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Developing a Comprehensive Advantage in Business

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Competitive advantage is primarily seen as the ability to produce a product or service at a lower cost – aka comparative advantage – or in a more desirable fashion -aka differential advantage. Gaining a competitive advantage can be the result of several factors but the main idea is that you’re doing something in such a way as to outperform your competitors.

In the complex world we live in, there is a shift happening. Leaders have relied on one or two types of leadership intelligence to drive business performance. But that style of operating is coming to its zenith. Now enlightened leaders realise there are other ways to gain a more comprehensive advantage. READ More:

RESILIENCE: “Who Cares Wins”

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I was reading a book last night by the “SAS ~ Who Dares Wins” television team on leadership. And like most people who’ve come out of conflict zones they’ve had to deal with the aftermath of emotional and physical trauma. Unfortunately the military machine isn’t adept as yet, with coping with the complexity of individual cases, but it is something they’re looking into.

As a leader it is important to care for the people you’re leading and yourself. Peak performance is subject to a cycle, there has to be an ebb and flow rhythm if you want to achieve a peak performance culture. You also need to have some tools to help both yourself and your team when you’ve been under pressure for long periods. Sure you need courage as a leader but you also need an equal balance of compassion.

From my own experience in the Special Forces and civilian life, I know READ MORE:

Learn the 3 R’s of RESILIENCE

stocksnap_7ph22tt1mx-800x533I’m sitting here at five AM, reflecting on my family’s recent journey as my partner and son sleep fitfully upstairs. After a month of planning and preparation we packed all our belongings into a trailer along with our yellow Labrador and set off for a new destination abroad. We had a dream just like Martin Luther King did. ‘Who dares wins’ they told me in the Special Air Service and we did. We dared and we worked and we failed. After six months of work and discomfort, just as we were about to launch our new project, the partners pulled the metaphorical carpet from beneath us, and pulled out.

So here I am sat in the darkness, feeling the huge responsibility of protecting my family. We’re homeless, we’re dreamless and considerably poorer as a result of this adventure. I still have hope though. READ More

Developing a Mountain of RESILIENCE

stocksnap_8pz7meslnx-800x533When you’re going through some tough times you really have two challenges going on simultaneously. One is the outer world challenge you’re faced with and the other one is the battle that’s raging on the inside. You have to master your inner game if you want to overcome the challenges life throws at you.

I found this out when engaged in the selection process the Special Air Service Regiment puts potential candidates through, in order to assess their suitability. The ‘Regiment’ has some intriguing ways to test your inner game. Some are blunt instruments and some more complex. I developed a technique which helped me through the physically and mentally demanding challenges I faced. READ More:

 

 

 

 

Resilience starts with a WISE idea…

sas-mountainWhen I teach people how to increase their capacity for resilience I explain there are three parts to accomplishing this feat. One is to help people remember what resilience looks and feels like to them. The other is to teach them some tools which enable them to develop their resilience muscles and tap into their reserves when necessary. Then there is the integration of the tools and knowledge into their individual situation. Whether that is at work, in their home life or in some other arena such as sport.

The good news regarding the uncertainty that many people face in the world today, is that everybody has the capacity for resilience. READ More

RESILIENCE… Oxford’s word of the year for 2017?

stocksnap_0dtifdzwy8The Oxford English dictionary announced after much discussion and research, that the word of the Year for 2016 was post-truth.

It described post-truth as an adjective defined as

 ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.

The word post-truth has been around for decades, but its usage spiked recently as a result of the Brexit referendum and the US elections. These two events combined with other daily news makes us all wonder if our environment, economy and society will survive. READ More

Developing Creative Brilliance in your Team (Part 4)

stocksnap_yy0cctbu9wStep 3 ~ Direction (continued)

“…the way you get the most out of every moment you have on the planet, whether that’s personal or for business, is by acquiring new skills and by becoming better at what you do” Tim Ferris

Working towards business freedom

A great question Tim Ferris asks himself is:

“What can I put in place so that I can go completely off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks?”

A lot of the entrepreneurs I’ve spoken with have experienced work exhaustion. It’s easy for them to fall into the trap of being the hero who solves most of the problems that arise in the business themselves. As such, the longest holiday an entrepreneur would consider going on is about two weeks because that’s just enough time for them to go away and get back in time to put all the fires out. Plus, with today’s technology, there isn’t really anywhere in the world that people can’t still work from.

This is the classic entrepreneurial myth that business consultant Michael Gerber talks about in his book, “The E-Myth Revisited”. Entrepreneurs start businesses so they can enjoy more time, money and freedom. But entrepreneurs usually experience the opposite and have less of all three.

To enjoy a 4-8 week holiday “off-grid” a leader has to put in place systems. But not only that. They’ve also got to empower the team with some tools that allows the organisation to not only survive the entrepreneurs individuating from the business psychologically, but thriving. READ More

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Developing Creative Brilliance in your Team (Part 3)

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Step 3 – Direction

One of my earlier professions was as a personal trainer. It was working with clients who aspired to be fitter and healthier that inspired my quest for knowledge of the mind-body connection.

Often I would be faced with new clients who’d been struggling with their weight for some time. As such they were totally convinced that they were not the exercising type. What I learnt early on is that it is pointless arguing with a person’s weakness. If they said they were not capable of running, I would agree.  If I tried to convince them otherwise, they would only dig their heels in and prove their point through non-compliance. What I did do however, was to manoeuvre around this stand-off by developing ways to align their mind, body and purpose into triggering ‘flow’ states. READ More

Developing Creative Brilliance in your Team (Part 2)

stocksnap_u4p6d87d0tIntroduction

In the previous article in this series I explained the CREATE model. If you’re going to unleash the creative brilliance in your team, you’ll need to foster some of the conditions which allow that to happen. These were the freedom to challenge existing paradigms, developing deep relationships amongst the team, exposure to novel experiences, creating associations between disparate ideas and subjects, training and experimentation. These foundations of creativity then need a process and some tools to harvest new ideas that emanate from the team.

TREAD vs SOAR Thinking… Read More

 

Developing Creative Brilliance in your Team (Part 1)

create-teamIntroduction

The story goes that Einstein was daydreaming about travelling on rays of light and this led to his famous theory of relativity. But you don’t find many leaders asking their team to daydream. Leadership that unlocks the creative potential of a team requires some courage. It’s easier, one could argue, for giants such as Google to set aside 10% of their employee’s time for creative thinking. This strategy has reaped big rewards for Google but smaller firms struggle with doing this.

Creativity takes time and it also means letting go of control which is another challenge for some leaders.

READ More…