Thoughts on Leadership: Think Small, Achieve Big

By Gino Blefari

Last week, while at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Summit Conference, I had the opportunity to hear keynote speaker Josh Linkner deliver a fascinating talk about creative disruption. As Josh explained, creative disruption has a very specific definition in the context of an increasingly stale business world focused on the bottom line instead of innovation and progress.

Josh’s premise about creative disruption is masterfully detailed in his book, “The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation.” In essence, Josh says true disruption often comes from small, start-up companies. While large organizations are busy protecting the “Golden Goose,” entrepreneurs have nothing to defend … and this works in their favor. Their every thought must be about ways to break traditional business models rather than maintaining them; they must invent a new, improved approach to business in order to survive.

Here are some of the traits Josh associates with small vs. big companies:


Source: Josh Linkner


With Josh Linkner at Summit Conference in Palm Beach, FL.

As an example of creative disruption, Josh cites the Dollar Shave Club, a company going after the established brands in the razor industry, like Gillette. You’ve probably seen Dollar Shave Club’s witty, edgy commercials—they’re hilarious! The first one, (which by the way cost the company just over $4,000 to produce), was written by CEO Michael Dubin—talk about a nimble, idea-centric leader—and shot on location in an actual Dollar Shave Factory by Dubin’s good friend. Even more impressive, the spot was filmed in a single day! The result? Dollar Shave Club’s video went viral, boasting more than 19 million views. A recent report values Dollar Shave Club at $615 million.

So, what’s the message? We can all think like entrepreneurs and we can all think small, since this approach is a mindset and has nothing to do with our company or network size. Thinking small will allow us to disrupt any industry for years to come.

GINO BLEFARI is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on Facebook and Twitter.

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