization
  • Public safety: Threat detection
  • Military: Predictive maintenance to improve readiness and streamline operations, logistics optimization, inventory optimization, and recruiting. AI has proven remarkably useful in improving predictive maintenance for the U.S. Air Force and improving aircraft readiness.

Chart Artificial intelligence projected revenue

Source: Tractica Research

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence. Machines learn from examples and experience, which are different from hard-coded rules typically found in AI. Machine learning will predict future results instead of just reporting them.

3. Big data is comprised of complexly structured and unstructured data sets that are rapidly generated and transmitted from a wide variety of sources. iii

Big data represents the intersection of volume, velocity, and variety from both internal and external data sources.

For example, our firm did strategy work with a Vistage member who loaded Walmart scan data and Best Buy movement information into their Microsoft Power BI data visualization solution, which augmented their internal data.

Their system provided real-time analytics that allows them to predict future events and manage their supply chain with greater precision.

This technology is neither expensive nor hard to implement. In our consulting practice, we see a sea change underway, where members are not satisfied with the reporting of static data, they want to convert that data into actionable insights.

4. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the sensoring of the entire value chain through remote access. iv

IoT is being framed by the entry of high-volume, low-cost chips. By 2030, it is estimated there will be a staggering 75 billion IoT devices deployed worldwide.

Chart Growth of IoT Devices

Source: MDPI

IoT will provide the greatest value to industries with high asset costs. 50% of IoT investment is projected to be made in manufacturing, transportation/logistics, and utilities.

Deep learning will provide richer analysis than previously possible. 5G cellular networking will enable a new generation of IoT devices such as smart grids, smart cities and autonomous vehicles.

The combination of these solutions will make us safer, increase accuracy, and save on labor costs and administration.

Where do you start?

Providers should map their entire value chain and look for opportunities to deploy digital transformation strategies. Below are examples of value chain elements that could be deployed for a manufacturing business:

  • Suppliers: Inventory optimization, supply network optimization
  • Manufacturing: Predictive maintenance, quality assurance, 3D manufacturing, safety
  • Customer: Customer service (chatbots), customer insights and analytics, warranty optimization
  • Distributor: Inventory management, price optimization, quote optimization
  • Logistics: Demand planning and forecasting

As noted, our observation is that private companies are acting more like observers of change. Clearly, larger public companies are better equipped to invest in expensive technologies such as AI.

Yet, there are many emerging providers offering software-as-a-service, platforms as a service, infrastructure as a service, and artificial intelligence as a service. Renting software also eliminates the need for costly cap-ex investment.

As digital transformation technologies become more accessible to private companies, it is incumbent upon us to be prepared to take advantage of them.

References

i Digital Transformation by Thomas Siebel
ii TechTarget
iii What is Big Data? How Does it Work? [Built In]
iv Digital Transformation by Thomas Siebel

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Marc Emmer and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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7 leadership development activities for Executives and CEOs to become better leaders

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 16, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

7 leadership development activities for Executives and CEOs to become better leaders

For many Executives and CEOs, leadership development is an ongoing challenge, and not just because they’re short on time. The problem comes from having too many options for leadership development activities, and too few ways to measure the ROI of those methods. How does a leader know whether it’s worth it to take that training program, watch that webinar or read that book?

Adding to this challenge, Executives and CEOs are under increasing pressure to expand their leadership competencies in a fast-changing world. In Deloitte’s Global Human Trends survey, 80% of respondents agreed that 21st-century leadership has “new and unique requirements” important to their organization’s success.

Here, we look at seven leadership development activities Executives and CEOs can use to develop as effective leaders, considering the potential perks and pitfalls of each option.

1. Books

It’s no coincidence that many world-class leaders, such as Warren Buffett and Elon Musk, are also voracious readers. Reading spurs creative thinking, builds vocabulary, sharpens communication skills, and encourages reflection — all qualities that are important for strong leadership.

As a tool for leadership development, books present two main challenges: One, it’s easy to fall into the trap of passively reading about ideas instead of actively applying those ideas. Two, it’s hard for Executives and CEOs to know what to read, considering the sheer number of titles available (Amazon alone has more than 60,000 books on leadership).

Two suggestions: One, consider this list of leadership books recommended by Vistage members and executive coaches. Two read something that has nothing to do with leadership at all. “Absorb yourself in a work of fiction, like The Alchemist from Paolo Coelho” to reduce stress, sharpen your focus and open your mind to new ideas, says Gair Maxwell, a Vistage speaker.

2. Online learning

There’s a lot to love about online learning: It’s convenient — something you can do at any time, on any device, and from any place in the world. It’s customizable — allowing you to learn at your own pace and focus where you want to. It’s effective — often featuring visuals and interactive components that make it easier to retain information. It’s also usually less expensive than in-person courses.

The downside? Online learning doesn’t allow you to have face-to-face interactions or informal conversations with peers, both of which are highly valuable for leader development. You might also find it hard to stay motivated and engaged in leadership training when the material is delivered remotely. Finally, online courses usually aren’t useful for building relationships or expanding your network.

3. Seminars

Whether delivered through a one-day workshop or a week-long business school program, seminars are a great way to take a deep dive into a leadership issue and develop stronger leadership skills. They get you out of your day-to-day routine, give you the time and space to focus, and create opportunities for networking with industry leaders. Most leaders also find it energizing and inspiring to learn directly from experts.

However, seminars fall short if they emphasize content more than context. This is a common problem among leadership development programs, note the authors of the McKinsey Quarterly article, Why leadership development programs fail. “Too many training initiatives … rest on the assumption that one size fits all and that the same group of skills or style of leadership is appropriate regardless of strategy, organizational culture, or CEO mandate,” the authors write.

4. Webinars

Leadership development webinars offer a convenient way to access expert insights from anywhere in the world. Typically catering to specific audiences with specific challenges, they offer targeted learning in a condensed timeframe. Recorded webinars offer additional convenience for Executives and CEOs who don’t have time to attend a live session or may want to revisit content later.

Webinars present a few drawbacks, however. First, many may limit your ability to ask questions of experts. Second, they can be difficult to engage with if you’re distracted by other tasks, such as answering email. Third, they demand a larger time commitment than, say, skimming a whitepaper.

5. Industry associations

Joining an industry association offers a few advantages: They can help you easily connect with a group of like-minded leaders. Some offer exclusive professional-development opportunities, such as conferences and meetings. The reputable ones can boost your professional credibility or the credibility of your firm. And associations that maintain a membership directory may help you find new clients or new partnerships.

The main downside of industry associations? They can be limiting if they only connect you with people who already run in your professional circle. Most of the time, these memberships won’t help you gain access to diverse perspectives and ideas from outside your sector.

6. Executive coaching

Executive coaches are great for helping Executives and CEOs explore issues from multiple angles, bringing attention to blind spots, and getting to the root of a problem quickly. Great coaches also know how to keep Executives and CEOs motivated, focused, and accountable for their actions.

“Leaders need coaches for the same reason that great athletes need a coach: They provide feedback.

“Tiger Woods needed a coach because he couldn’t see his own backswing. You need a coach to give you feedback on whether what you’re doing is working, and whether it’s the right thing to be doing.”

For all its benefits, however, traditional coaching has a few potential drawbacks. First, some people who claim to coach are not qualified to do so or haven’t delivered results. Second, some coaches focus too much on giving advice and too little on giving actionable steps. Third, short-term coaching sessions (e.g., those lasting one day) don’t usually provide lasting benefits. Fourth, a coach only has one opinion — their own — which can limit your perspective on an issue.

7. Peer advisory groups

As a complement to traditional coaching, peer advisory groups can make a significant difference in a CEO’s leadership development. They’re especially valuable for CEOs who feel “lonely at the top” and need support working through complex challenges or making tough decisions.

The best peer advisory groups are made up of high-potential leaders who come from diverse companies, industries, backgrounds, and areas of expertise. In this setting, group coaching helps leaders gain fresh insight, broaden their perspective, pressure-test their assumptions, and avoid the trap of confirmation bias.

Vistage Chair Ginnie McDevitt has witnessed the power of peers in her own Vistage group. As an example, she remembers how one business owner in her group couldn’t figure out why his company’s sales were slumping until he started talking about it with his Vistage peers. “The group challenged his assumptions,” McDevitt says, “and made him think about his problem completely differently.” Following the advice of his peers, the business owner changed his strategy and turned around his sales in just nine months.

This is not an isolated instance; it’s a typical one. Vistage analyzed the growth data of its member companies and found they grew 2.2x faster than non-member companies.

Which leadership development activities are the best?

The best approach is a comprehensive one, where Executives and CEOs draw upon multiple resources to address their weaknesses and hone their strengths.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor:  Vistage Staff, edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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5 tips for leading through inflation

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 9, 2022 at 10:15 am / In: Uncategorized

5 tips for leading through inflation

The pandemic has left scars for some businesses, but overall Vistage members are optimistic. The 2021 Q4 CEO Confidence Index showed that 74% of CEOs are projecting increased revenues for the year ahead.

Despite the positive outlook, there are challenges. And inflation tops the list of concerns. The effects of inflation are not exclusive to manufacturing and the supply chain. According to the Survey, increasing wages accounted for 72% of rising costs.

Savvy CEOs are finding silver linings and creative solutions to drive higher revenues while retaining employees and changing customer relationships. In a recent member roundtable for The CEO Pulse: Inflation Resource Center, three members share their approach to inflation.

1. Never waste a crisis

COVID has given business leaders plenty of reasons to panic. Instead of getting alarmed, Marco Petruzzi, CEO of Dovetail Furniture based in California, looks for opportunities. He focuses on “playing a better game” and better understanding and communicating with the network of independent sales reps who represent the business.

“We are really trying to nail down the communication with them. They’re our face, even if they’re not part of our company,” he said. “We’re thinking long term about how to gain market share by staying on message with our value proposition to our customers.”

Petruzzi uses these three questions to guide his strategy:

  • How do we maintain better relationships than everybody?
  • How do we maintain great customer service?
  • How do we listen to what our customers are saying?

