If growing substantially is not an option and it’s truly not optional, you must grow or die, and you have accepted and understand the concept of entropy, one of the ways to fairly guarantee explosive growth is gleaning the growth modalities and philosophies from those that are substantially bigger. To glean is to extract bit by bit. One modality of growth that has been used in history is to, on a regular basis, sit down with, have lunch with, break bread with, and chink over a glass of wine with those that are further along than you. Ken recommends one time a month to break bread purposefully with someone that is in a position ten times further along than you are and ask five very specific questions.
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I’m going to simply title this episode Gleaning. If growing substantially is not an option, and it’s truly not optional, you must grow or die, and you have accepted and understood the concept of entropy. One of the ways to fairly guarantee explosive growth is to glean the growth modalities and philosophies from those that are substantially bigger. I don’t mean double your size or triple, but I mean five, ten, twenty times bigger than you. One modality of growth that has been used quite frankly in history is to, on a regular basis, sit down, have lunch, break bread, and chink over a glass of wine with those that are further along than you. I recommend that one time a month to break bread with, purposefully, someone that is in a position ten times further along than you are.To glean is to extract bit by bit. Click To Tweet
If you’re a pastor and you can meet monthly with people that have congregations ten times larger than yours or if your goal is growth numerically, then this show will definitely help. The concept is going back with Think and Grow Rich as a benchmark book. There have been countless publications that have attempted to prove that your checkbook is the direct product of the five people you hang out with regularly. They have proven that your vocabulary is the average vocabulary of the five people you hang out with and respect the most. Your wisdom, which is learning from your knowledge and other people’s knowledge, is the average wisdom of the five people you hang out with. I’m not talking about relationships that are 90 days old, I mean the people you’ve hung out with for years. Conceptually, this show is based on that.
The technique we’re going to use in this episode for growth is gleaning. The definition of glean is to extract bit by bit. You are, one time a month, going to have lunch with someone whose company or division is ten times larger than yours, ten times bigger, ten times further along, and you’re going to ask five very specific questions. These questions are, number one, “Sir, ma’am, if you had to summarize why your company is the size it is into a philosophy, what would the philosophy be?” Then you pause and write as fast as you can. Hopefully, if you were sharp, you would record this and have two devices recording in case the first device doesn’t work.
Number two, “Who or what mentored you to this point, and why did you choose that method?” Some people are mentored by books. Some people are mentored by audio books or speakers or other people. There are multiple modalities for mentorship and having lunch with people ten times further is definitely a version of it. Understand though, there is no intimate relationship here. Many of these people will be strangers, but many of these people would love to have lunch with you because they used to be you and they completely respect that you’ve asked them to do this. I, personally, have never been rejected by a single person I’ve asked to have lunch with. I’ve even said, “Ted, I’m going to have five specific questions for you. I need to grow my company. I’ve done some homework on you. I know who you are. I know how you’ve grown. I am dying to ask you five questions. Can I buy you lunch?” I’ve never had someone say no.
Number three, “What is the biggest misunderstanding about your company or your industry?” Number four, “What are your current top two modalities for growth today?” You’re going to pause and let that person answer, and then you’re going to say, “If you don’t mind me asking, when you were my size, ten times smaller, do you remember what the two growth modalities were that you used when your company was my size?” To your surprise, you’re going to find in 80% of the cases that the growth modalities they’re using today do not match the growth modalities they used when they were ten times smaller.
Number five, “If you could give me one piece of advice to get my company from where we are now to where you are size-wise, what would that be? If you could give me one piece of advice to help my company grow ten times larger to the size of your company, what would it be?” Here are some side notes to this. First, you’re probably not going to find twelve people in a row in your industry that are ten times bigger than you. However, many times, we have found, as growth consultants of 3,100 companies, the challenge that the current businesses are faced with has already been solved in a different industry. If I were you, I would use Jeff Hoffman, the Co-Founder of Priceline‘s modalities of info-sponging and I would maybe try to get one or two or three people in your industry ten times bigger to have lunch. I would open up the Inc. 5000 list or the Fast 50 list or the Fortune 500 list and study some of those companies that maybe are similar and/or share something.You're going to find valuable information if you are interviewing people in completely different industries. Click To Tweet
Maybe they share product lines or philosophies or they grow the same way through trade shows or direct mail or something that you have in common with. You’re going to find much more valuable information if you are interviewing people in completely different industries, but that are still ten times bigger. You’re going to find their challenges are the same and their growth modalities are going to match. When you’re done with this blueprint, you’ll be able to bind it in PDF format and make an SOP for your company, standard operating procedure manual, and you’ll be blown away. I’ve done this a couple times in my life. I’m blown away every single time. I hope this helps. Take care.