How to Be a Business Superhero


There is one key to becoming a business superhero.

One that leads their organization to ongoing growth and success.

It is often overlooked because business, for the very most part, is an incremental game.

Each and every day we strive to make small improvements in key business processes - reducing the amount of time it takes to fill a customer order, or complete a project, or increase the conversions from our marketing efforts into sales leads, or once we have those good prospects to increase the percentage of them that  buy, and at what price.

Then, the well-founded hope is that all of these small improvements, compounded over time, will slowly but surely grow our sales, profits, and business value.

All of the above is 100% true, and in my consulting practice, I have developed analytics and business intelligence tools to win business races this way - inch by inch, key metric improvement by key metric improvement.

AND I've discovered that this analytics-based, incremental approach is completely insufficient for breakthrough business growth and improvement.

No, what has to be added in is that most beautiful thing that the greatest among us have displayed and embodied throughout the ages and even every now and then in today’s marketplace.


Courage is defined by Webster as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”

And for better or for worse, it is not a word that comes up all that often in 21st century knowledge work.

Now for those of us whose work consists of sitting in front of a computer, or on our smartphones, the opportunities and need to demonstrate and embody courage are naturally fewer than when work was more physical, more viscerally interpersonal, heck even more violent than it is today.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with this, as we are all blessed beyond compare by how with our analytical minds, powered by technology, we can earn our daily bread.

But more so than we might think, to achieve business breakthroughs and greatness, we need our crowded hours - those special moments where our hearts race, where the pits in our stomachs grow so strong that we have to consciously remind ourselves to breathe, and that feeling of fear envelops us so tight that we want to run away...

...but instead we stand and fight.

And win.

When, in modern business do these moments present themselves?  Where courage as much as competence is required? 

Well, here are two classic scenarios:

1. When Our Business Needs Outside Growth Capital. Courage is needed throughout - from the initial decision to go seek it, to the hard soul-searching and strategic work to develop a compelling business plan to credibly ask for it, to the the fortitude to press on as the apathy and rejection endemic to modern fundraising inevitably pours in, and finally to the transference of our courage to others to fortify them to take the leap into the exciting but fear-inducing unknown of investment partnership.

2. When we decide to fire a key team member, or to quit our current business/company and go start/find another one. Courage is needed here as the vast majority of us default to letting things stay as they are, no matter how imperfect they might be, versus taking on the confrontation and life disruption of big interpersonal business and career matters.   

Of course there are many other scenarios like these.  They come up, in ways big and small, in almost every business day.

And when we feel the fear...and say and do anyway those things that serve our business destiny....

Well then the transformation in ourselves and the world around us is immediate.

We and our businesses leap forward, in some magical and inspirational way that makes life worth living, and business worth doing.

Now, when we couple great courage with laser-like focus on incremental, daily improvement...

Then we become nothing less than business Supermen and Superwomen.

And there's a lot of fun, and money, in that!

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