One CEO's trap might be your treasure. But is this holding you back?

reinvention Jan 21, 2020

I don't know how you like to spend the very first day of the New Year, but for me, it's always a good work day.

The party is over, the guests are sleeping, the team is on a break.

It's the perfect time to take on those less-than-enjoyable tasks postponed for days (or, if we are honest, weeks) and screaming for attention.

This January, my first day of the year was spent convincing a CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company to explore his beliefs.

You see, this amazing (and very successful) business leader had asked my opinion on a new initiative. 

The proposal was solid, the arguments were iron-clad, and the need for this solution was really big.

The problem, however, was that we've been there, done that already.

This was exactly the 5th attempt to create a solid change implementation platform - and all other attempts have already failed.

They did not fail because of bad ideas. Or bad management. Or bad data.

They failed because the CEO did not believe in implementation.

In his mind, the key is researching and making a difficult decision. Once the decision is made - implementation comes naturally. So, it doesn't really need much support or serious effort. 

In his mind, implementation is NOT an executive-level job - it's for those other people down the hierarchy. 

And since CEO does not believe in it (does not put it on his own agenda, does not engage in the issue, does not appoint strong leads to run it), nobody else in the company does either.

So, why approve another implementation proposal?

Right about here I could argue that implementation is crucial, that in our day and age, ideas are a cheap commodity, but getting things done is the real precious rarity.

I can site wonderful books on "execution IS the strategy," or give you a scary statistic that only 8% of CEOs in the world are good at both, strategy and its implementation.

But that's not my point.

I am here to show you how the beliefs of one person can define the life and success of an entire organization. How beliefs become a source of waste, disfunction, or limitation - or a source of opportunity, growth, and reinvention.

So, the real question is this.

Are there any beliefs that are holding you back? 

Beliefs are beautiful. Necessary. Foundational.

And they can also be limiting. Resource-sucking. Outdated.

Take beliefs about change as an example.

Last week, we hosted an informal poll on social media asking everyone which beliefs about change do they see most often in business and life.

"Change is hard" was voted as #1.

Yet, everyone who holds this belief today at some point in their life thought change was super easy. When was that point, exactly? Childhood.

Unless we suffer from debilitating sickness, change is the most natural thing we do as kids every single day. To change from sitting to crawling to walking is not hard - it's exciting. Try holding a baby from changing - they will break right through you. 

Babies don't think change is difficult. So, it comes easy for them.

So, I invite you to take a short audit. 

1. First, let's identify areas where you (your team, your clients) seem to be held back. "Where do we experience a reoccurring challenge?"...Or  "Where do I seem to bump against the wall again and again?"

2. Second, explore what beliefs are at play in this challenging area. Is there any idea/conviction/unspoken axiom that might be holding you back?

I bet you'll come out with some surprising discoveries ;)

P.S. Beliefs about change don't have to be limiting - on the contrary, they can become your superpower. And that's exactly what we'll discuss on this week's Reinvention Happy Hour - our traditional monthly free | live | online get-together:

This time we are discussing how to think like a reinvention expert - changing your beliefs and moving from imposter syndrome to expert status. 

Grab your spot here>>


Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva helps companies such as Coca-Cola, Kohler, and IBM turn change and disruption into an opportunity.

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