Five steps to create new strategies, overcome obstacles and achieve exponential performance

Successful companies and business teams leverage collaboration, creativity and innovation to achieve exponential results — I call them 10X results — in their lives and businesses. To do this, we must first acknowledge that we often constrain our vision for what is possible. Here’s an example:
I’m speaking to a large group and I ask, “How many of you would like to double your income next year?” All hands go up. That sounds good, but even this is thinking inside a box. It’s what I call 2X thinking — not going beyond what our pragmatic nature tells us is “realistic” or “achievable.”
In contrast, 10X thinking is about blowing up the boxes that constrain our ability to envision and achieve exponential results. Here are five steps to tap into the power of 10X thinking:

  1. Recognize 2X ThinkingStart by identifying limits you may be placing on your dreams, goals, strategies and plans. When you are engaged in 2X thinking, you invariably end up asking the question, “What more can I do?” The problem is, no matter how brilliant you are as an entrepreneur or business leader, you can’t achieve 10X results on your own. When you begin to think outside those hidden boxes, however, you’ll ask a different question: Who can help me?
  1. Enlist Your “Pivot People”You can create the kind of environment that will produce new ideas and solutions and overcome obstacles by enlisting what I call “pivot people” in three areas:
  • Stakeholders whose lives will be affected by your team’s success
  • Mentors who have wisdom, resources or skills that can help you pivot to greater success
  • A Mastermind group — two or more people you can bring together in harmony to help you create specific plans for achieving a desired result

Tapping the triple power of stakeholders, mentors and a Mastermind will provide you with experience and feedback to help you recognize blind spots and make better decisions.

  1. Foster Cooperation and Buy-In through Healthy ConflictTrust is the bedrock for all relationships. To build a foundation of trust for your team, you as the leader must create an environment that encourages and values healthy conflict. To build such a culture, give each member of your team an opportunity to be seen, heard and acknowledged. People need to feel free to disagree and state their case. When they have been seen, heard and acknowledged, they are more likely to buy in to whatever decision is ultimately made.
  1. Create a Culture of AccountabilityTo be unstoppable and produce 10X results, every member of the team must be 100 percent committed. This requires that leaders hold team members accountable. That means when we all agree to row in the same direction, and one member starts pulling in a different direction or stops rowing, that member will be held accountable. Accountability also helps build trust, cooperation and commitment.
  1. Identify Your Pivot Purpose and MissionTo pivot is to take small steps that add up to big change over time. Your team’s mission may be to achieve 10X sales, 10X production or 10X efficiencies. Identifying the actions you need to take — and acting on them — is the key to creating profound change in life or business. When you start to take action, you open a world of possibilities.

Never underestimate the power of the culture you create. It is the context within which 10X results become possible. Taking these steps will establish the culture that makes your team members feel valued and gives them meaning and purpose in their work. That will instill them with the drive and motivation to power through obstacles and achieve truly exponential results.

Transformational Trainer, bestselling author and attorney Adam Markel is CEO of New Peaks,  a human potential training company, and author of the new book “PIVOT: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life” (Simon & Schuster, Spring 2016).  For information, visit