2. Look for low hanging fruit

In Tennessee, Becky Sharpe, CEO of International Scholarship and Tuition Services, looked for “low hanging” fruit. One of the first things she did was to review contracts with top vendors and see opportunities to price freeze, end, or renegotiate.

“We had a lease that ended and with skyrocketing real estate prices, we took advantage of ending that lease,” she said. “So our challenge now is to maintain corporate culture and collaboration while we’re working on a flat-screen.”

3. Be open to possibilities

While prices soared, interest rates were at historic lows. So Brian Burns, founder, partner, and owner of Cutting Edge Countertops in Ohio, saw this as a possibility for controlling expenses.

“Our banker came to us and said, “Hey, interest rates are down. You guys are a good client.” They proactively approached us to reduce our rates on our loans,” Burns said. “I know interest rates are now on the climb again, but that was something we were able to take advantage of. It helps now and really into the future.”

4. Fine-tune your relationships

Letting go of clients can be challenging. But customers who aren’t the right fit drain resources that could create more profitable opportunities. Burns dropped a top 10 account because they couldn’t keep up with changing costs.

“Their process to get price increases approved was so slow and cumbersome that we decided to part ways before we really even got to that point,” he said. “Frankly, business is really, really good in our industry and there was bigger fish to fry.”

Petruzzi’s customers are accustomed to net 30 invoices, but with months-long delays, they began getting upset with paying for furniture not received.

“We have had to be flexible with payment terms, which has been painful to a certain extent,” he said.

5. Reconsider employee wages

Sharpe offered a rather provocative entry point to the wage compensation conversation: Make salaries transparent.

“It makes us nervous, and we don’t like to talk about money, but I think that we have an opportunity here to think about: ‘Are we really paying, especially our lowest-paid employees, a living wage?’” Sharpe said.

For example, where Sharpe operates in Nashville, young professionals in their early to mid-20s cannot afford to live within a 15-, 20- or 30-mile radius without additional support. It’s a much deeper issue than entry-level wages.

Burns said his company had 10% overall wage inflation and nearly all went to hourly employees with almost none to leadership. The team made up of many long-time employees was phenomenal, he said. But Burns acknowledges that wage pressure will happen at the supervisor, management, and executive leadership levels.

“We’re becoming a little more analytical and objective on wages. We’ve contracted with an outside firm to evaluate our wage scale top to bottom,” he said. “They’ll provide us the data so that we can determine what percentile we want to see our new hires and our people with five years, 10 years, and 15 years [of] experience.”

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Vistage Staff and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director, and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: A Hard Look at 2022 Budgets

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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The Importance of Using Converging Tech in Your Business

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 2, 2022 at 10:20 am / In: Uncategorized

The Importance of Using Converging Tech in Your Business

The accelerating advancement of exponential technologies is actually old news.

So, what’s the new news?

That formerly independent waves of exponentially accelerating technology are beginning to converge with other independent waves of exponentially accelerating technology.

In other words, these waves are starting to overlap—stacking atop one another, producing tsunami-sized behemoths that threaten to wash away (read: “reinvent”) most every industry in their path.

For example, the speed of drug development is accelerating. Not only because biotechnology (sequencing, CRISPR, etc.) is progressing at an exponential rate, but because AI, quantum computing, and other exponentials are converging on the field.

When an innovation creates a new market and washes away an existing one, we use the term “disruptive innovation.” Such as when silicon chips replaced vacuum tubes at the beginning of the digital age. That was a disruptive innovation.

Solitary exponentials disrupt products, services, and markets—like when Netflix ate Blockbuster for lunch—while convergent exponentials wash away products, services, and markets, as well as the structures that support them.

No industry is immune.

As an entrepreneur, being able to see around the corner of tomorrow and being agile enough to adapt is critical to your success.

In today’s blog, I’ll share 4 emerging models (based on converging technologies) that will redefine business over the next few decades.

Let’s dive in…

4 BUSINESS MODELS THAT WILL SHAPE THE NEXT DECADE

As you read through these business models and the supporting examples, ask yourself: How can YOU leverage them for success?

(1) The Crowd Economy: Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, leveraged assets, and staff-on-demand—essentially, all the developments that leverage the billions of people already online and the billions coming online.

Example: Airbnb has become the largest “hotel chain” in the world, yet it doesn’t own a single hotel room. Instead, it leverages (that is, rents out) the assets (spare bedrooms) of the crowd, with more than 5 million rooms, flats, and houses in over 100,000 cities across the globe.

(2) The Smartness Economy: In the late 1800s, if you wanted a good idea for a new business, all you needed was to take an existing tool, say a drill or a washboard, and add electricity to it—thus creating a power drill or a washing machine. In the 2020s, AI will be the electricity. In other words, take any existing tool, and add a layer of smartness.

Example: We all know the big names incorporating AI into their business models—from Amazon to Salesforce. But more AI startups arise each day: 2,300 AI-related startups around the world raised over $70 billion in 2021, more than double the amount raised in 2020.

(3) Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs): At the convergence of blockchain and AI sits a radically new kind of company—one with no employees, no bosses, and nonstop production. A set of preprogrammed rules determines how the company operates, and computers do the rest.

Example: While DAOs are just beginning to emerge, the platform DAOstack is working to provide these businesses with tools for success. For example, a fleet of autonomous taxis, for instance, with a blockchain-backed smart contracts layer, could run itself 24/7, including driving to the repair shop for maintenance, without any human involvement.

(4) Metaverse: We no longer live in only one place. We have real-world personae and online personae, and this delocalized existence is only going to expand. With the rise of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, we’re introducing more layers to this equation. You’ll have avatars for work and avatars for play, and all of these versions of ourselves are opportunities for new businesses.

Example: Today we have all mastered Zoom. Tomorrow, we’ll be diving deep in the SpatialWeb—moving back and forth between multiple virtual worlds and our physical reality using technologies like Vatoms (virtual atoms) and SpatialWeb.net to navigate the Metaverse.

FINAL THOUGHTS

What you should remember as you think about how to leverage these new business models is that the rate at which technology is accelerating is itself accelerating.

Yet even in this dynamic environment, countless businesses are still anchored by a mentality of maintaining—competing solely on operational execution.

But as an entrepreneur, it’s more vital than ever that you leverage these business models for success in the decades ahead.

Each one is a revolutionary way of creating value—each is a force for acceleration.

What challenges or problems will you solve with these new business models? How will you use them in your next venture?

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University, and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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A Hard Look at 2022 Budgets

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 23, 2022 at 10:25 am / In: Uncategorized

A Hard Look at 2022 Budgets

Welcome to this latest of unprecedented times, which is now being called an “unsettling monetary tightening cycle.” Inflation is sky-high, unemployment is under 4%, supply chains are a major challenge and the Fed just decided to stop babysitting the markets. Did you just sigh? Or choke? So did the global economy.

Barely a month and a half into the new year, executives worldwide are eyeing budget cuts, in an effort to hedge against impending lower profits in most industries. Sure, executives have a century of experience at trimming budgets, but this time they’re facing a confluences of often-contradictory financial indicators. Among the biggest: many leaders are staving off the great resignation by touting increases in bonus and merit pay, while the costs of goods and services also rise. “Companies’ costs are really going up crazily,” says Elise Freedman, workforce transformation practice leader at Korn Ferry. “Altogether it’s not sustainable.” It’s going to be an interesting year for budget planners.

To be sure, some businesses are nearly untouched by inflation, with plenty of profits to go around sans budget slashes. But for most, experts say that something must give—and it can’t be compensation (workers will quit) or prices (customers will leave), or materials prices (it costs what it costs). This leaves the spotlight on internal budgets.

Historically, organizations have trouble cutting budgets effectively. “My pet peeve is 10% cuts across the board,” says Andrés Tapia, global diversity and inclusion strategist at Korn Ferry. “Budget cutting should be strategic, not one size fits all.” But experts say too many firms commonly ignore this advice and do things like unilaterally ax expense accounts and travel allowances, which invariably turns off the executives who argue they need those perks to drum up business. Sometimes staffing additions are delayed, which succeed in reducing costs but may limit revenue sources.

Tapia says that leaders would do best to get out of the budget-cutting mindset, and instead focus on prioritizing. Perhaps instead of seven priorities, a company focuses on just three and adjust the budget accordingly. “It’s strategic. Just as everyone else is cutting spending by 20%, you spend more.” Advantage: yours. This strategy, experts say, proved successful for a slew of organizations in surviving the turbulence of 2008.

It can be very challenging to narrow down to a shortlist of priorities, says Nathan Blain, global lead for optimizing people costs at Korn Ferry. “Look hard at the bottom of your list, and ask, Do we need to do these initiatives? Can we do them another way? Or at a later time?” This initiative-based thinking can be extremely effective by ultimately avoiding the costs of entire programs. But it requires a shift away from the typical budget-creation mindset, where companies look at last year’s budget and add a bit to account for inflation.

Blain advises clients to also look at remote and hybrid arrangements, which are also still leaving money on the table for many firms. Most commonly, some travel and commercial leases can be targeted, as can the Achille’s heel of all businesses: complicated processes. You know you’re facing one when addressing a tech problem requires talking to four different help desk workers, or a financial transaction is proceeded by a dozen different risk calculations. Might six suffice? “Just make sure that you’re designing everything for simplicityIt’s good business hygiene.”

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Elise Freedman, Andrés Tapia, Nathan Blain, Korn Ferry, Senior Client Partners and edits by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Email me: [email protected], Schedule a call: Cliff Locks or fill in the below form to start a conversation.

#WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

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Improve Your Mindset, Change Your Life…To Greatness

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 16, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Improve Your Mindset, Change Your Life…To Greatness

What made Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk succeed? Was it their technology or their mindset?

Personally, I think the mindset is an entrepreneur’s most critical asset. Yet few of us ever take the time to craft it — to purposefully select and sharpen the mindset(s) we desire.

Your mindset is the filter through which you see the world. It determines how you spend your time, what decisions you make, and where you invest your resources.

