LEADING YOUR IDEA FORWARD
Think. Care. Share.
Live. Learn. Lead.
Take your idea from good to great by taking effective steps forward. Passion and perseverance will eventually overcome any challenge.
Think about what you say and do. Trust your instincts, but don’t get tempted into impulsive behavior. To be able to think is a great asset in many ways.
Care for and appreciate everyone. And when you are compassionate, care and love is often returned. Being compassionate also sets apart money driven organizations from the great leaders that bring about positive change in the world.
Share so your vision one day becomes a guiding light for others. Sharing gets you further. Help others share and you will create a network that is willing and able to share with you. Together you can move mountains.
Live your life and see what’s here today. Only pursuing growth and “things” on the horizon will obscure your joy for life and “the now”. The best opportunities are closer then you may think. What’s here today might not be there tomorrow.
Learn. Without inspiring and challenging your mind, your mind cannot expand. Much like a battery does not work if it isn’t charged. Charge your mind with the energy required to push yourself and others forward.
Lead. When you are not afraid to carry responsibility, you have the ability to lead. To be held accountable, means you are willing to take steps forward and accept that moving forward goes hand in hand with learning and taking responsibility. Leading means doing. Evaluate your efforts and improve them in order to grow.
Life generally happens outside of your comfort zone!
Try to surround yourself with strong people and leaders and you will learn to lead in new and inspiring ways yourself. These people often end up being a teacher in your life or career. Cherish and celebrate your teachers. They are amongst the most valuable within your growing network.
Some people are able to motivate themselves to growth. This elite group of people often had to overcome great hardship or endure other challenges in life.
As Winston Churchill said: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
I often refer to sailing or hiking. It’s a beautiful experience discovering a new place. A place you would have never discovered if you didn’t get off your regular comfortable route.
The basics of sharing
Leaders in business are often afraid to share. They fear that (their) great ideas might be copied. But great ideas should be out there. A protected approach is too complex in today’s powerful world of block chain (r)evolution. You won’t make it. And sometimes conclude that your idea might not be that great after all. Think!
Collaboration leads to sharing
To protect a good idea (concept, product or service), also limits the true potential of that very same good idea. Boundaries are good to guide a child, but ultimately limit the exploration of their true identity. This is the reason why young people can often improve traditional processes in a refreshing new way. But young talent, more often than not, is held back by an older generation that is fearful of losing control. Collaboration is essential. Respect, regardless of race, sexual preference or other labels ‘we as society’ have created.
Adding value is essential
Good ideas can only become great when the value of others is added. Be it customers, employees or even friends, family or the teachers we meet throughout our lives.
In case of a good new concept, it’s not only about the technological enhancement of a certain process. It’s about the added value to life, comfort, business or efficiency that your new concept introduces.
When talking about a product, it’s more than just a product nowadays. A product helps (re)define people’s identity (with)in today’s globalizing trends. So authenticity plays a big part. However, the new quality standard is set higher than ever. You are creating within a world full of bright minds. So the challenge of creating great rather then good, has become even harder, yet not impossible. Therefore; learn. Adapt. Grow. Continue!
Make sure that any initiative is fueled with passion and that you persevere.
Attain a positive mindset and continue to learn
Let’s get back to sharing and good ideas in general. Attain a positive mindset. Passion. Perseverance. These are all key ingredients to a good recipe, but no guarantee for success. And remember, all great journeys started with a single step. And all journeys have an important story attached to each individual step. Life is not a destination, but a journey. Stay open to learning. Just recently I learned that it’s not the steps you took that define your future, but the steps you will take that create the opportunities along the way. Simple. Effective thinking. The process of taking steps forward and not being afraid to live (love) and learn.
Education. The teachers we meet in life; are more important than we may think. More value and compassion should be shown to this remarkable group of people. Teachers matter. Compassion is what motivates people forward. Good teachers are able to identify with you. They can break down information and help guide your willingness to learn.
An inspiring story to refer to, is that of 2017 teacher of the year Maggie McDonnell. Taking kids from suicidal thoughts to running a marathon and operating a successful workshop rather then roaming the streets. I had the honor of listening to Maggie’s story in Amsterdam during the Forward Thinking Leadership seminar.
Of course Maggie is a school teacher. In business I refer to the teachers, perhaps other business leaders, that offer you valuable advice. People that give you unconditional attention. Make sure to appreciate their added value.
Be unique and find your market
Do realize that millions of people have good ideas every day. But it’s about taking good ideas to the next level. And while market shares have turned into markets, you must also find your way and place your idea within such rapidly changing markets. Today’s markets are mostly lead by giants. A giant player (think of Amazon), might copy your product. However, some values cannot be copied. Much like there is only one unique you. Being unique not only feels good, it creates the ability to set you apart from the rest. One of my personal teachers in life taught early on that you (me) are never fully replaceable. Believe in yourself.
