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Reflecting on 2020, I’m struck by the ever-increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity facing the world.

Aotearoa New Zealand is no exception. It’s been a year of massive change for every business owner I’ve spoken to.

Recently I was speaking to a business owner who said 2020 had been her “best year ever”. That got me thinking; what sets her apart? What makes the difference between being in control and being able to bounce back from challenges versus people who struggle in business and in life?

Many things contribute to success, but one stands out in successful people: they operate above the “point of power”. It is how they grow and become successful and how they manage their people and their businesses.

Look at a lot of companies and you’ll see “below the point” behaviour. They live by blame, excuses and denial. They are practically in bed! If we’re getting denial and blame and excuses in our team, usually it’s showing up in our life. So we’ve got to move above the point of power.

It’s a really simple concept that also has three things: accountability, responsibility and ultimately ownership for what’s going on in our life. This is the OAR we need to dip in and row to make our boats go faster. When I see people in success mode, it’s because they’ve taken responsibility for what’s going on in their life. They know that if things are going to change, they are the ones who have to make the change.

By staying above the point of power, each small step we take builds on the one before it and over time our growth starts to “stack up”.  People below the point of power have reasons; people above the point of power have results!

It turns out successful people’s “secret sauce” is actually quite achievable. First, they participate at full tilt all the time. Most people see failure as making a mistake or doing something wrong, but I disagree. The only way you can fail is to not give something a shot. When you don’t try, that’s a failure. People who don’t really participate in life fail. My goal with people I work with is to get them “firing” at 100 percent so they can make the most of life.

Second, people operating above the point are insatiably curious. They’ve replaced the “I know” (as in “yes, I already know that” when you tell them something) with “Isn’t that interesting”. The reality is you don’t open your mind up to any fine distinctions when your immediate response is that you already know. We know we should do goal setting, but it’s a fine distinction on actually how to do it with massive success that brings the best results.

Being curious opens people up to becoming better, to a potential of knowing more about what is needed to get results.

The third thing successful people do is spend most of their time doing what they are good at, playing to their strengths (not trying to fix their weaknesses). It takes time, energy and effort to run your business, learn to play chess, run a marathon, improve your marriage. Most people jump from one thing to another and try to take short cuts. Those who invest the time, energy and effort to become really good at something, typically become great at it.

Fourth, people operating above the point learn before they earn. This starts with having the highest quality teachers, mentors and coaches. Think back to school, where if you are anything like me you learnt the most from the teachers you felt were the best. This is a really interesting point because the more you get to understand, the bigger your knowledge of the world around you the bigger that allows you to dream. It allows you to have bigger beliefs of what’s possible, bigger beliefs of what can be achieved.

Quality outcomes result from quality actions and the best action is founded on the best knowledge and skill.

• This is the first in a series supporting the Entrepreneurial Growth Series of free webinars and workshops launching in 2021 to support local business. If you think you could benefit, and make your business roar in 2021, call Chris on 0222 332 669 or email



How to operate above the point of power



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