I’ve been asked over the years whether I’ve always had an Abundance mindset and an Exponential mindset… The answer is NO. They are both mindsets that I’ve crafted over the past 10 to 15 years.

So how do you craft and reinforce a mindset? Which mindsets am I most excited about? These are the questions I’ll explore in this blog.

Let’s dive in…

How mindsets work…

Before you choose which mindset(s) to focus on, it helps to understand how mindsets work.

Here’s an analogy: if you’ve been following developments in AI, you know that we can train neural nets to do image recognition. The challenge with these neural nets is that they’re only as good as the data you feed them.

For example, if you show the neural nets thousands of pictures of cats, and then you show them a picture of a dog, the algorithm will tell you that the dog is actually a cat. It doesn’t know any better.

The same is true for our brains, which are also neural nets.

If you constantly feed your brain with negative perspectives, your outlook will be negative. You won’t know any better.

So, how are you training your neural net?

Most of us don’t realize that we’re doing this training. It operates in the background. For example, through social media echo chambers or in our daily news intake of the CNN (Crisis News Network) or Fox.

So, what shapes your mindset? What are the things that have you trapped thinking the way you do? What would you need to change?

Crafting your mindset…

The two key inputs that shape our mindsets are the people we spend time with and the media we consume.

Life is who you go through life with

There’s an old saying in business that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

If you want to be fit, hang out with friends who exercise.

If you want to think big and aspire to change the world, hang out with people who have Moonshots and a massively transformative purpose (MTP).

Garbage in, garbage out

Just as you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, the same is true for ideas.

The news and media we consume are data that we allow to flow into our brains (AKA our neural nets).

What is your news diet? What kind of movies or documentaries are you watching?

What books or blogs are you reading? (Thank you for reading this blog!)

Do these inputs reinforce the mindsets you want? Or do they reinforce mindsets you’re trying to avoid?

As an entrepreneur, answering these questions is a critical part of your journey to be successful during this era of exponential change.

The next step on that journey is choosing the mindset(s) that works best for you.

Selecting your mindset…

There are MANY mindsets you can choose from. But for me, there are six specific mindsets that I find most powerful and important to hone during this era of exponential growth.

The following six mindsets are the ones I personally focus on:

  1. Abundance Mindset: You have clarity, evidence, and conviction that technology is dematerializing, demonetizing, and democratizing products and services, creating increasing abundance on a global scale.
  2. Exponential Mindset: You understand that computation and derivative technologies (AI, VR, 3D Printing, etc.) are growing exponentially. Thirty doublings drive a billion-fold improvement that the human (linear) mind finds difficult to grasp.
  3. Longevity Mindset: You are focused on maximizing your health span, tracking the biotech breakthroughs able to add 20 to 30 healthy years onto your life and making “100 years old the new 60.” You seek key insights and early access.
  4. Moonshot Mindset: You understand that most people are focused on incremental (10%) growth, but you seek 10x Moonshot growth. You desire tools and techniques that enable you to select and implement your Moonshots.
  5. Purpose/Passion-driven Mindset: You seek to find, refine, or update your massively transformative purpose (MTP), which allows you to live a passion-driven life. You seek tools and a community to amplify and support your MTP.
  6. Gratitude Mindset: You recognize how incredibly lucky you are on a personal and professional basis, and you take the time to acknowledge your blessings. You have created routines in your day that allow you to reflect on this, and to share this with those in your life in a way that brings you joy and uplifts those around you.

Which would you choose?

Can you imagine the benefits of having an Exponential or Abundance Mindset?

Would it help flip the way you see things? Instead of seeing a problem, can you see an opportunity? Remember that the world’s biggest challenges are also the world’s biggest business opportunities.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

 

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

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  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
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Learn How to Create a Moonshot Culture In Your Company

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 10, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Learn How to Create a Moonshot Culture In Your Company

Here are two Moonshot Culture hacks I learned from Astro Teller, the world’s authority on Moonshots:

  1. Train Your Team’s Thinking: This first hack helps to put your team into the Mindset of accepting and encouraging Moonshot thinking.
  • Weird is Good: You give your team massive congratulations for any 10X idea—no matter how insane. Remember how fragile these ideas can be. If you show the slightest disdain for one of these ideas, it will be the last “Moonshot” idea that you get from that person.
  • Quick Kills are Good: Once you instill the idea that weird is good, now you’re ready to show them that you actually value “intellectual honesty.” Work with them to explore whether the idea can work, or if there’s a fatal flaw. In most cases, you can kill the idea on the whiteboard before you even leave the room… If they are successful in figuring out why the idea won’t work, congratulate them again, and give them another hug and compliment.

Show your team that they can earn “bonus points” for: (a) raising a crazy idea, and (b) even more bonus points for then killing the idea!

  1. Create a “Learning List”: Learning from your mistakes is critical to creating an environment conducive to creating and achieving Moonshots.

This is where the idea of a Learning List comes in. You can use it by following four steps:

Step 1: Ask your team to create a list of action items in order of priority.

Step 2: Once your team delivers you their action list, you say, “Humor me and re-order your list so that the items at the top of your list would teach you the most in this project, giving you the biggest insights that you don’t yet have.”

Step 3: You then say, “Now go do the top two things on your Learning List.”

Step 4: Finally, when they complete those top two items, ask them to create a NEW list organized by importance. Chances are that this new list won’t look anything like the original list. That’s why we do things in “Learning Order.”

The lesson from this hack is to fall in love with the learning process—not with what you’ve built.

How do you think these Moonshot Culture hacks will work in your company?

Are you clear on which of your team members are the right fit for the 1,000% Growth Team versus the 10% Growth Team? ”

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post:

How Do You Build a Thriving Exponential Technology Community (Part 1)

How Do You Build a Thriving Exponential Technology Community (Part 2)

 

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Perfecting Goal Setting Using Subgoals To Achieve Your Success

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 2, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Perfecting Goal Setting Using Subgoals To Achieve Your Success

Doing anything big and bold in the world is hard.

It takes passion, grit, luck, and often a decade or more of hard work to see a Moonshot materialize—much less succeed.

There’s no definite roadmap for a successful Moonshot. The path can be filled with obstacles.

But as Tony Robbins says, success leaves clues.

One of the key lessons I’ve learned from founding a number of successful companies and pursuing and achieving several Moonshots is the importance of what I call “staging your bold ideas.”

You have to break your bold vision into executable, bite-size chunks–what psychologists refer to as “subgoals.”

Let’s dive in!

WHY CREATING SUBGOALS IS CRITICAL

Subgoals bring dual benefits.

The first is the alignment of risk with reward.

Few projects ever receive all the funding they need at the beginning. Usually, capital comes in stages as entrepreneurs find new ways to mitigate risk.

Instead of one lump sum, money arrives in discrete waves: seed capital, crowdsourced capital, angel capital, super-angel capital, strategic partners, series A venture, series B venture, and sometimes even a public offering.

More and more investment comes as each increment proves the capability of the management team and the veracity of the vision.

The second benefit of having subgoals is psychological.

Psychologists and goal-setting experts Gary Latham and Edwin Locke have found across dozens of studies that big goals help focus our attention and make us more persistent.

Big goals have hidden leverage.

But this is true only when certain “if-then” conditions are satisfied. One of the most important of these is commitment: alignment of values and goals and a belief in what you’re doing.

An equally important condition is confidence.

As Latham explains, “Big goals only increase motivation when the person setting those goals is confident in their ability to achieve them.”

This means breaking your big goals apart into achievable subgoals.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The ratio of something to nothing is infinite.

The best predictor of future success is past action. It doesn’t matter how small those actions are. Doing something—doing anything—is always so much more important than just talking about doing it.

So, as you’re pursuing your Moonshots, make a plan. Set subgoals. And get busy.

Even if the path is unclear, you’ll use what you’ve learned taking that first step to build toward the next, and the next after that.

Results always follow.

After all, Charles Lindbergh was right: “The important thing is to start; to lay a plan, and then follow it step by step no matter how small or large one by itself may seem.”

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: How do Great Ideas Evolve? How to Embrace Innovation “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.”

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Create a World of Possibility for Your Team and Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 26, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Create a World of Possibility for Your Team and Yourself

Creating a world of abundance isn’t about creating a world of luxury—it’s about creating a world of possibility.

But how exactly do we create such a world?

Today we’ll explore a powerful concept called “the adjacent possible.”

This is theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman’s wonderful term for all the myriad paths unlocked by every novel discovery—the multitude of universes hidden inside something as simple as an idea.

Abundance is one of those simple ideas.

And its time has come.

It is up to bold, exponential entrepreneurs around the world to unlock this adjacent possibility and help humanity live up to its full potential.

In today’s blog, I’ll discuss what the adjacent possible is, why it’s more relevant than ever, and how it can help us fulfill the promise of a truly abundant future—for everyone.

Let’s dive in…

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE?

Before the invention of the wheel… the cart, the carriage, the automobile, the wheelbarrow, the roller skate, and a million other offshoots of circularity were not imaginable.

They existed in a realm that was off-limits until the wheel was discovered.

But once discovered, these pathways became clear.

This is the adjacent possible.

It’s the long list of first-order possibilities that opens up whenever a new discovery is made.

And our path of adjacent “possibles” has led us to a unique moment in time. We have wandered into a world where the expansive nature of technology has begun to connect with our inner desires.

As technologist Kevin Kelly explains it:

“For most of history, the unique mix of talents, skills, insights, and experiences of each person had no outlet. If your dad was a baker, you were a baker. As technology expands the possibility space, it expands the chance that someone can find an outlet for their personal traits . . . When we enlarge the variety and reach of technology, we increase options, not just for ourselves and not for others living, but for all generations to come.”

Over 50 years ago, Abraham Maslow pointed out that people whose basic needs were not being met had little time to spend on self-fulfillment.

If you’re trying to feed yourself or find medications for your children or survive other, similar threats, then living a life of possibility is not much of a probability.

