If you haven't noticed, I'm a total podcast junkie. I can't get enough of them.

One of the shows I really enjoy is the "Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast", and after listening to one of Stanley's recent episodes, I thought it was worth sharing a summary here.

In a recent episode, Stanley discusses 4 organizational habits that help leaders find their "Uniquely Better Product".

Before we begin, let's unbox what Stanley describes as a "uniquely better product":

Unique: It is the only one of its kind, AND people know what it is.

Better: It is actually BETTER than what other people are currently using.

Without further ado, here is Stanley's 4 habits that help leaders find their "Uniquely Better Product", and therefore grow their business faster than their competition.  

Be a Student, Not a Critic

  • More than anything this is a mind set. We need to make sure we aren’t criticizing things that we don’t understand, and instead, be a student and learn as much as we can. 
  • The next generation product or idea almost NEVER comes from the previous generation. It almost always comes from the NEW generation. For this reason, it's so important to build a culture in your company that everyone is a student and is constantly learning about new ideas. This allows your company to constantly be building the next best version of your product or service.  

Keep Yours Eyes and Mind Wide Open 

  • Make sure to be listening and learning from people outside your industry because they are not bound by YOUR assumptions. Every industry has a prevailing model which is driven by organizational or cultural assumptions. When an organization is willing to learn from companies outside their industry, they can uncover new ideas that can help them grow. 
  • Note that closed minded leaders close minds. If someone on your team brings an idea to the table that they read in a book, or heard on a podcast, as a leader you need to be open minded about the idea. 

Replace “How" with “Wow"

  • When someone brings a new idea, don’t say how, say WOW. In other words, be excited about new ideas. You can worry about the how later. 

Ask Uniquely Better Questions 

  • We need to recognize rather than resist uniquely better.
  • When someone on your team or in your company brings you an idea, these are some questions you might ask yourself:
    • Is it really better?
    • Is this unique?
    • What would make it unique?

 If you want to build uniquely better products or services, you need to be creating a culture that is on the LOOKOUT for "uniquely better". If you create a culture that is on the lookout, then you will be OPEN to uniquely better, and will be positioned to RECOGNIZE it once it arrives. 

Are you building a culture at your company to always be open to new ideas?


Key photo credit: Smithsonian.com

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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.