The Magic Mindset to Exponential Growth

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Nov 05, 2019

People look at phenomenal business success and call it magic. Magic isn’t real; it is really hard work.

To believe in the magic of adding zeros, you first need to accept that it’s possible to grow beyond what you are now, and that such growth can be and should be exponential. That can almost seem like believing in magic.

Many of us grew up believing that there's only so much to go around, and if someone else gets a big piece of the pie, that means there’s less for us. Most of us learned to base our sense of self-worth on comparisons and competition, and to believe that our success results from someone else’s failure.

Stephen Covey, in his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, called this attitude the Scarcity Mentality. According to him, People with a Scarcity Mentality have a tough time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit” even with those who help in the production. They also have a hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life.

A Scarcity Mentality is the belief that resources are always inadequate. Thinking that we have to compete for money, opportunity, or recognition means someone has to lose, and the fight is one to make sure the loser is someone else. Living and working like this leads to incredible paranoia, fear, and anxiety. No one trusts anyone else and everyone is deathly afraid of making any mistake. Under these conditions, teamwork and innovation suffer and growth of any kind is practically impossible.

As much as we'd like to believe that everyone is optimistic, forward-thinking, and generous, we look around and know that’s not true. We know that it’s often possible for a forward-thinking company leader to be surrounded by employees with a Scarcity Mentality.

Think about the people who work with you:

    • Do they tell people how much they value their contributions?
    • Do they see challenges or opportunities?
    • Are they worried that someone is getting more than they are?
    • Are they glass-half-empty or glass-half-full people?
    • Do they acknowledge and appreciate all the positives in their life and work?
    • Do they give more than they receive, and do they provide more than just money?

We believe that the greatest danger of this kind of thinking is that it values profit above all else, because gain is the absolute proof that you won and someone else lost. We think the concept of a business’s profit has overshadowed a more important one: business success.

Here is how to measure success in the 5 Disciplines:

  • You can measure zeros in the Discipline of Strategy by the number of opportunities in the marketplace you’re filling and executing on.
  • You measure zeros in the Discipline of People by employee retention, number of outstanding job applicants, number of outstanding new hires, level of morale, number of new skills that employees are trained in, number of employee development plans, job efficiency, and engagement.
  • You measure zeros in the Discipline of Execution by efficiency and effectiveness. One way to measure efficiency is the speed of service: how long does it take to serve a customer with the highest quality? You can also measure efficiency by looking at net sales per square foot, which will tell you about your processes and management of the facility.
  • You measure zeros in the Discipline of Mission by how much money, products, or services are donated to charities and other groups, and the number of volunteer hours are contributed to community groups and activities.

We believe that in a healthy for-profit business, profit’s proper role should be a consistent marker of a company’s success and progress. A company should continuously monitor profit as a symptom of its health. Tracking profit this way reminds everybody of the shared goal they’re striving for every day.

To recap, to believe in the magic of adding zeros, you need to accept that it’s possible to grow beyond what you are now, and that such growth can be and should be exponential. The most important measure of a business's sustainability is business success. You need to measure so you can improve.

We'd love to hear from you. How do you measure success in the various disciplines you have in place at your company? Thank you for sharing.