But this is exactly, as economist Daniel Kahneman figured out, where the adjacent possible meets the road to abundance and produces some spectacular leverage.

THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE & THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Several years ago, Kahneman set aside the question of cognitive biases and turned his attention to the relationship between income level and well-being.

By analyzing the results of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which asked some 450,000 Americans what brings them joy, he discovered, as the New York Times aptly put it, “Maybe money does buy you happiness after all.”

The operative word here is maybe.

What the data show is that one’s emotional satisfaction moves in lockstep with one’s income—as income rises, well-being rises—but only to a point. Before the average American earns $75,000 a year, there is a direct correlation between money and happiness.

Above that number, the correlation disappears.

This tells us something interesting: that in the United States, the freedom to flourish—to truly enjoy a life of possibility—costs roughly $75,000 a year (in 2008 dollars).

But what’s really important is what that money buys.

The typical American spending breakdown shows that 70% to 80% percent of the money we earn goes to meet basic needs such as water, food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education.

That figure rises to over 90% in many developing countries.

But in our abundant future, the dollar goes further. So does the yen, the peso, the euro, and so forth.

This happens because of dematerialization and demonetization, saved time, and a thousand other reasons.

So, you have to wonder: what does it take to make a real difference?

Not much, it turns out.

Daniel Kahneman’s calculation has since been extended to the rest of the planet. On average, across the globe, the point where well-being and money diverge is roughly $10,000.

That’s how much the average global citizen needs to earn to fulfill his or her basic needs and gain a toehold toward much greater possibility.

There is no debate that life has gotten considerably better at the bottom over the last 5 decades.

The developing world has seen longer life expectancies, lower infant mortality rates, better access to information, communication, education, potential avenues out of poverty, quality health care, political freedoms, economic freedoms, human rights, and saved time.

WHICH WAY NEXT?

But that $10,000 tells us that we’ve actually come even further.

Thirty years ago, most well-off US citizens owned a camera, a CD player, a stereo, a video game console, a cell phone, a watch, and a whole bunch of other assets that easily add up to more than $10,000.

All these now come standard on today’s smartphones.

In our exponentially enabled work, that’s how quickly $10,000 worth of expenses can vanish.

And importantly, they can vanish without much outside intervention.

No one set out to zero the costs of two dozen products.

Instead, inventors set out to make better cell phones—the path of the adjacent possible did the rest.

This time around, we can squeeze a bit of randomness out of the equation.

We don’t have to wait for history to help our cause—we can help it ourselves. We know which technologies need further development, and we know how to go from A to B much faster than before.

Unlike earlier eras, we don’t have to wait for corporations to get interested in solutions, or for governments to get around to our problems.

We can take matters into our own hands.

Meanwhile, the one-quarter of humanity that has forever been on the sidelines—the rising billion—has finally gotten into the game.

Most importantly, the game itself is no longer zero-sum.

For the first time in forever, we don’t need to figure out how to divide our pie into more slices, because we now know how to bake more pies.

Everyone can win.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Proverbs 29:18 tells us: “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.”

Perhaps that’s true, but it’s also myopic.

Abundance is both a plan and a Mindset.

This second bit is key. After all, our perspective shapes our reality.

So, while the Bible offers a warning, it’s helpful to remember that the inverse is also true: where there is vision, the people flourish.

The impossible becomes possible.

And abundance for all becomes imagine what’s next.

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Getting Comfortable with Failure — Fear of Failure is Actually Fear of Change — and Therefore Fear of Innovation

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Resolutions to help you thrive in 2022 (Top 10 List)

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 19, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Resolutions to help you thrive in 2022 (Top 10 List)

Nothing is more important than your Mindset in the new year…

Let’s dive in…

  1. Create a Daily Gratitude Practice: Every morning during my 10-minute meditation, I focus on gratitude and how I can be 30% more joyful throughout the day. In the evening, when I’m going to sleep before I drift off, I recall the 3 things I am most grateful for from that day.
  2. Let the Most Important People in Your Life Know How Much You Value Them: Who are the people you’re most grateful for? Tell them how much you appreciate them! After all, “life is who you go through life with.”
  3. Double-down on Your Passion: Your personal passion is your highest calling… the challenge you’re in love with, and the vision you have for yourself. It’s also the emotional fuel you need to keep you going in the face of inevitable hardships.
  4. Develop Your Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP): An MTP is a clear, succinct statement that guides you, empowers you, and helps you decide what to do—as well as what not to do. My MTP is… “To inspire and guide entrepreneurs to create a hopeful, compelling, and abundant future for humanity.”
  5. Resolve to No Longer Resent Missed Opportunities: In a world of ever-increasing abundance, the future holds much more exciting, fulfilling, and profitable opportunities for you to pursue. Don’t regret the past. Live for your abundant future.
  6. Go on a “Media-Diet”: Stop watching CNN, FOX, TikTok… Stop watching the dystopian news and wasting time on social media. This one step can boost your mood 10X.
  7. Consume Optimistic / Future-Positive Content: There are a TON of incredible breakthroughs helping to create a world of abundance happening all the time. But you would never know this from the constant stream of negativity from most news outlets. Consider finding media sources that deliver you positive and optimistic insights.
  8. Embrace Data-Driven Experimentation: Exponential entrepreneurs use rapid iteration and data-driven experimentation to foster creative solutions to previously unsolvable problems. What experiments can you run in 2022 to improve your business?
  9. Digitize Everything You Can: Once you digitize a product or service, it jumps on the 6 Ds exponential roadmap and begins a journey towards becoming dematerialized, demonetized, and democratized. What parts of your business can you successfully digitize?
  10. Identify and Pursue a Moonshot: Where can you go 10X bigger or better in your business while your competitors are pursuing incremental change? A Moonshot can fuel your life and make every day worth living to the fullest.

What other New Year Resolutions have you made? Email me at: [email protected]

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: The Amazing Treasure of Providing a Helping Hand to our Family, Team Members, Colleagues, and Clients

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Benefits of Being Grateful in 2022

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 12, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Benefits of Being Grateful in 2022

When was the last time you felt grateful?

I mean truly grateful for all you have: your health, loved ones, the Moonshots you’re pursuing, the sunrise, and the extraordinary planet we inhabit.

In a world with an increasing abundance of opportunities and a dizzying rate of technological progress, we tend to live in a pervasive sense of “overwhelm.”

Overwhelm that can blind us to many of life’s simple joys.

What was once a technological miracle we now take for granted?

In part, this is because technology allows us to do so much more, so much faster, and so much cheaper and easier than ever before. We can fill every second of every day with increased productivity.

But it wasn’t always this way.

As a species, we used to work 80+ hours per week just to survive. To get access to basic food, water, and shelter. Life a hundred years ago was brutal, short, and filled with difficult choices.

Today’s exponential revolution has given many of us (though not everyone yet) a vacation from basic survival.

Being grateful means feeling and expressing appreciation and thankfulness for just how far we’ve come, and for what we have.

From a basic “standard of living standpoint,” each of us now has access to more fresh food, clean water, educational content, and medicines than kings and queens had just a century ago.

From an “entrepreneurial standpoint,” each of us has access to more communication capability, more knowledge, and more computational power than the heads of Fortune 100 companies just a few decades ago.

From an “impact standpoint,” each of us now has the privilege to work on a Massive Transformative Purpose. Taking on some of the world’s biggest problems is a luxury previously reserved for only the wealthiest philanthropists.

Problem-solving itself has been democratized, and we’re all better off because of it.

We should be grateful.

Being grateful involves regularly making the shift from expectation to appreciation, and from overwhelm to thankfulness.

It means constantly recognizing that we’re living in the most extraordinary time in history—that today is better than yesterday, and that tomorrow will be better still.

I believe that being grateful is especially important for entrepreneurs.

We have so many expectations for the future, and our role in creating it, that we often get impatient… why isn’t it here yet?!

5 BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE

Every morning, I try to get in at least a 10-minute meditation.

I’ll play a “100 Hz Binaural Beats” soundtrack on YouTube as background music (or the daily meditation from Sam Harris’ Waking Up course) and focus on gratitude.

It is an amazing way to start the day!

So, why should you focus on being grateful?

Here are 5 of my favorite reasons:

(1) You feel better! Expressing gratitude causes our brain to release dopamine and serotonin: the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions.

(2) You make everyone else around you feel better as well! When you are in gratitude, you’re burning 30% brighter, 30% happier, and your mood influences everyone you encounter. You take the time to feel and express appreciation and thankfulness.

(3) As a leader, when you are grateful, it’s much easier to encourage your team to be grateful—which improves the relational well-being both for individuals and the group. 

(4) When you’re “in gratitude” you invest in relationships. Ultimately, “who you go through life with” is everything… Relationships bring joy, meaning, and love. And in your leadership role, you focus on what positive results you can create for others.

(5) You are more optimistic, more inspired, and healthier. And this attracts the most incredible talent and individuals into your orbit.

There is NO downside to gratitude, ONLY UPSIDE.

A SIMPLE PRACTICE

I will close with 2 simple gratitude practices that I use.

In the morning, during my meditation, I think about what it would be like for me to be 30% more grateful and 30% happier today. I imagine what impact this would have on those around me. And then I set that as a goal for myself.

In the evening, when I’m going to sleep before I drift off, I recall the 3 things I am most grateful for from that day. Amazingly, they rarely have to do with work or technology. They are most frequently about my boys, family, and friends. It keeps me grounded and helps me remember what matters most.

So, how would your life change if you were more grateful?

What are the 3 things you’re most grateful for in your personal life? In your work life?

Let’s work together and help you move towards your vision of success faster; schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Enhance your Leadership with these Attributes — Grace, Gratitude, Resilience, Aspiration, Courage, and Empathy

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How do Great Ideas Evolve? How to Embrace Innovation “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.”

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 5, 2022 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

How do Great Ideas Evolve? How to Embrace Innovation “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.”

Are you afraid of failure? Most people are. Do you know why?

I truly believe this and it’s one of Peter’s Laws, but how do we know that it’s true?

