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Digital Transformation, a Mental Approach to Personal and Professional Success

Digital Transformation, a Mental Approach to Personal and Professional Success
abril 23


“The world has just entered a new era of relationship between leaders and followers, which very clearly calls for new leaders, and a new brand of leadership in business and industry. Those who belong to the old school of leadership-by-force, must acquire an understanding of the new brand of leadership (cooperation) or be relegated to the rank and file of the followers. There is no other way out for them”.

The foregoing quote comes from the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill published in 1937. This book is also said to have begun writing in the 1910 decade. Since then, the business world and the way to create new industries has changed several times, two world wars have passed and yet, the statement quoted seems to have the same value today in the digital era than 90 or 100 years ago.

There is no doubt that we live in a new business and industrial era that several leaders and scholars have call it the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. This term and expression has been used since at least the last three years at the World Economic Forums held in Davos, Switzerland.

Much has been written about the digital era, taxation of digital transactions, digital transformation, innovation, disruption and other similar topics related to this era. The purpose of this article is to present an approach that very few – including the advisors of the big advisory firms that provide digital transformation services – have put in practice, the only one thing that produces true change, that is the mental approach applied to the minds of the executives and leaders that make the transformation decisions to the conditions and circumstances so demanded under this digital era.

The book quotation cited above is so true today that many companies and industries having been leaders in their markets have disappeared, or if they are still alive, they have been relegated to be followers of the last choice. What has failed during the transformation process? What is it that that the business leaders and their advisors have not understood yet?

Very simple. They did not listen to the market. What a digital transformation process needs to look first is at the mentality of the business and industry leaders and then begin talking about business transformation.


A digital transformation process requires first the mental change of the company leader. Without the mental transformation of the leader, there is no strategy that works, it does not matter who your advisor is. If you do not believe me, just take a look at what has happened over the last 10 to 12 years in several industries namely the telephone, entertainment, retail marketing, etc. Do you believe that no investment was made on digital transformation strategies? Of course that there was. However, there was not enough investment on the mental transformation of the leaders of all those companies that disappeared or that were relegated to be followers, if they are still alive.

Traditionally, the leader in a family business, in many cases, is the main shareholder or one of his heirs. In more institutionalized enterprises, it is the Chairman of the Board of Directors (CBD) who holds the leader title. In the politics industry, it is normally the leader of the party and in the industry of faith, the leader is the highest ranked member. We could keep going and identifying the several different industries that regulate the economic, political and religious systems of the world. All of them with no exception live in the new digital era. Therefore, sooner or later they will have to transform themselves to the digital era or die, no matter how long they have been in business.


One of the greatest challenges of any family business is the succession to the next generation. Normally, the founder of a business, who with his great passion and determination founded his company to express his great desires, had great success on the basis of hard work and a good business plan. The same visionary, all through his years could advance his business, he was ambitious and gave his offspring all kinds of schooling, some achieving masters and PhD degrees in local or international Universities. Therefore, schooling is not the problem.

When the time comes for the succession, the business founder decides that one of his children has to continue with the company leadership. However, the heir does not have the same power and the same success level than the founder who in many occasions did not even go to university. What is the cause of failure in the majority of the cases? The answer in many occasions is that the heir does not like the business. He wants to express himself in a different activity. He neither has the same passion and determination than the founder to continue with the business nor a dominant desire to have success in the industry.

The outcome for this company will be inevitable and costly, namely extinction or transformation. An example of a great company that disappeared due to the bad decisions made by the CBD was the mythical Fundidora de Fierro y Acero de Monterrey. The CBD’s true passion and desire to express himself was the music, not the company. Wrong transformation decisions were made and the final outcome was, as it is known, extinction.

There are other examples of family businesses that have disappeared at the second or third generation. It is not the workings of chance. The heirs did not have in their minds the same energy level expressed in the desire to grow and expand the company to new markets. It is not the academic diplomas held by the heirs but the mental energy that grows success.

Therefore, the advice to the business leader that finds himself at the cross-road of naming his successor is that first evaluate very well the mindset of the candidates to take over the business leadership. The heir needs to have the same passion for the business and his desire to grow and expand than the founder, with the same vision and objectives and always working with his mind well focused on the business.

Furthermore, the advice for the heir is that you need to get individuals around you that think like you, with the same passion for growing and with the same mental plans and instincts. These individuals are not necessarily the members of the current board of directors, your personal friends of the friends of the founder. Your core and closer group of individuals have to be chosen by you, not individuals chosen for you. This group is called in the science of the mind as “the master mind group”. Do not go by yourself. Four synchronized minds think better than only one.

