“Be optimistic enough to invest and plan for growth, but paranoid enough to inspect, validate, and execute”

I heard someone say that the best leaders have a constant mild case of paranoia.   To me this means the following for those organizations that have leadership teams who fit the description:

  • They look for every opportunity to grow, but only pursue the opportunities that will benefit their customers, team members, and all other stakeholders
  • They put systems in place to ensure they are providing exponential customer service
  • They set quantifiable goals, and then consistently inspect performance
  • They hold everyone in their organization accountable for setting goals, achieving goals, and for delivering exponential service to all customers (external and internal)
  • They invite feedback and have good self-awareness regarding internal improvements needed
  • They are the best in their industry, yet remain humble.  They don’t forget to celebrate, but never celebrate too long.
  • They consistently investigate the competition and position themselves to win
  • They always do something about their gut feelings

Being too optimistic or paranoid will lead to bad results.   Leaders really need a good dose of optimism, and then in order to plan (ask all the right questions to formulate a sound and actionable plan) and execute (working with the best people, and inspecting what we expect), they have to be comfortable living with a mild case of paranoia.

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