Before you think about what your competitive edge might be let me tell you a brief story. It’s a true story that will help explain what I mean by the challenge that I have posed to you in the title of this piece.
Not long ago I accompanied a long-standing client of mine to a business conference where he would be speaking as part of a panel. After his brief presentation and the Q & A, the moderator of this panel remarked to him, in front of the audience, “your passion for this is obvious”.
The panel moderator, in just a few short moments, astutely picked up on the most central aspect of what makes my client so effective and, yes, so competitive.
It wasn’t his knowledge or his beliefs or his opinions that distinguished him at that moment. It was his genuine passion for his field that was so obvious. His passion was palatable and very powerful.
When you think about the question of what YOUR competitive edge is I invite you to look deeper than what you know or what you believe or what you have experienced.
I am asking you to identify something essential that you were born with. It is something natural to you, something in your basic temperament that you really don’t even have to consciously think about.
To conclude my brief story, after the conference I mentioned the moderator’s keen observation to my client. We both had an interesting and insightful moment talking about how true it really was. I encouraged him to think deeply about his unique passion and I gave him examples of how I had seen this quality of his make itself evident in many ways and at many times during our work together.
In my own world, I observe unique qualities in others when I’m guiding business teams in problem solving engagements.
There is a great deal of satisfaction that I get when, especially during the moments of pure invention, the various participants are challenged to dig very deeply within themselves. During these intense moments almost everyone taps into their latent well of imagination and creativity. It is a place that they don’t get to tap into during the course of their usual business day.
To discover your competitive edge, stop thinking about what you know. Think about what you want to be: passionate, perceptive, resourceful, or something else that is the essence of you.
Your competitive edge resides within you.
Can you describe YOUR competitive edge in one word?