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1/ As companies scale, one of the mindsets of a founder/CEO is very much about not giving up on core missions while also expanding into new areas. This is a "have your cake and eat it too" mindset. Some struggle to grok this mindset....
2/ When faced with existential challenges of a changing marketplace/world, as founders have faced through their tenure, they don't see the world as one where you find a middle ground and carefully navigate. They have a growth mindset with uncomfortable choices. They see "AND".
3/ They see a world where you can do new things that might even conflict with existing priorities and success. They might see a world where the existing business can continue to thrive while entering a new business that seems counter to or might cannibalize the old one.
4/ To many, seeing "AND" is very uncomfortable. It lacks clarity. It seems impossible to reconcile. It might even seem "in conflict". How could we do "both"?
5/ What they don't feel the need to see is an "either/or" world. Either you can do what was always being done OR you can do new things.

If they see the world that way, then they will tend to the bold bet and burn the bridge so to speak. Another uncomfortable strategy for most.
5/ Most people are "operators" and see the world as these either/or extremes and look to de-risk a situation by finding a compromise or middle-ground. This is far more normal. But a middle ground is just that--it lacks a point of view. It is unclear to the organization.
6/ It is unclear to customers. No one is ever quite sure given a situation how the product or company will react. There's almost never bridge-burning, just compromise.

This state of compromise, split-the-baby so to speak, is almost what defines operators-not all, of course, not!
7/ The operator mindset believes it is an attempt to have your cake and eat it too, but really it is neither cake nor eating.

The subtlety is in thinking truly about doing two things. But doing each of them as if the other didn't exist. Conflicts, complexity, and all.
8/ To most people that feels like chaos. It is certainly complex. The ability to move forward with a strategy like this is what leadership is all about because the world is complex. Rarely does a strategy of trying to find a compromise, middle ground actually yield. // END
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