Success Strategy in Startup? Study Darwin, Work like US Military, Play like in Football and Race like American Pharaoh
Study Darwin : <Survival is the only end game>
Survival is not about who’s the strongest or fastest, but who can best adapt to change. Navy SEALs are masters of adaptation, being able to operate in jungle, desert, or artic conditions. In comparison, CEOs must adapt to the ever-changing market conditions they face daily and should train their staff to do the same. Young executives who go through hard times should learn to appreciate them, recognizing that those times will not only strengthen them, but truly train them to properly and successfully lead their own teams when battling the competition. Survival is the only end game until you cross over chasm.
Work like US Military : <Ambush the competition>
In an ambush, always take out the radio operator and the unit leader (usually the guy next to the radioman). Without leadership or good communication, the enemy is forced into disarray and can be picked apart. A good lesson for all leaders and their organizations. Any startup will have competing startups, clones popping up at every nook and corner. They are not only competing with small fish but also big sharks and corporates who do take notice of your progress. This is not a time to play defense and wait for right moment. Startups need to think about all possible scenarios where they can completely weed out their competitors. Some competitors are hard to manage, however it is incumbent at early stage to think about decimating your competition with unique marketing, business model or key partnerships.
Play like in Football : <Teamwork is your top priority>
A mission cannot be successfully executed unless the team is functioning as one. Your team is the fundamental entity controlling the culture, growth, mission and vision of your company. As a founder you need to have clear directions of what motivates you so deeply to lead this team with integrity. So question your integrity, think about where you want to go and how to get there. Put in the time to develop the necessary skills. Becoming a successful leader takes a person who is willing to put their ego aside, roll up their sleeves and get to work. To avoid crisis, surround yourself with people and organizations that are forward-thinking, market disruptors; thought leaders have the insights, resources and relationships to keep you abreast of the most pressing issues that can immediately impact and influence your organization.
Race like American Pharaoh: <Run with Focus until you Win>
American Pharaoh became Triple Crown winner winning Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. When in a startup, you are a jockey running your company like a horse in a race like Kentucky Derby. Investors are like audiences that come to such race events to watch various companies compete with each other. Investors have their money bet against your odds in each of these horses and jockey. Your responsibility as a company is to lead yourself to victory beating all the other horses and get return on investment for your investors. The only way, you can do that if you feed your horse the best, treat him the the best and take good care of him. Similarly, in a startup, you job is to take good care of your startup, lead with an example and beat your competitors out of the park. There is only room for only One winner in your race. (well ok, may be first 2, but you get the point).