It turns out that there’s a predictable process for the evolution of great and breakthrough ideas. Ideas that are revolutionary.

I learned about this process from Sir Arthur C. Clarke, inventor of the geostationary communication satellite and author of dozens of best-selling science-fiction books, including 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s I had the great honor to know Arthur C. Clarke, he was “Uncle Arthur” to me, Bob Richards, and Todd Hawley: the three co-Founders of International Space University.

Clarke described three phases of a great idea:

  1. In the beginning, people will tell you that the idea is “crazy”—that it will never work.
  2. Next, people will say: “Well, it might work but it’s not worth doing.”
  3. Finally, they’ll say: “I told you that it was a great idea all along!”

In today’s blog, I’ll share a story that perfectly exemplifies this evolution: NASA project manager Tony Spear’s efforts to land an unmanned rover on Mars in the 1990s.

It’s a story about steadfast belief in a breakthrough idea and having the passion and persistence to pursue that idea—even in the face of risk and opposition from experts.

In short, it’s a story about entrepreneurship.

Let’s dive in… 

PHASE 1: BIRTH OF A “CRAZY” IDEA

When Tony Spear was given the job of landing an unmanned rover on the Martian surface, he had no idea that Clarke’s three stages would be precisely his experience.

A jovial, white-haired cross between Albert Einstein and Archie Bunker, Spear started his career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 1962.

Over the next four decades, he worked on Missions from Mariner to Viking, but it was his final assignment, as project manager for the Mars Pathfinder, that he describes as his “greatest mission challenge ever.”

The year was 1997, and the United States had not landed a probe on Mars since July 1976. That was Viking, a complex and expensive mission, costing some $3.5 billion (in 1997 dollars).

Spear’s assignment was to find a way to do everything that the previous mission had done, just faster, better, and cheaper.

And when I say cheaper, I mean a whole lot cheaper: fifteen times cheaper to be exact, for a fixed and total development cost of only $150 million.

That meant all the expensive, traditional, and proven stuff was out the window—including the types of retrorockets for landing that worked on the Viking Mission.

To pull this off under these seemingly impossible constraints, Spear and his team had to do everything differently: from how he managed the mission to how they landed.

As Spear recounts the story of those early days, “That really scared people. At NASA headquarters, I was assigned six different managers in rapid sequence—each of the first five found a different excuse to quit from the project. Finally, I was assigned someone about to retire who didn’t mind sticking with me at the end of his career. Even the NASA administrator, Daniel Goldin, nearly flipped out when he received his initial mission briefing—he couldn’t get past how many new things we were trying out.”

PHASE 2: “WELL, IT MIGHT WORK BUT IT’S NOT WORTH DOING”

Among the many things Spear tried out, nothing struck people as zanier than using airbags to cushion the initial impact, helping the craft bounce around like a beach ball on the Martian surface, before settling down into a safe landing spot.

But airbags were cheap, they wouldn’t contaminate their landing site with foreign chemicals, and Spear was certain that they would work.

The early tests, however, were a disaster, so the experts were summoned. The experts had a pair of opinions.

The first was: “Don’t use airbags.”

The second was: “No, we’re totally serious, don’t even consider using airbags.”

“Two of them,” recounts Spear, “told me flat out that I was wasting government money and should cancel the project. Finally, when they realized I wasn’t going to give up, they decided to dig in and help me.” 

PHASE 3: “I TOLD YOU IT WAS A GREAT IDEA ALL ALONG!”

Together they tested more than a dozen designs, skidding them along a faux rocky Martian surface to see which would survive without shredding to pieces.

Finally, just eight months prior to launch, Spear and his team completed qualification testing of a design composed of twenty-four interconnected spheres, loaded it aboard the Pathfinder Mission, and launched it into space.

But the anxiety didn’t end there.

The trip to Mars took eight months, during which there was plenty of time to worry about the fate of the mission.

Spear recalls:

“In the weeks just prior to landing, everyone was very nervous, speculating whether we’d have a big splat when we arrived. Goldin himself was wondering what to do: Should he come to the JPL control room for the landing or not? Just a few days before our July 4th descent to the surface, the administrator took a bold tack, holding a press conference and proclaiming, ‘The Pathfinder Mission demonstrates a new way of doing business at NASA, and is a success whether or not we survive the landing.’ ”

The landing went exactly as planned.

They had spent one-fifteenth the cost of the Viking Mission, and everything worked perfectly—especially the airbags.

Spear was a hero.

Goldin was so impressed that he insisted airbags be used to land the next few Mars missions and was quoted as saying, “Tony Spear was a legendary project manager at JPL and helped make Mars Pathfinder the riveting success that it was.” 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Arthur C. Clarke was a close friend and a mentor of mine.

And he was right: demonstrating great ideas involves a considerable amount of risk.

There will always be naysayers.

People will resist breakthrough ideas until the moment they’re accepted as the new norm.

Every breakthrough idea I’ve worked on, from the International Space University (ISU) to the $10M Ansari XPRIZE, has gone through these three phases where people ridiculed us and stood by the sidelines, only to eventually celebrate the successes.

Since the road to abundance requires significant innovation (and revolution), it also requires significant tolerance for risk and failure and tolerance for ideas that strike most people as absolute nonsense.

Peter’s dear friend Burt Rutan, who designed and built SpaceShipOne, the brilliant vehicle that won the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE, put it best:

“Revolutionary ideas come from nonsense. If an idea is truly a breakthrough, then the day before it was discovered, it must have been considered crazy or nonsense or both—otherwise it wouldn’t be a breakthrough.”

What crazy ideas and Moonshots are you pursuing?

Let’s work together and build your Moonshot innovation, schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: The Future is Faster Than You Think

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Enhance your Leadership with these Attributes — Grace, Gratitude, Resilience, Aspiration, Courage, and Empathy

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 29, 2021 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Enhance your Leadership with these Attributes — Grace, Gratitude, Resilience, Aspiration, Courage, and Empathy

Like truth, art, or love—grace is often hard to define. But we know it when we see it, and when we experience it.

I’ll never forget—it was early in my days as a CEO. A member of our board, who was mentoring me, looked me in the eye and said, “I don’t just want you to be successful—I am going to ensure that you are successful.”

I was so moved by his words, which told me that he was invested in me. Looking back now, I see it as a gift of grace.

Unearned and unmerited, grace is the goodwill of human nature predisposed to helping others. And now, as we approach year-end and a time of reflection, we are reminded of the immutable power of grace.

Our colleague Dan, a global account leader in our firm’s Chicago office, told me just the other day about the recent passing of his older brother, Jeff, after years of battling type 2 diabetes, renal failure, and other medical conditions. Dan recalled how his brother, 12 ½ years older, had occupied a special place in his life—“part older brother, part trailblazer, who would show me the ropes of adulthood.”

As he prepared for the funeral, Dan confided that he wondered if Jeff knew how grateful he was for him: “Did he know the kind of influence he had on my life? Was he aware, as a pharmacist, pharmacology professor, and musician, of the impact he had on others’ lives? I think so, but you never know for sure.”

Yet even amid such grief, there was also grace, as Dan also shared: “In a true ‘circle of life moment,’ my niece (on my sister’s side) gave birth—just one day after Jeff’s passing—to a healthy baby boy. Another opportunity for gratitude.”

As we all strive to become our better selves, we can find inspiration in the five graces—gratitude, resilience, aspiration, courage, and empathy. Each captures an invaluable human trait, and together they literally compose the word “grace.” Here are some thoughts:

  • Gratitude On the corner of my home office desk is a scrapbook: a celebration of the past 50 years of our firm. Whenever I need perspective the most, I turn to those pages and see the mosaic of colleagues’ past and present—the heart and soul of our firm—and I know why I am here. I see smiles and laughter and celebrations. I think of the stories people have shared—struggles, successes, and milestones along the way. We’ve congratulated each other on weddings and the births of children, we’ve comforted each other in times of illness, and we’ve expressed condolences on the loss of loved ones. Because when family and friends are deeply connected, that’s what they do. And for this we are grateful.
  • Resilience. Over the years, and especially at holiday time, our parents, grandparents, and other relatives tell stories about their lives. These stories have a lasting impact, reminding us that there is always a way. I’ll never forget the story shared with me earlier this year by an executive about his mother who, when she was in her late 90s, contracted a serious infection that required hospitalization. As her condition worsened, the doctor gave the sad prognosis that she wasn’t going to make it. The time had come for the family to arrange hospice for her. Thinking that his mother was sleeping, the executive quietly approached the hospital bed and called out gently to her. Suddenly, this woman, who had seemed near death a few minutes before, snapped her eyes open and replied in a heavy Italian accent, “I heard what you and the doctors were talking about. I am not going anywhere.” Two weeks later, she was well enough to be discharged from hospice. Ever resilient, she lived another two years—nearly reaching 100 years of age! Moral of the story: never underestimate the indomitable human spirit. That’s the resilience that propels us forward.
  • Aspiration. Hope, desire, longing, yearning, wish, aim… Each of these words speaks to an aspect of aspiration, but it is far more than all of them. Aspiration has nothing to do with those momentary wants—the kind of dreams that captured us as children. So many of us can remember sitting down with that thick Sears catalog and turning its pages full of pictures as we made our holiday lists. (One year, all I wanted was a Green Bay Packers jersey, helmet, and pads.) Aspiration, though, is far more than a passing fad or fancy. It is a vision—a goal—capturing no less than who we are and what we want to become. As we raise our sights, we elevate others.
  • Courage. During these times of rapid change, things can get really uncomfortable. We’re in constant transition—like trapeze artists flying through the air. We can’t make the next trapeze appear automatically— we must wait for it. Then, as it approaches, we let go of the old trapeze so we can reach for the new one. At that moment—completely ungrounded—we need courage. Courage is not about having “no fear,” but rather to “know fear.” How else can we progress? By following our values and drawing from past experiences, we find a way forward—“knowing what to do when we don’t know what to do.”
  • Empathy. We see people for who they really are, as we meet them wherever they are. This is the power of empathy—we can literally see it at work in our brains. As our Korn Ferry Institute explains, brain imaging shows us how different aspects of empathy engage our minds and emotions. First is cognitive empathy, which allows us to understand others’ emotional experiences while maintaining a healthy detachment. This is how we intellectually walk in someone else’s shoes. The second is sympathy—or emotional empathy—that allows us to feel what another person is experiencing. Too much sympathy, though, can make us feel pain as if it were our own. When suffering becomes too intense, we are prone to protect ourselves by putting up barriers. The third is compassion, or empathetic care, which we experience as concern for others. This form of empathy allows us to set aside our own concerns and reach out to help. Empathy is not just something we talk about—it must be felt by others.

