Written by: William D. Anton, Ph. D. 

National Relaxation Day is a good time to reflect on the new world of abundance created by exponential organizations. It has been estimated that 45 percent of American jobs will be taken over by computers within the next two decades. More time for relaxation?

Whether or not you are going to be part of creating the abundance, you can be sure much in your life will change at an accelerated rate. Time can be freed up to do more important things. But, you must be prepared to use this time wisely. This is especially true for traditional leaders of linear organizations whose mental models deceive them into believing lots of market share, employees, physical processes and facilities protects them from disruptive technology. Like Rolex and Kodak, the disruption remains silent and unnoticed until it is too late. Underestimating the power that these silent but unnoticed forces will have on your organization and life can result in serious consequences.

Today traditional linear organizations are at greatest risk. In the digitized world, exponential growth goes mostly unnoticed until a disruptive technology dislocates existing markets. Leaders who are not paradigm-bound by early beliefs and mental models are freer to explore their current reality from enough of a distance to consider alternative realities, including disruptive ones. They do not need to remain tethered to old models that keep them from realizing that their companies must have the courage to compete against themselves or go out of business.

In their recent book Bold (2015) Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler identify a number of disruptive technologies–additive manufacturing, networks and sensors, infinite computing, artificial intelligence, robotics[1] and synthetic biology[2]–that will change the world as we know it. In addition, the speed and number of connected devices is exploding and building the Internet-of-Things which is transforming information and automation! “It is the first time in history we’re able to apply infinitely more resources to a problem for no additional cost (p.50).”

But, what about the psychology needed to go bold. Without the right mindset, entrepreneurs and leaders have little if any chance of success. As noted in previous CEOeffectiveness.com posts, neuroscientist Robert K. Cooper has emphasized the importance of big, audacious goals as offering the best chance of overriding limiting hard-wired brain tendencies and mental models in achieving bold transformation. That is the first step towards self-knowledge. The intrinsic rewards (needs) of autonomy, mastery and purpose can only be achieved where self-awareness crosses the line to our truer self, i.e. self-knowledge. This is the best way for us to create the level of flow needed to energize the creative dance between our imagination and the future. Real leaders create real results through self-knowledge and help others know who they truly are as well. This is the essential algorithm for the democratization of success.


[1] Robotics is the fastest growing industry in the world.

[2] Biotechnology is accelerating at five times the speed of Moore’s law.