I love speaking to CEOs who have a growth mentality. They face the same challenges everyone else does, but they're always moving forward. They remind me of a great Rocky quote: Success isn't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. Growth-oriented CEOs are always moving forward.
I was speaking to a group of CEOs on Wednesday, talking about my favorite subject - Creating Demand and making competition irrelevant. The conversation led to one of my underlying philosophies: "To succeed in creating demand, you must take your value proposition (or promise) to such an extreme that your competitors either cannot or will not follow."
Look past the excitement of that statement. What it says, is that anything that has the opportunity of being great has to look foolish on the surface. In difficult markets, the only sustainable strategy is to do something great. One of the great advantages of a recessionary market like the one we are in right now is that things can't get much worse , so you not penalized for taking a risk in pursuit of excellence.
How great can "foolish" be? Check these promises or propositions out (they were all predicted to fail):
- Put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade.
- When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
- Always low prices.
- A PC on every desktop.
- A low cost transatlantic airline that will put British Airways on its heels (Virgin Atlantic)
- Recreating the euro cafe experience in the US
- The airplane
- The printing press
So go for it, be foolish.