SALES

The Problem With Being Good Enough

Incremental success can lull you into dangerous complacency. Use these techniques to shake up your mindset and start planning for explosive growth.
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In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote that the opposite of "great" is not "bad," but rather "good." What he meant: When things are good for a sustained period of time, there is a tendency to project forward that they will remain as they are or get better. This can lead to a false sense of security or an unfounded belief in your own strategy.

That's why I like to say that one of the things that keeps people from explosive success is incremental success. Here are a few ways to shift your thinking to energize your plan for growth.

Do You Have Hope, or Strategy?

If you are waiting for circumstances to change before you adjust your course, you are taking a hopeful approach to the future. You are reacting to the world rather than anticipating and creating the world of the future.

For the world of your explosive growth, you need to focus on amplifying your most successful moves. What are the two or three strongest strategies that you are implementing right now to produce results? Is there a way to add more energy and resources into those strategies to get a higher yield?

Answering these questions for yourself will lead to adjusting your strategy for greater leverage.

Manage Your Horizon

Even modest success can let you believe you have things figured out. But I assure you, that understanding will be short-lived.

Sharpen your view of the future by changing your horizon from the immediate to the impending. One way to do this is to type these words into your search engine: "Top future trends in ..." and fill in the blank with your market, industry or related topics.

By tapping into what is being published about the coming changes in your world, you are giving yourself great brain food for upcoming pitfalls and opportunities. Finding the answers to these questions will lead to adjusting your strategy for greater anticipation.

Avoid This Time Trap

I have sat through countless sessions where executives have said they would be willing to make changes once they reach some future (and probably mythological) period of stability. Reality check: There is no such thing as sustained stability.

Take the last three years as a frame of reference. Could you tick off on one hand the number of significant changes to your business, market, competitors, technology, regulation, finances and business relationships? Probably not.

That means that every day is a good day to consider making adjustments to your business in order to release explosive growth.

I am not a believer in bet-the-farm approaches to quick growth, any more than I think the lottery is a retirement strategy. You have to be thoughtful in your approach to growth.

But many business owners have been lulled into a false sense of security by incremental growth only to find themselves capsized by big waves of change. However, if you understand that one of your core roles in your company is to be an engine not just of success, but of explosive success, you can help align your culture to create it.

IMAGE: Laurent Cilluffo
Last updated: Jun 8, 2012

TOM SEARCY | Columnist | Founder, Hunt Big Sales

Author, speaker, and consultant Tom Searcy is the foremost expert in large account sales. With Hunt Big Sales, he has helped clients land more than $5 billion in new sales. Click to get Searcy's weekly tips, or to learn more about Hunt Big Sales.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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