Personal Competitive Advantage.
It sounds incredibly beguiling.
It sounds like something we definitely ought to acquire in this competitive business world.
But what is it?
While many definitions are about, I’d say it’s that congeries of qualities, skills, experience, and brio that sets you apart from your peers in a narrow slice of your own professional bailiwick.
It’s something peculiar to yourself and your own experience. It’s up to you to discover, build, enhance, nurture.
Personal Competitive Advantage
Personal Competitive Advantage involves consciously positioning yourself against the competition.
Personal Competitive Advantage surely comprises much of that . . . maybe. Because Advantage can vary from person to person, from field to field.
This frustrates folks.
I know this sounds vague, and there’s an excellent reason for it.
Only you can assess capabilities, intentions, and resources.
Only you can develop a winning Unique Selling Proposition.
And only you can then identify a winning position for you to carve out and make your own.
Many students feel cheated when they realize they must actually craft this position themselves rather than find it in a mythical “success manual.”
But craft it you must.
Here’s One Guide
One way to position yourself for personal competitive advantage is to utilize the “Four Actions Framework” developed by the authors of the business bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy.
This framework involves examining the standard metrics along which you compete in your chosen profession. You then manipulate those metrics in four ways to yield something fresh and new.
Something attuned to your particular value offering.
Eliminate. Reduce. Raise. Create.
First, Eliminate . . .
. . . decide how you compete in your particular bailiwick. Identify the competitive metrics.
Then, eliminate the metrics that don’t concern you or on which you are weak and see no low-cost way of improving.
Second, Reduce . . . lower emphasis on low-profile and low-value metrics.
Maintain your competitive presence on these dimensions, but only enough for credibility.
Third, Raise . . . emphasize the key metrics in your field that you believe are key success factors. These are metrics that most people believe are substantial and essential to their own well-being.
Fourth, Create . . . innovate and create new metrics. You thus become #1 in a new category – your own category.
Overarching all of this . . .
Inventory your present skill set, your deepest professional desires, and the raw materials now available to you. These three factors constitute your capabilities, intentions, and resources.
Evaluate whether your capabilities, intentions, and resources are consistent. Are they aligned with one another? Do they have strategic fit?
Does it make sense when you eyeball it?
These are the first steps toward crafting a Personal Competitive Advantage. Start thinking this way to lay the groundwork.
One surefire way to gain personal competitive advantage is to pledge to become an especially powerful business presenter. In fact, it’s an open secret, very much like a football laying on the field, waiting to be picked up and run for a touchdown.
Consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting for more on gaining Personal Competitive Advantage.