Where you are influences what you can achieve. Your understanding of your position and most importantly how well you use it determines everything about your chances of success. As former G.E. CEO Jack Welch exhorts, “If you don’t have a strategic advantage, don’t compete.” Know your craft, have a plan, and play to your strengths. Be ready for your time to excel.
Ben Askren is a gold medal winning wrestler. He holds the NCAA single season record for most pins. If you search his record you will find that he is an expert at his craft. In a recent UFC fight, Askren was utterly brutalized in the opening minute, yet with a tactical series that put him and his opponent exactly where he wanted, Askren won moments later. The tactical sequence is truly astonishing: https://youtu.be/k2vblgq31JU
Recently, I wrote about consistency over intensity and how the consistent trainer will out perform the intense trainer. Consistency, however and for better or worse, works both ways. If you are consistently doing things the wrong way, bad habits will develop and your muscle memory, behavior, attitude, and outlook will become improperly fixed. Whatever the bad habit – we all have them – breaking it can be very challenging. Bad habits also often lead to bad contexts, e.g. if you’re a gossip, you’ll find other gossips and they’ll find you.
This is why mentorship and wisdom sharing are so important in personal and professional development. At work, my colleagues and trained volunteer coaches work with individuals and families who have little to no credit, are desperately in debt, and earn low incomes. By applying sound, reasonable, and effective financial advice and holding them accountable over time, our clients pay off crippling debts, refinance high interest loans, cease lending from sharks, pay themselves first, and approach purchasing from a needs vs. wants mentality. These consistent good behaviors put them in a position of buying power. They can now negotiate on their own terms rather than from a position of desperation. Don’t be afraid to seek advice.
Once you achieve a well earned position and have the power to deploy your influence for yourself and others, the key is to sustain and enhance your position and maximize good and mitigate harm. Position matters, and we gain position through preparation. Remember, Noah built the ark before the storm. No matter how high the food waters rose, he and his didn’t get wet.
What are you building so that when the time is right you are in the right position for you and yours? What strategic advantage are you developing?