Monthly Archives: December 2015

GlobalEdg Leadership Diary #3 — Your Competitive Advantage — What makes you standout & win?

winningA few years ago my brother and our wives were vacationing at a resort in Florida. On our second night there, we were sitting on the balcony of our room enjoying the warm weather and the incredible view of the Ocean. Shortly we noticed a steady stream of people heading to the poolside patio … dressed in business casual attire – each wearing a nametag. They were headed to a corporate company cocktail party.   As we looked on with curiosity, we began noticing a similar pattern. As people were getting closer to the patio they seemed to behave in a similar way — hand to the head to make sure their hair was in place, as well as a quick glance down at their nametag to see if it was visible and not upside down. There were even similar facial expressions – eyes darting around and a slight smile (either excitement or nervous laughter). Even the pace of walking began to change and each seemed to pick up as they were closer to the party. While observing, my brother and I found ourselves talking about how similar we often found ourselves behaving – preparing to make the right impression. We were putting on our “game face” at such corporate events.

The game? how to stand out and win…with the people we work with/for. The cocktail party illustration can be a small example of how we try to differentiate ourselves at work. Obviously the real way to stand out is with the contributions you make to your organization.

Winning is defined in different ways by each of us; however, we only win when we are able to realize we all have unique gifts that allow us to differentiate ourselves from others in our chosen professions … we all have a unique way of delivering value — competitive advantage in one way or another. The question remains how do we know what it is. In our book Think to Win, we outline how both teams and individuals can address this. The process is simple yet compelling – a few questions can serve as criteria — Consider the following:

  • What really differentiates us?
  • Is it something no one else could say about themselves?
  • What is the source of this?
  • How do we sustain it?

Using the tools of business are important and applicable to us personally. What differentiates you? How are you leveraging it? We all have unique gifts and ultimately stand out at any cocktail party.

To gain insight on how Thinking to Win can help your business and life at http://www.thinktowin.net/.

 

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GlobalEdg Leadership Diary #2: I wish I would have “got this” earlier in my career!

Earlier in my career, I was a young sales manager for a healthcare company with a mentor who “taught” me the importance of setting the right priorities. It was about the numbers! “Your number one priority is hitting your quota – that’s how you get ahead – that’s why we hired you!” Well guess what happened, the job became about hitting the numbers. Sales meetings became about setting priorities, numbers, quotas, targets etc. We couldn’t wait to get out of those “dreadful” sales planning meetings. I look back upon those days – they seem kind of silly now. We were missing something really important. If I had only thought differently – what might have been possible?

Earlier this month, I was facilitating an executive retreat for a major healthcare company and something very important took place. Imagine a room filled with senior executives who were there to discuss and align on the 2016 priorities for the business. The conversation that followed was truly remarkable.

I started out by asking the executives (there were about 40 of them in the room) two questions:

  • The first question was how many of you come to work each day trying to lose money for the company? As you can imagine – a few chuckles were followed by no hands being raised.
  • The second question I asked was how many of you think your work makes a difference in the lives of others? All the hands went up!

A very interactive dialogue centered on what are the “priorities on behalf of.” Yes, the team needed to execute around things that were going to drive growth, productivity, and innovation; and, that did happen – but in a different and more purposeful way. The whole conversation shifted to “purpose” and stories of how patients and health care professionals benefited from the company’s products and services.   Throughout the retreat –when a priority discussion ensued –it was often followed by a quick story on how that decision would impact clients and / or patients while supporting the desired business results.

A priority conversation during a business meeting allows people to quickly align around what results the business must produce. Now that is not silly.

www.thinktowin.net