Royston Guest is the bestselling author of ‘Built To Grow’ and has advised countless startups on how to unlock their potential. He spoke exclusively to RSNG to reveal his top hacks on how to grow, how to innovate, leading a team and how to bounce back from failure.
He also has some surprising things to add from his new book ‘Rise: Start Living The Life You Were Meant To Lead’…
RSNG How can we convert our passion for projects into leadership?
ROYSTON GUEST, SPEAKER & AUTHOR ‘Our life is divided broadly into thirds; one-third personal, one-third professional, and the remaining third sleeping. So if you can turn your passion into your life purpose that drives you both personally and professionally, then the authentic you and natural leadership come to the fore.’
‘You see, leadership is not about title, the size of your office, your claim on the bottom of your email or business card, nor is it the size of your paycheck.’
‘It's about a way of thinking, feeling and acting and when you’re 'doing' your passion every day, your leadership shines through because you are passionate about what you are doing, and people buy into that.’
RSNG How can we bounce back from failure?
RG ‘In one word, it’s bouncebackability. Yes, you read that correctly. It is a real word, albeit a recent addition to the English dictionary. Its official definition is 'the ability to be successful after a period of failure.’
‘It was first coined by ex-footballer Iain Dowie when he was the manager of Crystal Palace Football Club, who famously described his team as showing ‘great bouncebackability’.
‘Behind any great success is years of dedication, trial and error, mistakes, achievements, and setbacks. Achievers don't always get it right and, yes, in some situations they might actually fail (or experience what others perceive as failure).’
‘If plan A doesn't work, the great news is that there are 25 more letters in the alphabet’
‘I view failures as learning opportunities, stepping stones to the ultimate goal. And if plan A doesn't work, the great news is that there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.’
‘Imagine bouncing a rubber ball; the harder the ball hits the ground, the higher it bounces back. That’s bouncebackability! You're going to take knocks, some days are going to feel like a train crash, and you will go down blind alleys.’
‘If you have an ultimate destination in your mind's eye, a focused goal, and purpose coupled with drive, determination, and motivation, then, when you do fall over, you'll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, improvise, adapt and refocus on your goal.’
RSNG How can we best prepare for success?
RG ‘Success is such an emotive word, which we each define differently. Success for one person could be at opposite ends of the scale for the next. So before you can prepare for success, you have to define what success looks like, feels like and acts like and what it means to you.’
‘Lewis Hamilton once said, “I always knew I had to win it was just a question of when and where.” Having a compelling ‘Why?’, A clear definition of success and reason for being infuses your life with purpose and meaning.’
‘The 'Why?' is your North Star, your anchor point, and, if it is compelling and energetic enough, you'll figure out the ‘What’ and the ‘How’.’
RSNG How can we innovate when under pressure?
RG ‘Pressure and challenge can bring the best out of you as it makes you go deeper into finding answers to some of your most significant challenges and opportunities. Pressure requires you to operate in a conscious state of deliberate intent, which brings out some of your best critical thinking.’
‘The key, however, is that you have to make time to step out of the doing and allow yourself thinking time. Some of the best ideas are thought up in that moment of peace and calm.’
‘Extract yourself from your usual working environment, go to a place where your mind can be still and calm and which fosters the environment for you to do your best thinking. For some that can be walking along a river, others looking out to sea, going for a run – whatever works best for you.’
‘When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life – riskless living’
RSNG Risk is a part of start-ups so how can we keep rolling the dice and rolling with the punches?
RG ‘Our lives improve only when we take chances. When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life… riskless living. There is a caveat though, you shouldn’t take risks at all costs.’
‘Instead, consider risks that are underpinned by critical thinking. Way up the upsides and downsides of each situation, run 'what-if’ scenarios. Having thought through the risks, whether these are financial, people, technological, you have to the best of your ability, put yourself in a position where your decisions are informed based on all your experiences and information you have to hand.’
‘They are considered risks that you are happy to accept or not.’
RSNG What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever had?
RG ‘Who you spend time with is who you become! Surround yourself with talented people in all facets of your life.’
‘Bring in employee giants, individuals who you believe can be better than you, source the best professional advisors, lawyers, accountants they might cost you more but their quality advice will pay back tenfold.’
‘Become part of a mastermind – a group of people who are equal or better, sharper, smarter than you are – they will challenge you to grow. Get the best mentors and coaches who have already been there and done it. Who you spend time with is who you REALLY will become.’
RSNG How can we effectively let go to allow our startups to grow?
RG ‘One of the single biggest lessons and transitions you can make with your startup is recognising you cannot do everything yourself.’
‘Your accelerated and sustained success is in direct proposition to the moment you make the mindset shift from doing everything yourself to doing things through others.’
‘You have to have a conscious awareness and intent that you need to do things differently to achieve your growth aspirations.’
‘You set up your business to create more life, more freedom, more choices…the reality is you have less life, less freedom and fewer choices, imprisoned and constrained in your own business, working for an insane, demanding, unrealistic boss… YOU!’
‘To grow and scale your business, you need people, you need systems and structure. But to hire people, you need to translate your own personal ‘why’ into a compelling ‘why’ for the business – a vision and a purpose.’
‘There is a difference between being a technical expert and running a business and the need to become a business leader. This is the stage where your business can multiply, but it can easily and just as quickly fall apart. Great if you can handle it and are prepared, terrible if you’re not ready.’
RSNG What are your top three tips for entrepreneurs?
RG '1. Make sure you’re passionate about what you do. If your WHY is strong enough, you will figure out the what and the how!’
‘2. Hone your leadership skills. If you have ambitions to grow and scale your business, then one of your highest priority focus areas is to develop your leadership skills. Your newest recruits will be one of your greatest assets and resources for turning your vision into reality. Choose them wisely and value them deeply.’
‘3. Develop a deep reservoir of personal resilience – the road will be bumpy, and there will be plenty of knocks along the way. However, if you are resilient and persistent, then you WILL turn your vision into reality!’
WHAT NEXT? Want to learn more about launching a new product through Kickstarter? Then read the RSNG interview with entrepreneur Patrick Tatham.
Royston Guest is a leading authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential. Entrepreneur, author of #1 best-seller Built to Grow and RISE: Start living the life you were meant to lead, CEO of Pathways Global and founder of The Business Growth Pathway™ and Pti Worldwide. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. Connect with him on LinkedIn or check out his blog
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