Jim Collins’ latest book is out – and it’s another winner, packed with an amazing depth of research that he and colleague Morten Hansen have distilled down into thought-provoking, sticky, and supremely practical concepts. Great by Choice is the equal to Good to Great, and is a must-read for leaders in ChurchWorld. Get your copy today, and dive into it. You’ll soon be introduced to some amazing concepts.
Like the 10Xer.
With a team of more than twenty researchers, Collins and Hansen studied companies that rose to greatness – beating their industry indexes by a minimum of ten times over fifteen years – in environments characterized by big forces and rapid shifts that leaders could not predict or control. The research team then contrasted companies that failed to achieve greatness in similarly extreme environments.
Weaving the story of South Pole explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott throughout the narrative, and juxtaposing them with current CEOs, Collins and Hansen paint a vivid picture of what 10X organizations (and their leaders) look like:
- Fanatic discipline: 10Xers display extreme consistency of action – consistency with values, goals, performance standards, and methods. They are utterly relentless, monomaniacal, and unbending in their focus on their quests.
- Empirical creativity: when faced with uncertainty, 10Xers do not look primarily to other people, conventional wisdom, authority figures, or peers for direction; they look primarily to empirical evidence. They rely upon direct observation, practical experimentation, and direct engagement with tangible evidence. They make their bold, creative moves from a sound empirical base.
- Productive paranoia: 10Xers maintain hypervigilance, staying highly attuned to threats anda changes in their environment, even when – especially when – all’s going well. They assume conditions will turn against them, at perhaps the worst possible moment. They channel their fear and worry into action, preparing, developing contingency plans, building buffers and maintaining large margins of safety.
Underlying the three core 10Xer behaviors describe above is a motivating force: passion and ambition for a cause or company larger than themselves. They have egos, but their egos are channeled into their companies and their purposes, not personal aggrandizement.
On the one hand, 10Xers understand that they face continuous uncertainty and that they cannot control, and cannot accurately predict, significant aspects of the world around them. On the other hand, 10Xers reject the idea that forces outside their control or chance events will determine their results; they accept full responsibility for their own fate.
Are you a 10Xer?