Mark Sanborn is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development and turning ordinary into extraordinary. He is also the New York Times bestselling author of, “The Fred Factor: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary,” “Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results,” and, “You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference.”
Consistently ranked as one of the top 30 leadership experts in the world, Sanborn is an award-winning speaker and the author of eight books as well as a New York Times, Businessweek, and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He is one of the youngest members ever inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, and has spoken in every state and 14 countries. Clients include the government of the United Arab Emirates, Harley Davidson, Cisco, ESPN and In and Out Burger. He lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with his wife and family.
- Who is Mark Sanborn?
Mark’s spider bite moment came after he delivered a terrible public speech at the tender age of 10. He made the decision afterward to learn everything he could in the realm of public speaking instead of giving up and considering it a weakness.
The better you communicate, the more effective you will be as an entrepreneur and a leader. Influence is always born from communication.
- Why is communication not taught in school?
Almost everyone communicates verbally more than they do with the written word but we don’t focus on speaking in school. You can learn public speaking skills through youth organizations and groups like Toastmasters.
Anything you want to learn can be self-taught, you just have to find the masters and learn from the ones who have come before you.
It’s not just about who you know. It’s also about what you know and how you do it.
We’ve elevated sales and marketing above the product. If your value proposition that is different and compelling to your customer, you will always compete on price and lose to with everyone else willing to do it for less. Aim to create experiences that people love.
- How does an entrepreneur communicate their difference?
Culture always precedes brand. You have to be clear about what you do and why you’re better than the competition.
Look for ways to demonstrably add value to your customers without adding a lot of cost to the effort. Instead of nickel and diming your customers, build some high perceived value/ low-cost perks into your price.
- What is the Potential Principle?
Would you be ok if today would be the best day of your life and every day from here on is downhill? Probably not.
We all assume life is going to get better, the disconnect is that most people do not do anything to intentionally make their life better. The more successful people become, the more potential they realize they have.
Awareness without action is futile.
- What would you say to someone who thinks they can’t get any better?
Nobody has to get better, improvement is optional. No one can change your life except you.
Entrepreneurs don’t usually say they can’t get any better, they typically don’t want to get better. You have to ask “get better at what?”
Be proud of who you are, just don’t be content with it.
- What are the four big strategies to unlock your potential?
Disrupt yourself before something else does. Engage others. Expand your competencies. Refocus periodically.
Disruption happens when you say you’re tired of the situation and seek to change it. If you don’t deal with it, reality will disrupt you regardless. Who or what in your life needs to be disrupted.
Pay attention to feedback, if you’re not open to feedback you won’t get it.
- What would you say to an entrepreneur who doesn’t know what to disrupt?
Your team will tell you. Ask them directly what would make their job better or the customers happier.
You stop chasing potential when you feel like you are satisfied with what you have achieved, but then you start looking in another area.
Reference: “The Fred Factor: How passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, Mark Sanborn
- Mark’s Takeaway
Look at your value proposition and ask how you can do it more, better, faster, or differently. Strive to outthink your competition instead of outspending them. Get everyone on your team thinking about how you can do it a little bit better for your customers.
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