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The Challenger Mindset – Executive Forum Recap

The Challenger Mindset – Executive Forum Recap

May 25, 2017

What does it take to be a successful brand challenger, that rebel in your industry who doesn’t have to be all things to all people, defies the status quo in a meaningful way and refuses to be “mush in the middle?” Inspiration is all around us, explained Chad Dick, partner at eatbigfish, who led EDGE member leaders through a workshop to explore the challenger state of mind. In short, the Challenger Mindset allows each of us to “Do More with Less.”  This is a perfect fit for mid-sized growth companies!  Here is an excellent entry into Challenger Mindset companies and what makes them tick.

Thank you to our Executive Forum Series sponsor, Hiring Optics, for your support.


Key Takeaways:

  • Some ways to think about a challenger: not afraid to pick a fight; underdog; David vs. Goliath; rule breaker; maverick; irreverent
  • Think and behave like David even if you are Goliath
  • What meaningful change are we trying to bring about?
  • Challengers have bold ambitions: fast, smart, nimble
  • Bold ambition + significant constraint = propelling questions
  • Challengers value “intelligently naïve” inexperience
  • Lighthouse brand identity: strong belief built on truth and projected in everything with a clear point-of-view
  • How to strengthen point-of-view: embrace conflict; fight an enemy
  • Ask yourself: Why do we exist? What’s our purpose, cause or rally cry?
  • Might we sacrifice doing some things to over-commit to others? Sacrifice things that don’t matter to really deliver on what does matter

Six practices of successful challengers:

  1. 1. Define your challenge – who or what?
  2. 2. Set a bold ambition – one that might seem impossible
  3. 3. Ask propelling questions – ambition + constraint
  4. 4. Lean into inexperience – be intelligently naïve
  5. 5. Lead with your beliefs – project a strong point-of-view
  6. 6. Sacrifice to over-commit – say “no” to some good ideas


About the EDGE Executive Forum Series:

This quarterly breakfast program is designed for senior leaders of middle market growth companies headquartered here in northeast Ohio, and features topics and speakers that are current and important to any business leader faced with top-level strategic and operational choices. EDGE Member organizations are invited to send up to 8 members of their leadership team to each program.

Upcoming Executive Forum Events:

For more information contact: Grant Marquit (; 216-215-5058)