February 2015

In my office, the term Disruptor is thrown around a lot.We use it to describe many things: a person's performance or accomplishments or ability to close a sale or turn a profit, or how well they ask someone out on a date--basically their overall potential for awesomeness.

These are the qualities that set true business Disruptors apart:

1. They say yes first--then figure out how to deliver.

Disruptors are incredibly confident, with good reason. they will find a way to get it done or die trying.

Why? They trust their own abilities, but they trust the people around them just as much.

If you're a true Disruptor, you think there's a way to solve every problem. All you have to do is find it.

2. They think differently than everyone else.

Most business problems aren't new. Disruptors tackle old problems with a variety of creative solutions.

3. They speak up.

When Disruptors have a different opinion, they share it.

But they aren't argumentative--because that would just make them assholes.

4. They actively share their brilliant skills.

 Disruptors never shy away from teaching others.

Inject energy and innovation into your teaching method, and people will flock to learn from you. High Skill + High Confidence + Sharing With Others = True Business Disruptor.

5. They live by their own code.

They respect authority--but not too much.

Whether their code is to be a creative force in the world, to disrupt technologies, or to challenge others to examine their lives, Disruptors are unwilling to compromise their principles and beliefs for the comfort or approval of others.

If you're a true Disruptor, you answer to a power deep within you.

6. They do what others only wish they could do.

One of my favorite quotes is, "The Wright brothers never had a pilot's license." Rather than look around for permission or approval, Disruptors are courageous. They're initiators. They have an idea and they act.

Rather than research and dwell on and discuss a problem to death, Disruptors find a solution by actually doing things.

7. They never, ever, ever give up

.Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that it takes 10,000 hours master a complex skill.

But the real key to mastering a complex skill is grit--the ability to stick with something long enough to log those 10,000 hours.

People with grit rather than flit from thing to thing, gritty people pick something and stick with it. They're tenacious, dogged, persevering, and they absolutely refuse to give up.

The grittiest people don't just work longer and harder, although that is part of the equation. They keep a laser focus on their goal and say, "No, thanks," to anything that gets in their way.

8. They ignore the haters.

There are many reasons to listen to the haters: to save face, to remain comfortable, to be secure, to not look like the fool.

Haters try to talk you into--or even scare you into--sticking with the status quo.

Be a true business Disruptor. Don't listen.