Aaron Bare has seen it all in the business world. He spent a 15-year career traveling the world working with some of the greatest business leaders and entrepreneurial minds. He used what he learned by spending time with these leaders to create his own successful businesses in the Phoenix entrepreneurial landscape.
When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Bare was forced to think a little bit differently in order to survive. He realized the leaders he had worked with over the years were already doing things differently even before the pandemic. Their mindset and leadership styles helped Bare create his “Exponential Leader” theory. He explains how the theories behind the leadership style became the main theme of his book: a conscious leader is the type of leader the world needs to face the problems of today and tomorrow.
“We are in a place where leaders are starting to think more consciously. People are seeing the inequities in our country and realize that so many people have been mistreated for so long. It has forced our leaders to start thinking with a different mindset.”
– Aaron Bare, Best Selling Author & Facilitator
Best-selling author Aaron Bare explains his theory behind being an exponential leader and why it is a crucial concept for leaders to understand
This article has been edited from the original interview for content, length and clarity.
You have a long list of accomplishments but I want to start with your Amazon number one best-selling book Exponential Theory, The Power of Thinking Big. Tell us about the book.
Exponential Theory was a book that wrote itself over 15 years of working in the business world.
I’ve been a global facilitator and worked with boardrooms and executive leadership teams worldwide. I saw how some of these leadership teams thought differently and thought a little bigger. At the same time, I was growing up in the Phoenix entrepreneurial ecosystem so, I took what I saw in Tel Aviv and Shanghai, brought those ideas back to Phoenix, and incorporated them into my work.
Once COVID shut everything down and I wasn’t traveling I took the opportunity to write about everything I had learned from the various leaders and companies that I had worked with. It eventually led me to write Exponential Theory. My main goal in writing the book was to highlight that a conscious leader is the type of leader we all need for the future.
It sounds like your book is not just about capitalism for capitalism’s sake, but more about conscious capitalism.
Exponential Theory by definition is the idea or principle that when you start thinking bigger, you become more conscious. When I met leaders around the world, I saw that they thought bigger about the systems they were working in. They thought about the planet, they thought about people, they thought about their purpose and the problems they were solving over profit. Ultimately what I started to see is these companies were growing at a much faster rate.
At a startup in Tel Aviv, for example, they were not only thinking about the Israeli market, they were thinking about how to solve global problems. It allowed me to capture different stories about how [some] companies were thinking differently and growing faster than other companies that were not thinking the same way. If you get the opportunity to read it you will see that it is the history of modern innovation, and how this idea of thinking exponentially is really disrupting many industries around the world.
There are probably three major thought leaders in the exponential space, and writing Exponential Theory has made me one of those leaders. It has allowed me to spread the message of exponential.
I have had the opportunity to speak at the annual Visit Phoenix convention and this year I will be speaking at Best Ever as well. My hope is when people read the book or hear me speak on the subject that they start to think a little more consciously, that they think a little bit bigger. When you think big some of the small stuff starts to fade away, and you will start to live your self-fulfilling prophecy of thinking bigger about yourself.
In the book, you uncover seven universal truths. What are they?
In this journey, I traveled around the world with different businesses and exponential leaders in a variety of spaces and I would take our groups out and into these companies and have facilitated discussions, which in my opinion is the best way to learn. What I started to notice was when people were in a room with someone like Bill Gates or Elon Musk you would hear them talk about how they lived in these universal truths. So I started to think beyond the millionaire mindset and more about what is the exponential mindset. Through that process, I began to understand a theme, which is ‘to think is to create.’ That is one that most people understand. What you put energy into is what it is going to give back to you. That is the first universal truth.
Number two is ‘we are habits.’ Most of these leaders were very conscious about their habits; how they spent their day, who they spent their time with, what news they consumed, and what they were looking to accomplish within a day. They operated with the mantra of “how you spend your day is how you spend your life.”
It is that grind or the experience of enjoying the moment, which happens to be universal truth number three, ‘attitude is everything. I think that is a given, but I like to use this idea when I teach a program called XMBA, which is exponential mindset, belief, and attitude.
Universal truth four is ‘what we resist, we persist.’ This is a big one for people because a lot of times people go around talking about what they do not want and they constantly spend their energy talking about it. It goes along with the concept [of] to think is to create.
The fifth universal truth is ‘the goal is not the end.’ People who think exponentially know that once you hit a big goal, there is another goal behind it.
‘Be in the moment’ is universal truth number six. Your past is full of limiting, beliefs, regrets, and traumas. Those thoughts don’t serve your future self and the goals that you have set for your future. There is a quote in a book from Bill Gates that says, “We often underestimate what we can do in ten years and overestimate what we can do in one year.” His point is to have a long-term vision. That is one of the main things I noticed with these exponential leaders they were not thinking about the current quarter. They were thinking 20 quarters down the line. Jeff Bezos, for example, had 19 years of negative quarters at Amazon. He retaught the analysts to think about the longer-term future of what they were trying to create. The same way that Elon Musk wrote a blog post in 2006 about where Tesla would be in 2020.
The last universal truth is ‘We are all one. Love unconditionally.’
Traveling the world, being around various leaders in different spaces, and seeing how they thought and operated their businesses led me to create exponential theory. I think it’s important for leaders today to realize we can’t keep thinking about the few, we have to think about the masses.
You mentioned you have a course called XMBA, can you give us a brief description of what it is all about?
We are in a place where leaders are starting to think more consciously. People are seeing the inequities in our country and realize that so many people have been mistreated for so long. It has forced our leaders to start thinking with a different mindset.
The course I created called XMBA is the practice of exponential theory. The acronym stands for Exponential, Mindset, Belief, and Attitude. In the course, we dive into the seven universal truths, but we have also created a leadership accelerator and a learning community.
The goal here is to help you reach that next level in whatever you are passionate about or working toward. I tell people it is the last workshop that you will need to take. I am excited to help people get into action as the world is transforming.
Is there a launch date for the XMBA course?
We have launched. We are starting to put together some in-person classes and eventually we will have an online curriculum. Our online learning community is set up so we are excited about that, it is xmba.io and we are excited to grow as we bring more people into the program. About ten thousand people have been through the course so far.
For more information on Aaron’s book go to https://www.aaronbare.com/book/
If you are interested in the XMBA course you can find it at https://xmba.io/