Qualities of a 10X leader - Deepstash
Qualities of a 10X leader

Qualities of a 10X leader

Best leaders (10X) do not predict the future

  • They observe what worked and why that didn't and build their company around those foundations
  • They are Not more risk-taking, bold, or visionary, more disciplined, empirical, and paranoid.
  • They can able to scale innovation, not just be innovative.
  • They know when to go fast and when not to; not all about going super fast
  • Change on the outside doesn't necessarily mean change on the inside

The key qualities are -

  1. Fanatic discipline
  2. Empirical creativity
  3. Productive Paranoia
  4. Level 5 ambition

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Great by Choice

by Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen

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#3 Productive Paranoia: Leading Above the Death Line

10X winners always assume that conditions can change, violently and fast.

1. Extra oxygen canisters (big margins of safety in cash reserves)

2. Bounding risk

  • Avoid “Death Line risk” that could kill or severely damage the enterprise.
  • Ignore “Asymmetric risk” (those risks for which the potential downside is much bigger than the potential upside).
  • Steer away from “Uncontrollable risk” that exposes the enterprise to events they can't control.

3. Zoom out, then zoom in

  • 10X leaders obsessively focus on their objectives and are hypervigilant about changes in their environment.

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#2 Empirical Creativity

During times of uncertainty, look at the empirical evidence, not to other people; rely on direct observation and practical experimentation and build a deeper empirical foundation for decisions and actions.

  • Fire bullets, then fire cannonballs: First work out what works and what doesn't in a riskfree manner-
  1. Bullets are low risk, low cost, and low distraction
  2. Convert to cannonballs with successful ideas
  3. Beware of uncalibrated cannonballs with good outcomes because it encourages the use of bad processes.

Don't let discipline inhibit creativity or creativity to erode discipline.

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The Role of Luck:

“The environment doesn’t determine why some companies thrive in chaos and why others don’t. People do.”

Who luck (the luck of finding the right mentor, partner, teammate, leader, friend) is one of the most important types of luck.

The real difference between the 10X and comparison cases was ROL (Return on Luck).

  • They zoomed out to recognize when a lucky event had happened and to consider whether they should let it disrupt their plans.
  • If yes, they threw themselves at the luck event with ferocious intensity, not letting up.

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Jim Collins

"When you marry operating excellence with innovation, you multiply the value of your creativity."

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#4 Level 5 Ambition

Try to channel the ego and intensity into something larger and more enduring than yourself - focus on your cause, your company, your work; Choose goals by impact, contribution, and purpose if you want to attract others to help.

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Shows regularity of action; rejects pressure to conform in ways incompatible with values, performance standards, and long-term aspirations

  • 20-Mile March: The first man to reach the South Pole, Norwegian Roald Amundsen, marched about 20 miles on calm days, and about 20 miles in screeching gales.

He was consistent. He didn’t march 40 miles on good days, nor zero on bad days.

10Xers make incremental progress year after year by consistently hitting specified performance markers.

  • They have an unwavering commitment to high performance in difficult conditions
  • They hold back in good conditions

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  1. Preparation keeps companies alive when the unknown creeps into our lives.
  2. The businesses that will make it through tough times look at the facts and prepare with a worst-case scenario mindset.
  3. 10X companies reach their goals year after year, despite what happened within that year.
  4. 10X companies take their leaps when they see it’s necessary.
  5. 10x companies love the idea of their equation yielding the same results over and over.

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Jim Collins

"Go slow when you can, fast when you must."

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Jim Collins

“If you want to achieve consistent performance, you need both parts of a 20 Mile March: a lower bound and an upper bound, a hurdle that you jump over and a ceiling that you will not rise above, the ambition to achieve and the self-control to hold back.  ”

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Create and use a SMaC recipe to execute your strategy: Specific, Methodical, and Consistent.

  • Operating instructions - includes both Dos and Don'ts
  • Be stoic about what you cannot control but exert extreme control when you can - be SMaC!
  • Try not to change your SMaC often (like Constitution - ok to question and challenge but rarely change)

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Jim Collins

"Freely chosen, discipline is absolute freedom."

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