From the new book Game Changer: How to be 10x in the Talent Economy
Today, the exceptionally talented matter more than ever.
Consider yourself 10x if: You are in a constant state of evolution and improvement, fueled by curiosity, ambition, and an insatiable desire to do more and do it better. 10xers can tackle a company’s thorniest problems, improve their strongest assets, and cut a path to success.
With the rapid digitization of every conceivable product and service—in fact, virtually every human action and interaction—the environment has transformed so fast that nearly every organization must consider themselves a tech company and be equipped with the phenomenally gifted.
Yet 55% of companies can’t fill positions in computer and mathematical occupations.
35% of companies say they have tech positions vacant for longer than three months.
The machine can’t work without you, and this one switch fundamentally differentiates the old workplace from the new. It’s up to them to get with your program.
Picture two companies—make that two desperate companies: an education start-up and a mid-sized pharmaceutical outfit. They both urgently needed a truly gifted coder to step in and rethink the complex technical elements of their businesses from the ground up, so they reached out to us at 10x Management, a company founded by Michael Solomon and me to place high end tech talent. After some consideration, we brought forward Jake, one of our very best clients.
Jake was a seasoned developer who exemplified the concept of 10x, delivering value way beyond promises on a regular basis. He knew what he wanted, and it wasn’t a full-time W2 job. Jake wanted to work remotely 70 percent of the time. He wanted to give input on the big decisions regarding every build, and he wanted the kind of hourly rate he had become accustomed to as a company-saving, top-shelf programmer. Most of all, Jake knew he was in demand. Every week, we received inquiries for him.
The pharma company, with offices worldwide, balked at Jake’s requests. Why couldn’t he just be grateful for a real job offer from a solid firm? Why wasn’t he overjoyed to take his assigned role in the chain of command? The hiring powers could not understand what Jake was after and, when pressed, they weren’t prepared to give him what he wanted. It’s a core frustration we deal with on a weekly basis—not everybody gets it.
During the negotiation for Jake’s contract, we made our best efforts to convince them of the value Jake would bring to the table, but they simply refused to break with their entrenched employment ideas. In a painful act of self-sabotage, they utterly failed to realize that we are living through a giant sociocultural shift, where the talent has the leverage.
We had better luck convincing the education start-up about Jake. They took him on and accepted his terms because they were on his wavelength; they grasped Jake’s cultural orientation and lifestyle choices. They knew he was a true 10xer, which means they understood what kind of growth Jake could bring them.
Today, the pharma firm in question seems to be in a downward spiral—the last of their prior sheen has all but disappeared. Meanwhile, the ed tech start-up that hired Jake has become a market leader in their field. Jake is still one of their regular on-again/off-again consultants, and they know their big, company-wide advances are directly related to the rare level of excellence he and other 10xers like him can provide.
What the losing company had to learn the hard way was this: To attract, motivate, and retain talent in the new workplace, a deeper understanding of the game-changing 10x revolution is now essential.
It should be obvious that the world is now tech-dominated, and that puts 10x talent like you in the driver’s seat.
My business partner Michael Solomon and I have a combined over 25 years managing talent, and we’ve now literally written the book on how to achieve the rewards and satisfaction of being 10x, featuring interviews with a variety of other 10xers—everyone from bank CEOs, to biotech coders, to life coaches and snack tycoons.
To learn more, including an audiobook preview and our podcast series featuring some of these 10xers, visit gamechangerthebook.com.
You can also learn more with this short video.