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  • Writer's pictureMark Olivito

The Killer B’s in Business

Excuse the bluntness of the following HUSTLE PRINCIPLE:

Balls: That intangible that says someone…

  • Is comfortable with smart risk in business. Calculating. Knows the max downside, upside and can balance the scales.

  • Recognizes that conflict can be uncomfortable, naturally avoided with people, so they will ask tough, uncomfortable questions that get at the heart of the matter, and do it in a way that does not erode people’s self-esteem. Does not discriminate with management level…..will embrace conflict with higher level management as well as sideways and lower.

  • Doesn’t let grass grow under their feet, ignore problems or letting the spiral out of control. Said differently, values time, speed and action.

Brains: That intangible that says someone

  • Understands how businesses work. From how a sale happens (order)… the cash that results, and if the accumulation of all those sales is enough to create a successful (profitable) business…..and everything in between.

  • The “in between” the top line and bottom line matters massively, because plenty can go right or wrong, and requires people working together and solving problems.

  • People tend to be the complicated area, and most important. See the points on Balls.

The Killer B’s BOTH need to be present to achieve real results. Rarely will you find equal combinations in any one person, so teamwork is critical.

If you believe that the Killer B’s matter in business, use it as a measuring stick.

New Talent:

  • Score them on a scale of 1 to 10. One = no demonstrated trait. 10 is “couldn’t imagine anyone demonstrating MORE.

  • Look for real examples. Concrete, specific, multiple.

  • Don’t get distracted by titles and brand names, look for characteristics.

  • Look for RUNWAY: How likely are their Killer B scores able to improve in the future with a new environment and new mentoring? Score this and call it your “Headroom index” or anything that makes sense.

Existing Talent

  • Everyone can improve their Killer B factor, but it’s the leader’s role to create conversations, set the bar higher and help train and motivate people to get better.

  • Ask them to evaluate themselves, areas they are strong at and areas they can get better. See if their self-evaluation agrees with yours.

  • Agree. Disagree. Discuss. Repeat. Gain commitment. Follow up.

All painfully easy to say, but harder to execute and requires discipline.

Also, keep in mind that the market for talent (new and existing) tends to reward CURRENT scores on any characteristic greater than likelihood for future growth. Why? It’s easier.

Every leader has their own version of the “Killer B’s.” What is important is not so much “What” your version is, but how you lead, and work against your own success principles over time.

I’d love to hear your comments on the Killer B’s or your own version of success principles……Leave your comments below!

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