Life and leadership are all about the journey and the grace-filled moments along the way. Indeed, that’s what truly matters—that’s what people remember the most. After all, grace is not defined by what we say, rather it is found in what others feel.

Let’s work together,  schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO and edits by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: The latest ways to build up your leadership skills; it’s easier than you think!

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Getting Comfortable with Failure — Fear of Failure is Actually Fear of Change — and Therefore Fear of Innovation

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 22, 2021 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Getting Comfortable with Failure — Fear of Failure is Actually Fear of Change — and Therefore Fear of Innovation

Are you afraid of failure? Most people are. Do you know why?

Do you know why?

Whenever I ask people what they fear most about failure, I hear three consistent answers:

  1. Fear of negatively impacting your reputation: “If I fail, I won’t get the promotion.”
  2. Fear of wasting time: “I’ve invested two years of my life—we can’t fail now!”
  3. Fear of wasting money: “I’ve invested way too much money—we can’t fail now!”

Why does this matter?

Because whatever the reason, fear of failure is actually fear of change—and therefore fear of innovation.

For an entrepreneur, fear of failure can be crippling—paralyzing your creativity and risk-taking, and ultimately lowering your odds of success.

So, how do you minimize the fear of failure in yourself and your team?

It starts with shifting your perspective about failure–and that’s what today’s blog is all about.

Let’s dive in…

SOME PEOPLE ARE NATURALLY MORE COMFORTABLE WITH RISK

Failure is not necessarily the disaster that everyone assumes.

Stanford Business School Professor Baba Shiv explains it this way:

“Failure is a dreaded concept for most businesspeople. But failure can actually be a huge engine of innovation. The trick lies in approaching it with the right attitude and harnessing it as a blessing, not a curse.”

Shiv studies the role that the brain’s liking and wanting systems to play in shaping our decisions: a field known as Neuroeconomics.

When it comes to risk, he divides the world into two mindsets:

Type 1 people are fearful of making mistakes.

For them, failure is shameful and disastrous. As a result, they are risk-averse, and whatever progress they make is incremental at best.

On the other hand, Type 2 people are fearful of losing out on opportunities.

Places like Silicon Valley are full of Type 2 entrepreneurs. As Shiv puts it, “What is shameful to these people is sitting on the sidelines while someone else runs away with a great idea. Failure is not bad; it can actually be exciting.”

From the Type 2 perspective, failure is not bad.

In fact, Shiv says, “From so-called failures emerge those valuable gold nuggets—the ‘ah-ha!’ moments of insight that guide you toward your next innovation.”

HOW CAN YOU BECOME MORE COMFORTABLE WITH RISK?

Since using exponential technologies to create a world of abundance requires taking risks, figuring out how to convert Type 1, or “riskphobic,” people into Type 2 “riskphilic” players is vital to this effort.

One way that companies have begun strengthening their fearlessness muscles is rapid prototyping: the process of brainstorming wild new ideas, then quickly developing a physical model or mockup of the solution.

As Shiv points out, “This process allows people to move quickly from the abstract to the concrete and lets them visualize the outcome of their ideas. Because not all prototypes end up as the best or final solution, rapid prototyping also teaches that failure is actually a necessary part of the process.”

Over a decade ago, Michael Schrage, a Research Fellow at MIT’s Sloan School, shared his “5-5-5 Rapid Innovation Method” with me.

It’s a concrete way of putting Shiv’s notion into practice and making your company’s environment more riskphilic and tolerant of failure.

Below is my variation on Schrage’s 5-5-5 concept in three steps:

Step 1: Teams of 5

First, break your company or group into teams of five people. Try to maximize diversity in the group (e.g., age, expertise).

Why 5 people?

Because there’s no need for a “CEO,” or an org chart, or a communication plan. Information flows freely and there’s the diversity of ideas. This is similar to Jeff Bezos’ “two-pizza rule” for ideal working team size.

Step 2: Allocate Budget ($500 or $5,000)

Your next step is to allocate a budget for each of the teams. Choose something on the order of $500 to $5,000.

This is the amount of money each team will spend during the 5-5-5 program: enough money for the team to try a few experiments without breaking the bank.

Step 3: Allocate Time (5 Days for 5 Weeks)

Finally, give the teams a fixed and short amount of time to run a number of experiments to see if their idea has merit and gets traction.

The amount of time should be short enough so that there are no negative consequences if nothing useful materializes.

CREATING A “RISKPHILIC” ENVIRONMENT

If Schrage’s methodology is used in a friendly, riskphilic environment—in which everyone understands that most ideas will fail—participants will not fear ramifications to their reputations.

Under these circumstances, there’s no downside to having a crazy idea, and a tremendous upside if that crazy idea turns out to be revolutionary, so people are much more willing to take risks.

And because each idea takes limited time and money to implement, no one worries too much about significant losses.

Will this process always lead to breakthroughs?

Doubtful.

But it does create a safe environment where people can practice stretching their imaginations, taking bigger risks, and learning to see failure as a building block of innovation rather than its anathema.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The road to success as an entrepreneur (and entrepreneurial company) is paved with failure.

You must have a strategy in place to encourage risk-taking, manage that risk, and learn from the inevitable mistakes.

A risk-accepting mentality is key to rapid iteration, failing forward, and ultimately entrepreneurship.

It means not being afraid to fail—because you will fail. And that’s OK!

It’s part of the journey.

Let’s work together and build a culture of innovation, schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: The Large Benefits of Spring Cleaning your Thinking Process

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

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How Do You Build a Thriving Exponential Technology Community (Part 2)

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 15, 2021 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

How Do You Build a Thriving Exponential Technology Community (Part 2)

Curating your community is one of the most important investments you can make as an executive or an entrepreneur.

Your communities shape your mindsets, passions, hobbies, and ultimately your success.

For example, if you want to think big and change the world, hang out with people who have a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) and Moonshots.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have thriving communities in my life—from Abundance and Singularity University to XPRIZE and Fountain Life.

They inspire me, challenge my thinking, and keep me focused on my MTP and Moonshots.

But what if you don’t have such a community in your life?

One option is to create it yourself.

In today’s blog, Part 2 of a series on how to build a community, I’ll discuss the remaining five stages for creating a thriving community that revolves around your interests and passions.

Let’s dive in… 

In Part 1 (on community), we discussed the first three stages of building a thriving community: Establishing Your Identity, Designing Your Community’s Portal, and the Early Days of Building Your Community.

Here are the remaining five stages:

STAGE 4: CREATING COMMUNITY CONTENT

Below is a list of the five basic content categories you can draw upon:

  1. Content about the Future. For example, you can preview an upcoming event or product launch. Or you can make predictions about the year ahead. Previews keep members informed, while predictions spark debate.
  2. The News. This can be a news roundup, or breaking news, or news about just-released products. But be sure to make your news new. Give it an edge. Be funny. More critically, be sure to do a member news section.
  3. The Interview. Choose a “member of the month” and interview him or her. Choose your oldest member and interview them. Equally important, do VIP interviews.
  4. Advice. This can include advice from you as the founder. But you can also solicit advice from members themselves and then do a roundup of general advice from the community.
  5. The Guest. Whether we’re talking about op-ed pieces or guest blogs from experts, giving outsiders a forum to communicate with your community can help serve the core and enlarge membership.

STAGE 5: ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES

There are two types of engagement that matter most:

First, low-friction engagement, such as a Facebook like or a re-Tweet. This type of cosmetic engagement matters because many newcomers want social proof that the community they’ve stumbled upon is the real deal.

But you also want deep engagement: building living bridges between members of your community. People join communities for the ideas—they stay for the emotions.

Below are five of the most powerful engagement strategies:

  1. Reputation. A leaderboard or ranking system can add a gamification layer to your community. Publicly holding people accountable for their performance creates interesting social dynamics.
  2. The Meetup. The goal is to generate real emotions, and nothing works better than live bodies in a room together. Of course, if you can’t get everybody together physically, get them together virtually, though don’t be afraid of hosting a structured discussion.
  3. The Challenge. Whether it’s a group project or an incentive prize, challenging the community can be a great way to foster cohesion.
  4. Visuals. Whether it’s how-to videos generated by you as the community’s founder, user-generated photos, or a simple SlideShare, ignoring the fact that the web is a visual medium will only hurt you.
  5. Be a Connector. One of the best ways to engage them is to introduce like-minded members to each other. Make the introduction, suggest that they meet, and give them a topic or agenda to fuel the conversation.

STAGE 6: MANAGING YOUR COMMUNITY

Communities are messy places.

Yet you need to steer the ship no matter how turbulent the storm.

Here are the five lessons for managing a community that matter most.

  1. Benign Dictators. The best communities are run by benevolent tyrants. You can do this by establishing parameters and then let your members make suggestions. The key is to be transparent about the process.
  2. Stay Calm. Let the kids play. Will it get loud occasionally? Of course. But a little fighting is a good thing. So is a little meandering.
  3. No Panhandling. Stop trying to market things to your community. The marketplace emerges organically, from the conversation, and not the other way around.
  4. Retention Matters. Too many community leaders spend all their time chasing new members. Remember: bigger isn’t always better. Making sure your current members are happily engaged is far more important.
  5. Delegate. Distributed leadership is key. Let community leaders emerge, and be sure to spread power around. You’re the benevolent dictator, so establish guidelines and clear responsibilities, provide training when needed, and create perks to reward all this participation.

