Work (and compete) to your Differences!
Dr. Nido Qubein is a modern day “renaissance man”. Immigrating from the Middle East at a young age, he came to the USA penniless but not without considerable resources, namely his own drive to succeed! He eventually became a successful entrepreneur, author, award-winning speaker and currently serves as the president of High Point University – an institution he has transformed from a second-tier private college to one that has become preeminent. Therefore, when I have the opportunity to hear him speak, I usually pay attention!
One thing I heard him say recently really got me thinking out loud about competitive advantage. He said, we should work (and thus compete) to our DIFFERENCES! Now you have heard me say (if you ever heard me speak) or write, again and again, that we should work to our strengths versus our weaknesses! I still believe that, however, Dr. Qubein presents us with an intriguing strategy.
It is our DIFFERENCES that help us stand out.
It is our DIFFERENCES that separate us from our competitors. It is our DIFFERENCES that contribute to our value-added proposition. In fact, an entire institute called Blue Ocean Strategy has grown up around this very concept. Essentially, Blue Ocean Strategy suggest we should not be a COMPETITTOR, but an ALTERNATIVE in a crowded arena.
Again, you can see this play out time and time again in the marketplace. Apple is so competitive because they produce products that look and function very differently from their competitors. The most successful music artists are ones that produced a sound and vibe that no ever had before – just think of Jimmy Hendrix, the Beatles, even Lady Gaga! Uber and Lyft are alternatives to transportation. Again, their strengths were not in doing what everyone else was doing better, their success was in doing it differently!
Granted, it is a logical jump to make that our differences as based upon our strengths (so I am really not contradicting myself!), but think about the following:
- Are you messaging and highlighting your differences?
- How do your differences differentiate you from others in the same line of work?
- How do you know you are not just doing what everyone else is, just doing it better?
- What are your unique talents, skills, and competencies?
I think about this a great deal. There are many people out there serving as professional speakers, trainers, and coaches. What I am really selling is personal and organization transformation (which takes work) and NOT instant success and 10X profits (which are really just magic beans!).
That is just one example but what is yours?
For more information about Blue Ocean Strategy: https://www.blueoceanstrategy.com/
Also, you will find many great resources about BOS and You Tube videos on the web.
As always, if I can help you Get Better, Be Ready and LEAD OUT LOUD, I would love to hear from you. Also, as a bonus, if you go to my Out Loud Strategies website (www.outloudinc.com) and enter your contact information, I will send you a FREE guide to establishing a mentoring initiative program in your organization! Such an initiative would be critical in order to add value to your organization!
Yours in Leadership,
Co-Founder – Out Loud Strategies
Independent Coach, Speaker, and Trainer with the John Maxwell Team TM
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