One of the most inspiring business success stories is that of Tony’s Chocolonely.
Push for the next level
This leads to your personal added value. Authenticity. Uniqueness. Find a way to attach your good idea to a greater value. A higher purpose perhaps. A good idea needs to be surrounded by greatness in order to be propelled into motion and in order to improve. The same reason the underdog during a tennis match will probably learn more than the higher ranked opponent that is fighting to protect his or her reputation. The same higher ranked player, that is still able (and willing) to learn from the underdog, might become his or her coach in the future. The older player can now add value by explaining the power of discipline without egocentric values (his/her great asset). The younger talent has learned to adapt much faster and is probably physically stronger (his/her talent). Together they can probably break records. Another good example is Max Verstappen’s rise to the top with the great help of his father and coach Jos Verstappen.
Life, much like a good idea; is never a list of preset settings with a definite end. It’s an ongoing process of learning ability. Evolution. You must maintain or develop the ability to trust. Don’t be arrogant and see that someone else might push you to a better performance. And you can pass that knowledge forward. The great asset of sharing is that knowledge grows. Think of the success of open source technology or block chain. All based on similar principles of sharing.
Find and explore trust
Sharing greatly coincides with trust. And trust is often broken whilst leveraging a new business or idea forward. Such breaks of trust often lead to a vicious circle of introvert thinking. Micro management. How many people did you meet that pretend to know better? People that recommend different to your approach. Most advice in business is given based on personal benefit within your good idea. It’s a mildly useful attempt to making your good idea great.
My interest becoming our benefit
Misjudging the passion and knowledge that you add to the equation. I always say. We need to learn (or perhaps teach) that the willpower of individuals is even more powerful when combined in a collective effort to build. That same willpower than becomes the decisive energy that can lead a good idea into becoming great. Transforming personal willpower into collective results in a way.
Structure and guidance
Once you learn that trust also relies on the personal value you can add to that very same great idea, the ‘sharability’ of ideas suddenly enters a new dimension. Your idea becomes more unique. Leading a ‘good story of added value’ attached to your great idea; will connect people both good and bad. If then you set out structure and ethical guidelines, alongside realistic key performance indicators, the good people will prevail and the bad will be evidently visible. Good people are likely to perform well within your structure. The ethical guidelines connect you at a deeper level. The performance indicators ensure you don’t become blind sighted.
Agility is one of the greatest assets
Honesty and good faith are very hard pillars to break. But you need to act promptly when dangers become visible. So remaining sharp and focused is essential to leaders. This set of principles I believe lead to the ability to act and adapt faster. Another value I believe in for any business or good idea: adaptability. The ability to adapt is a future form of capital. Agility.
Often when I give strategic advice to business owners, we share an amazing connection. A way of forward thinking if you will, where many great ideas are discussed.
Create more time
What follows is a discussion about scalability, market place, people, finance, marketing and structure. Systems are put into place, but often we lack the time to follow up. The great ideas slide away into the often repetitive but familiar heartbeat of an organization or person. Therefore, when a new idea or process is introduced; it also needs to be nurtured. Developing ideas and even products takes time. And time is still the most valuable asset attached to everything we’ve talked about.
Remember the annotation about life being a journey. Much the same applies to a new idea; be it a product or service. A good idea, attached to the right strategy and guidelines still needs to be executed by the right people for the job. Finding the right people for the job is the next challenge in initiating or sustaining growth for a new idea. Human capital. People that can ensure that the traction you’ve created can continue to grow.
At this point, pieces of the puzzle fall into place. As a leader, you have the overview of the puzzle and you are the one putting down the pieces. Human capital will help execute your plan the right way.
Creating an inspiring working environment
So go ahead and piece that puzzle together. Now attracting great people is nothing more than offering a great place to LIVE. Not work but LIVE. Work in today’s society has to coincide with freedom. Work is an important part of life that you should be proud of. Whether you are the painter or the next CEO. Sure you hold your team accountable throughout the different layers of your business. But freedom allows people to live their life.
Drive your success
Believe in yourself. Along the way, people come and go. You will outgrow some of your business relationships. At that point, saying no or moving on may seem impossible. But you must carry on. You drive your success.
“What I love doing most is connecting people. Finding common ground through strong values. Brainstorming at a more abstract level, with the ultimate mission to improve focus and direction. I have a passion for sharing and want to continue exploring new possibilities to connect leaders in business by means of sustainable, fair and result driven principles. Together we can move mountains…” – Arjan van Jaaren
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