STAGE 7: DRIVING GROWTH

Remember, you don’t need to be huge to be effective.

But if you’re looking to grow, the best place to start is with the basics. People like talking to one another, so do what you can to connect them.

With these basics in place, here are seven effective strategies for expansion.

  1. Evangelism. Word of mouth is still the most effective way to grow a community. Get your members talking about your efforts.
  2. Play-Well with Others. Partner with neighboring organizations. You can do this in the real world and online.
  3. Competition. People love to compete. Leaderboards, rating systems, incentive prizes, whatever—give people a way to square off against one another and they will show up.
  4. Pick a Fight. One of the best ways to strengthen a community is to go into battle against a common rival. Find an enemy. Take a stand.
  5. Buzz Marketing. Edgy demonstrations of new tech, products, and ideas spark buzz and attract followers.
  6. Host Events. It’s worth repeating: nothing brings people together like, well, actually bringing people together.
  7. Technical Optimization. If you want a larger online presence, don’t forget the tried and true: search engine optimization tactics, advertising, etc.

STAGE 8: MONETIZATION

Monetizing your community can be more art than science, but there are several hard and fast rules worth remembering:

  1. Transparency and Authenticity. If you plan on making money from your community, don’t hide this fact. And there’s a good chance your community is also looking for ways to make money from their passion, so drive engagement by making monetization a topic for discussion.
  2. Sell What the Community Builds. The easiest way to make money without alienating members is to help those members make money too.
  3. Cater to the Core. Give the people what they want. Sell products that are authentic and do so after you have an established reputation.
  4. All the Typical Stuff. You can, of course, sell ads to outsiders and premium membership to insiders—these are typical approaches. But again, remember to cater to the core. For instance, make sure your advertisers are selling things the community really wants.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Communities are now empowered to tackle jobs far larger in scope and size than anything previously possible.

And as entrepreneurs, we have access to more capital, knowledge, and computational power than ever before.

This means that we now have the power to attack and make a dent in billion-person problems, such as hunger or poverty. This was unthinkable just a few decades ago.

Which of those grand challenges will you and your community take on?

Let’s work together and build your tribe, schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by and Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Making Inspiration Our Aspiration

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How Do You Build a Thriving Exponential Technology Community (Part 1)

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 9, 2021 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

How Do You Build a Thriving Exponential Technology Community (Part 1)

When you come up with a crazy idea or talk about exponential technologies or brainstorm solutions to humanity’s grand challenges, do you have a support network that inspires and supports your big thinking? Or do friends shut you down and tell you that you’re a little crazy?

To be inventive, to make a difference in the world, an entrepreneur needs a safe and supportive network that will allow you to embrace and explore crazy ideas.

Your community shapes what you do.

But what if the community you need to pursue your passion and Moonshot doesn’t exist?

In true entrepreneurial spirit, create your own!

It turns out that there are eight stages to building a successful community.

In today’s blog, Part 1 of a two-part series I’ll discuss who should (and should not) create a community and the first three of those stages, including forming your community’s identity and practical steps you can take in the early days.

Let’s dive in!

FIND YOUR TRIBE

The ego-belittling truth the internet makes visible is that none of us is as unique as we’d like to believe. This is good news!

It means that if you are passionate about something, there’s a pretty good chance others share that passion.

Here are the first three stages you need to go through to build a thriving community. 

STAGE 1: ESTABLISH YOUR IDENTITY

It’s important to remember that people join communities because it reinforces their sense of identity.

So, start by finding your people.

What is your Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP)? Who is in your tribe?

Be as specific as possible. Write up a mission statement, post it in a visible place on your website, then live by that statement.

This is also why it’s important to tell your story.

A mission statement is nice, but unless you’re already a public figure, then people need to know who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

This could be in written form, but even better: record a short video.

Let your passion shine through. 

STAGE 2: DESIGN YOUR COMMUNITY’S PORTAL

There are six basics regarding designing the look, feel, and engagement of your community portal:

  1. Just Get Started and Design Something Authentic. Find inspiration in Reid Hoffman’s famous statement: “If an entrepreneur isn’t embarrassed by the first release of their product offering, then they launched it too late.”

The same applies to communities.

You want to start by starting. Don’t spend years designing the right portal, and don’t blow your bank either.

Authenticity matters. And having a personality is key, so people can quickly figure out if they belong in your tribe.

But giving people a place to have a conversation is more important.

You can always add better window treatments later.

  1. Navigation. People need to know how to move around easily.

They want to know where to go and what they’ll find there, and if you can’t tell them this information quickly and clearly, there are plenty of other places to visit online.

The navigation bar is not the place to get creative.

  1. Simple Registration. If it takes more than 30 seconds to become a member of your community, you’re not going to have many members.

Similarly, if you want much more than my email address, then I suspect you’re secretly planning to make money selling my personal information and I’m not interested.

Ask for my email. Tell me exactly what I’m getting in return. Promise me that you’re not going to resell my data.

And give me an easy way to invite my friends to join as well.

  1. The Information. What to post on your platform is a matter of personal preference, but it’s helpful to remember that people join online communities for four main reasons:
  • a sense of belonging
  • a support network
  • greater influence
  • a way to satisfy curiosity/explore new ideas

Most everything you choose to put on the site should be designed to meet these needs.

  1. Recognition. Whether you create a leaderboard/rating system, or you make your blog or message board open (so that anyone can post), be sure to highlight popular content.

Specifically, a short description of the post and, more important, a larger picture of the person posting.

Remember: people want to be celebrated for their contributions.

  1. Scalability. Sure, you might think you want a gargantuan membership, but understand that good communities are messy places.

This is key.

You want some of this mess because it will generate more new ideas and help accelerate the rate of innovation and make those members who hate top-down authority feel more comfortable.

But you also need to be able to steer (not control) the mess. This means that you have to give members a way to break into smaller groups.

STAGE 3: EARLY DAYS OF BUILDING YOUR COMMUNITY

There’s no way around it, getting out of the gate is always tough.

But you don’t need many members to have an impact. In fact, the bigger a given community gets, the fewer people actively participate. This creates waste and it makes it harder for you to identify and work with the top members.

It’s better to extract 1 hour a day from 100 committed members than to have 50,000 mostly inactive lurkers.

So how many members do you actually need?

Most experts recommend handpicking your first 10 to 15 members so that when visitors drop by there’s something interesting going on. And for many communities, once they reach around 150 members, the community itself starts to carry the conversation.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Be the First Mover. It seems obvious, but being the first one into any space gives you considerable leverage. If people want to have a conversation and your community is the only place to have it, you’re already winning. If you can’t be first mover in a space, then the problem you’re tackling (your MTP) better be significantly different and arguably more visionary than the competition’s.
  • Handpick Early Members. Research suggests that your early adopters tend to become your most ardent supporters. Get the ball rolling by personally handpicking your first 10 to 15 members. Be sure to engage these folks in the community-building process. Ask for their advice. Integrate their input. And don’t waste your time going after big names. As a rule, these folks are busy with their own communities.
  • Establish a Newcomer’s Ritual. You want to give members a way to feel like they belong—but they must earn it. Create a ritual and tie it to a specific membership milestone.
  • Listen. No matter what your core vision is, you can’t get anywhere without your members. So, pay attention to what they have to say and be prepared to change direction when necessary. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

We forget how recently it was that our birthplace and the language we speak shaped our destiny, influencing our identity and potential.

This is no longer the case.

Today, each of us can search the world and find our tribe, wherever they happen to live in the world.

Your goal should be to find those who dream the same big dreams and believe in a better, more abundant world.

Let’s work together and build your tribe, schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University and edited by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Making Inspiration Our Aspiration

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

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  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
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The Amazing Treasure of Providing a Helping Hand to our Family, Team Members, Colleagues, and Clients

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 1, 2021 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

The Amazing Treasure of Providing a Helping Hand to our Family, Team Members, Colleagues, and Clients

As we look back over years past, we see what matters most and what makes us truly grateful. Indeed, Thanksgiving can really help put things in perspective.

It was all about relationships and just being together—that was our real abundance.

I received a call this week from a friend. Despite our lighthearted conversation and laughs, as my friend spoke, I just knew something was off. I could hear it in his voice. “We’ve been friends for too long. What’s really going on?”

My friend paused, then let out a sigh. What followed was the same litany we’re all hearing these days: disconnected, isolated, long days that feel the same, and restlessness.

For many people, the connective tissue is fraying. Some lack the relationships they yearn for, others long for a listening ear. And for some, it’s simply about having that shoulder to lean on.

It’s what we all need to have—and who we strive to be for each other. And that’s our saving grace. It really does come down to gratitude for the people in our lives. Their inspiration should be our aspiration!

People want and deserve to be gratified by their work. They want to know that others notice and are grateful for them.

