CEO Thought Leadership – Part 1: What Are You Thinking?

Filed under: Branding, Business, Jean-Baptiste Sawadogo, Leadership Series

How Do You Fast-Track Your BHAG, Your Next Millions, Billions or Trillions?

Leadership with education

Stop, pause and ponder for a moment… Be aware of what you are thinking about. Thought is the ingredient for everything, including your ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’” or BHAG, to use the acronym made famous by Jim Collins. As to the BHAG, it is a MUST for any company if it is to move fast forward and grow! If you don’t have a BHAG, it is time to start thinking about getting one. Your achievement of your big goals – your next millions, billions or trillions of dollars, or whatever is your BHAG – depends on your next thought, and the next, and the next…

Thoughts are things” is a scientific fact! This statement was made famous by Edward Walker, Edgar Cayce, and Napoleon Hill, among others, and confirmed by contemporary scientists. The implication is that our thought – mental state, feeling, emotion, will, imagination, etc. – of our BHAG, as it becomes our dominant thinking, becomes our mindset. Our mindset becomes our belief. Our belief becomes our habit. Our habit becomes our behaviour. Our behaviour becomes our action. Our action becomes our results. Our results become our BHAG…

Things can get more complicated however if our multiple minds collide. For the sake of simplicity, let us look at the two most recognized minds. If our subconscious mind – which stores our hidden limiting beliefs stored since early childhood – were to disagree with respect to our BHAG and decided to interfere, we could end up working so hard consciously, but end up sabotaging our own success as we get tricked by the subconscious to do the “wrong” thing even if the right thing is written in our ‘plan’, or we could end up with disappointing results.

Why is that? The subconscious mind is very powerful and dictates about 90% of what we think and act upon – compared to about 10% for the conscious mind – and has a processing power of 40 billion bits per second, as opposed to only 40 bits per second for the conscious mind. Despite this disproportionate and dominant power of the subconscious, we can consciously manage to use the former to our advantage.

The bottom line is that we need our two minds to be in alignment with our BHAG or, we would need to find a way to discover, eliminate and balance out our limiting beliefs residing in our subconscious mind and causing us to act up… That is another story for another day. Suffice to say, for the moment, that the more we dig out limiting unconscious beliefs, acknowledge them, release them, and replace them with empowering beliefs, the more our imagination and creativity would sparks, our capacity to innovate would grow, our opportunities would abound, and our BHAG would be more likely show up, faster, and with lesser effort…

This Leadership Thought illustrates that as CEO, we must not only be concerned with what is going on in our own minds – conscious and subconscious – but also, with what our organizational conscious and unconscious are feeding themselves with. Hopefully, they are all thriving on thoughts favorable to our BHAG!

This episode of the CEO Leadership Series reveals exciting potentials for the CEO and her/his senior team. Their thoughts carry an even heavier weight because they get magnified through the thoughts of the people they lead if they transmit them effectively. This ultimately would help them achieve their BHAG if the thinking – the mindset or mental models – is made right throughout the organization. And when things are not going according to plan, there is a need to also examine organizational unconscious processes involved in the BHAG, and make necessary adjustments.

It is not enough for the CEO and her/his team to use proven leadership practices; it is imperative that keep an open mind to exploring, refreshing, and using emerging practices, some of which were considered taboo or weird, but are now being validated by highly respected scientist.

The good news is that ultimately, we have control, or we can have control, if we choose. We have the choice of what to feed our mind with, and what to get rid of, to ensure the achievement of our BHAG. But again, this is up to us; and as Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”

Stay tuned for your next installment of CEO Leadership Series: in CEO Thought Leadership Part 2, we will explore some tips on how to get the conscious and subconscious aligned or how to eliminate the limited beliefs stored in the subconscious and support achievement of what we truly want. In Part 3, we will learn how to set and achieve any goal, including humongous goals such as BHAGs.

In the meantime, please tell us what is in your mind? Share your thoughts about this article… Do you have a BHAG? What are you doing to accelerate its achievement? What do you want to read about in future episodes?

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Written by:

Jean-Baptiste Sawadogo

Jean-Baptiste Sawadogo is the Founder and CEO of Leader One Inc; he is “The Trusted Confidant for CEOs and Their Senior Teams” offering Leadership Innovation, Executive Coaching, Speaking services.