November 2012

Shannon Wells

Better Business | by Neil Ducoff


Success and the "Factor of TEN"

"A leader must want to succeed ten times more than those they lead."

Take a moment to really feel the meaning and depth of those words. Wanting success to the Factor of TEN is the energy that transforms a leader doing a job into a No-Compromise Leader.

This level of leadership transcends ordinary to extraordinary; captivates followers and lifts them all to that elusive next level and replaces words and promises with action.

It's all in the Factor of TEN.

As leaders, we all want to succeed, but by a factor of what? Would you feel inspired and empowered following a leader with a factor of two?

How clear and precise would the vision be? Would there be a shared determination to achieve breakthroughs, or would average be good enough?

During a coaching call with a client, when asked what their biggest concern was, he responded, "Motivating my team." When he heard the Factor of TEN concept, the conversation quickly shifted from productivity and sales to creating extraordinary customer service experiences — about lighting up each and every customer's day.

Here are some no-compromise thoughts about leading the Factor of TEN:

• It's about the journey: It most certainly is not about the money and profit. If it's always about chasing the money, you will sap the energy and passion needed to overcome the inevitable obstacles you will encounter on the journey.

The money is the reward for creating something extraordinary — something great. Leading a team to hit goal for the sake of profit doesn't make the motivation meter move very much. Leading a team to hit goal by delivering experiences, products and services that make a difference in peoples' lives inspires in ways money cannot. Money is the reward for going on a worthy journey.

• It's about how you show up: Yes, leading at a Factor of TEN is all about you and how you choose to show up as a leader. Leaders with entitlement mentalities view employees as a means to an end. It's always about what's in it for the leader at the expense of the employees.

Leaders on the relentless pursuit of finding problems and people doing something wrong are spreading negativity and consequences. Mistakes happen. Things go boom. Leading at a Factor of TEN means learning and growing from things that go off plan.

• It's about getting it done: Great companies do what others will not. They set the bar higher than their competition. They move and innovate faster than their competition. The economy is never an excuse. Lack of resources is never an excuse because leading at a Factor of TEN always finds a way. Getting it done pulls everyone into finding solutions and winning the game. Lead at a Factor of TEN and its "get it done" culture will turn the impossible into possible.

• It's about overcoming your blockages: Leadership blockages are those thinking and behaviors that compromise your ability to lead at a Factor of TEN. It's that fear of confrontation that allows small problems to become major ones. It's that avoiding tough decisions that will be unpopular but must be made for the sake of the company.

It's that good old procrastination that keeps you busy with low-level tasks rather than digging into what really needs to be done. Leading at a Factor of TEN is all about your personal commitment to achieving your full potential in order for your company — and its employees — to achieve theirs.

No-Compromise Leaders strive to lead at a Factor of TEN. That's why they stand out and build great companies. They are rewarded for how they lead not why they lead.

Neil Ducoff is the founder and CEO of Strategies, a business training and coaching company specializing in the salon and spa industry. His is author of Fast Forward, No-Compromise Leadership and Wake Up! For signed copies, go to You can email Neil at