And so, as we start to look back on this year, even with continuous change and challenge, there is much to be grateful for—as long as we have the grace to recognize and appreciate it. Here are some thoughts for our gratitude list:

  • Have we told everyone how great they are? Gratitude is timeless and has no expiration date. I’ll never forget the story an executive shared with me a few months ago—about her 92-year-old grandfather who made it a habit to deliver a heartfelt message to everyone who made a difference in his life. Whether he was speaking to family members and friends, or someone who served him at the local diner, he always said, “Did anyone tell you how great you are today?” Reflecting on her grandfather’s words, which she’d heard thousands of times, the executive told me, “It still snaps me out of whatever mindset I am in and humbles me into a simpler state of mind—of being loved and seen.” It’s the secret to sustainable success: when people are recognized, they’re happy; and when they’re happy, they’re motivated. And if they’re motivated, they’re more likely to feel part of something bigger than themselves. Indeed, gratitude makes all the difference.
  • Our helping hands. I was sitting on a curb along a highway in Oklahoma not long ago. It was one of just a few trips I’ve taken in almost a year and a half, and I was driving a rental car along an unfamiliar road. Cell phone reception was sketchy, so with a conference call coming up, I pulled to the shoulder and found a place where the signal was strong. That’s when another vehicle pulled up. “Do you need help?” the driver and passenger asked me. With sincere thanks, I assured them I was fine. The whole interaction took only a few minutes, but I will never forget it. Even now, looking back, I feel so much gratitude for two strangers who selflessly reached out—with a helping hand. And this is what we constantly need to offer others—wherever, however, and anywhere we can.
  • The true treasure. An attitude of gratitude starts with two small but extremely powerful words that translate in every language: thank you. It’s a gift that goes both ways. As we express our thanks, we are uplifted—often as much as the person being appreciated. We can never say “I believe in you” too often. I see you. I value you. You matter. You make a difference…. When people are told, “We couldn’t have done this without you,” the message delivered is, “You are loved.” It’s like a spark that ignites as others respond. Moods shift and positivity elevates everyone. At a time when we need to lead with heart, what more is there to say? Indeed, genuine gratitude is one of life’s most precious treasures.
  • Love home. Love and leadership aren’t normally put together in the same sentence (for obvious reasons). But leading others really is a matter of the heart—whether we lead five people or 5,000 or even 50,000, or only ourselves. I was reminded of this earlier this year by one of our longest-tenured colleagues, who often ends his conversations with “Love home.” It’s his unique shorthand for good wishes to the person and their family or loved ones. When asked about this tagline, our colleague responded, “It’s endemic to my soul. It feels more natural to say instead of just ‘good-bye.’” It makes perfect sense while so many of us have been working at home—bringing our families, our partners, and our loved ones along with us. They are a bigger part of what we do than ever before.
  • A recipe for gratitude. At Thanksgiving, as the year-end approaches, let’s strive to help others raise their sights. There is much that we all can do. It starts with reflecting on who we are and who we want to be.
    • Do I spend the time making sure someone feels better after an interaction with me versus how they felt before?
    • Is there daylight between my words and my actions?
    • How do I provide meaning to others?
    • Do I just assume people know I appreciate them or do I actually take the time to tell them?

Two of the most powerful words anyone can say are, “Thank you.” So easy to say, but so often overlooked. To all our colleagues, clients, friends, and those we are meeting along the way, I wish you an abundance of joy, love, and grace. And to those of you in the U.S., an early and heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving. May we each have the grace to be grateful—for others..

Let’s work together, schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO and edits by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Zooming remote or back to the office – Solid solutions for you and your team

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ask Yourself What Do You Need to Provide To Your Team Members Feedback Or Feed-Forward – Become An Expert Of Knowing The Important Difference

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 24, 2021 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Ask Yourself What Do You Need to Provide To Your Team Members Feedback Or Feed-Forward – Become An Expert Of Knowing The Important Difference

There’s a tug-of-war going on in my house. I like it warm, but my daughter likes it cool. Whenever I walk by the kitchen where she’s studying, her, head snaps up. And if I dare touch that thermostat, she’s right there to change back the setting.

A thermostat runs entirely on a feedback loop, without anyone thinking about it—constantly responding to the climate, internal and external. And that’s what we need to do, as well: continuously meet others where they are—not where we are—and then transport all of us forward, together.

It’s not simply “feedback”—more importantly, it’s “feed-forward.” This is 2021, after all. We are just trying to help people get through, one day to the next—to see the blue sky through that tiny opening in the clouds.

One-and-done annual performance reviews conjure up images of sitting across a desk with a boss who is reading a list of all the areas where someone needs to improve. Let’s be honest: when anyone says, “Can I give you feedback?” what’s the likely reaction? People grip the arms of the chair and brace for impact—because what’s coming probably isn’t “great job.”

Today, more than ever, we need to engage others with intentionality, as Ann Powell, CHRO for Bristol Myers Squibb, told me. She recalled receiving so much constant feedback from a manager early in her career that it was uncomfortable. When she asked why, the response was immediate: “I push because I see your potential… because I care.” Once Ann understood the manager’s intention, it clicked immediately. That’s exactly how we move forward—with the intentionality of making tomorrow better than today, for all of us.

Just as we say to loved ones, “I’m only telling you this because I love you,” we need to let others know that we care. We want them to succeed—indeed, we want to help ensure they succeed. As Shelie Gustafson, CHRO of Jacobs, shared with me this week, feedback “isn’t about right/wrong, good/bad.” Rather, it’s about “being a source of information (data, observations, considerations) to give people what they need to ‘adjust their sails’ to navigate” at the moment.

With intentionality and a true connection, we can make explicit what used to be implicit when we were in the same room together. People learn the most from what they don’t expect to hear—and probably don’t want to receive. As one executive shared with me the other day, “My favorite phrase is ‘feedback is a gift.’”

That’s true, even when it doesn’t feel like much of a gift. My daughter Emily, who is a junior in college, was a finalist for an internship, the kind of competitive position where hundreds apply and only a few make it. Despite all the hours of preparation, and then waiting on pins and needles, Emily found out last week that she was not selected.

Amazingly, that news came in a phone call from a manager, who took the time to offer Emily some feedback that will help her in the future. It really was feed-forward. Who does that anymore—especially during a pandemic? I happened to be with Emily when she received the call. Afterward, I told her, “First of all, I want you to know how proud I am of you.” Then I gave her some perspective: “You will not appreciate it now, but calling you was a very classy thing for that firm to do. Trust me, that call was harder for them to make than it was for you to receive. You’ll understand one day when you’re the one who has to make that call.”

To feed-forward, we connect first, understand second, contextualize third, and provide input fourth. Here are some thoughts:

  • Listen twice as much as you speak. First and foremost, our role is to listen. When a genuine connection exists, people are more willing to share the story behind the story. They may be struggling professionally or personally. When we’re the listener, we may hear things that we are not equipped to solve in the moment—and that’s okay. It’s not about what we have to say. It’s all about how we demonstrate that we care—listening with empathy, compassion, and a genuine desire to understand.
  • Handle with ‘CARE.’ Performance isn’t a once-a-year task—so neither should giving feedback. That’s why, when offering career advice, I tell people not to wait for a summit meeting with their boss. As Lesley Uren, a member of our Consulting team based in London, told me, “If the rhythm of their work isn’t yearly, why should their review be annual?” It’s all about providing guidance and support at the point of performance. Michelle Stuntz, a Consulting team member in Washington, D.C., further emphasized the importance of focusing on today’s reality: “It’s absolutely feed-forward: this day, this week, this month, this quarter…” In these real-time conversations, the approach should be to “CARE” for others: Candid conversations, Asking people how they are doing, Reviewing how things are going, and Engaging them.
  • ‘Keep it coming.’ Those were three of the most encouraging words I heard this week. It started with a conversation I had with a colleague in which I gave some direct feedback. Afterwards, though, I wasn’t sure this colleague felt any better. So, I made a second call to continue the conversation—to contextualize: “What you have done for us is unbelievable.” I tried to channel my best feed-forward so that, together, tomorrow would be better than today. Afterwards my colleague emailed me: “It doesn’t matter if it is positive feedback or critical feedback. Someone took the time… When people retreat from you, turn quiet, turn off, grow indifferent—that’s when it’s time to worry. Indifference is the enemy. So, keep it coming.”
  • Trusting our radar. When she was seven years old, Linda Hyman, our firm’s Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources, used to tag along with her father, a radar specialist, when he went into the field to fix equipment. When she asked her father about his job, he explained that he fixed guidance systems: “They help keep people safe. It’s like what your mom and I do when we see your shoe is untied or you should wear a heavier coat because it’s cold outside.” At that moment, Linda told me in our conversation this week, she grasped the importance of guidance—with a loving intention. “That’s a huge shift in a relationship—and probably the most important part of establishing trust so that, together, we can move forward,” Linda said.

Indeed, feedback is a gift. It requires care on the part of the person providing it and courage for the person receiving it—and a relationship that connects them both.

Let’s work together,  schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO and edits by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Recent Blog Post: Today’s Hiring Environment: Candidates are asking – What’s the culture like? What is it like to work there? What are the people like?

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

LinkedIn

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: [email protected] or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks #WSJ #privateequity #boardmembers #corporateleadership #IBD #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #management #privateequity #PE #hedgefund #limitedpartners #LP #venutrecapital #VC #ethicalbusiness #directors #corporategovernance #accountability #integrity #ethics #corporateleadership #leadership #nonexecutivedirector #nonexec #boarddevelopment #leadershipfirst #mentoring #thoughtleadership #managementdevelopent #mentorship #leanmanagement #leadershipdevelopment #business #leanstartups #businessstrategy #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Ready to engage?

  • Ready To Engage? Fill Out This Form To Contact ICG
  • Please enter your complete job title. For example "Executive VP of Business Development."
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Importance of Having an Abundance Mindset

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 17, 2021 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

The Importance of Having an Abundance Mindset

Do you have an abundance mindset? What the heck is an abundance mindset? And what’s the advantage of having an abundance mindset?

Do you have an abundance mindset? What the heck is an abundance mindset? And what’s the advantage of having an abundance mindset?

That’s our conversation today…

In the middle of a pandemic, it’s hard to think about abundance… especially when people are losing their jobs or wondering if and when they will get access to a vaccine.

Nonetheless, the world is heading rapidly towards abundance, and understanding this could transform your life and your business.

Exponential tech like computation, AI, 3-D printing, robotics, VR are rapidly dematerializing, demonetizing, and democratizing products and services. What used to only be available to the richest and most elite, is now available to almost anyone on the planet. A child in the middle of Zimbabwe can Google any information or video conference for free with someone on the other side of the world.

Many things we paid millions of dollars for just two decades ago are now available for free on your smartphone.

The challenge is that our minds evolved during a world of absolute scarcity, and most people are trapped in an unhealthy “Scarcity Mindset”.

In a world of scarcity, there is a limited pie. If your neighbor gets a slice, that means you get a smaller slice. It’s a world of limited resources and fierce competition.

With an Abundance Mindset, rather than slicing the pie into thinner and thinner pieces, we just bake more pies…