Once that you have formed your “master mind group” that in many cases is the board of directors, now and only then get going with the digital transformation of your business if it is required or if it has not been carried out yet. What you need to secure is that the business that you have inherited becomes a mental expression of you and not of the founder. Dare to think big. Any business can become multinational in the digital economy world in a very short time. If you do not believe me, just look at the information technology enterprises in the business of marketing through social media or transportation based on apps, or the enterprises in the entertainment business via internet. All of them have a life of 10 years.

Now, if you are the heir of a family business which has been highly successful, but your mind, interests and desires to express yourself are at a different place, it is highly recommend that you better sell the business maximizing all the benefits for everyone at stake. There will be not enough advisors that will help you keep the business alive for another generation. Do not waste your company’s money. Just remember that in the digital economy world big empires are born and disappear fast. Just remember what phone you used 12 years ago and see what phone you are using now, or just remember how you used to buy before and how you buy your airline and hotel tickets now.


The board of directors is the management body that is necessary in many cases pursuant to institutional rules or corporate governance. Boards of directors are usually organized with its chairman, independent members and top executives of a company including the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer, etc.

Experience tells that there are only two classes of boards:1) those highly efficient and successful and 2) those which are not. The first group are outstanding due to the leadership of all its members, not only by the leadership of one or two. Also, all of the board members have their mental energy well synchronized on the institution’s plans and objectives. The second group, are organized by personal obligations, friendships or in the worst of the cases by members who only raise their hands approving the chairman’s proposals.

The origins of the boards of directors derive from the mental principle called “the master mind” before mentioned. The use of this principle has many years and has been applied by industry titans for at the least the last 150 years. It is not the workings of chance that many great industrial empires have been built through the use of this principle and that some multinationals have disappeared recently which ignore it.

A board of directors where all of its members are synchronized in their minds can achieve anything. Growth and expansion ideas will arise naturally, they will be efficiently implemented and they will reflect the mental success of all of the board members.

A company with a board of directors where its members are not mentally synchronized no matter what academic diplomas honorary or nobility tittles they may have, sooner or later will fail. All of the multinationals that have disappeared have had a board of directors, all of them with members highly qualified in the university diploma and many have been truly brilliant. What has happened? They are not synchronized.

Recently a mathematician widely recognized internationally, with PhD and post PhD diplomas expressed from the bottom of his heart at a business summit that money is of no concern for individuals like him. What is truly his passion is mathematics. There is no need to say that this individual will not be an ideal member of a board of directors of any business.

Therefore, a board of directors must be formed by a chairman who is passionate about his company and business and whose passion expresses his burning prosperity desires for him and for all of the individuals who help him with great service and support to perform his functions and above all, for those individuals who bring him productivity or transformation ideas. Moreover, said chairman needs a group of individuals close to him on the board working under the master mind principle, all well synchronized with the common prosperity goal for the company with objectives and well defined action plans.

This board will be highly efficient, will make the right decisions for the company and will achieve any transformation including the digital if it is required.


Any digital transformation or of any sort for a company or business requires first the analysis and synchronization of the minds of the institution’s leaders. Otherwise, any transformation effort that fails to observe the mental principles of success will irremediably fail.

The business succession is a very difficult step forward and the failure statistics on the family businesses are indications that the mental principles of success have not been applied properly and the new leaders so appointed have been not appropriate. If you are the founder of a business, pass it on to an individual who thinks like you, who is passionate about the business even if that individual is not of your blood. If you do not find a proper successor, better sell your business and maximize the benefits of all your work. If you do find a proper successor, make sure that he is organizing his master mind group with individuals who think like him and you whether or not they are related, dependent or independent and be sure that all of them work under such principle. Such individuals must be well motivated to work in synchronicity. In business today, there is nothing better than the economic reward to synchronize the minds of a group of individuals working together.

There are many who speak about digital transformation. However, the majority has forgotten the mental principles of success. Before commencing any transformation, first secure that the leaders work under such principles to support a successful transformation of your business, including the advisors…. If you need them. An advisor who is not mentally fit with the minds of the company leaders will not derive successful results.


C.P.C., P.C.FI., Adv. LLM, MI. Juan Ángel Becerra Cantú
Member of the International Tax Commission


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