The Greatest Edge
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
We live in a world filled with competition. We compete for everything—the best and brightest employees, loyal customers, market share, and more. We even compete for our spot on the highway as it narrows into one lane. We have this innate need to be first, which drives us to find our edge, that secret weapon that can put us on top. I won’t get into whether or not this competition is healthy (that’s for another day), but I would like to share with you what I believe is the Greatest Edge. The secret sauce that can put you on top and allow you to stay there.
I believe the Greatest Edge is made up of four key components: Personnel, Vision, Work Ethic, and Leadership. If you miss any of these, you lose your edge. We don’t have time to get into all four right now, so you will want to listen to Episode 209 of The Next Page podcast if you are interested in hearing my thoughts on all of them. For now, let’s jump in with two of the four key components: Personnel and Vision.
Personnel – One is too small a number to achieve greatness, so you need a team and not just any team; you need the right team. You want people who are restless. People who are unwilling to accept mediocrity for themselves and their team. People who possess complementary skills and giftedness. People who know their strengths and weaknesses and are willing to let others support them and critique them. Your team also needs to like each other and have fun working together.
Vision – The ancient proverb reads, where there is no vision, the people perish. Yes, it’s true that people buy into their leader before they buy into the vision, but without the vision, the people won’t stay. It starts with the problem you are trying to solve. There needs to be a compelling reason for what it is you are trying to accomplish. It needs to be easily understood, and much more than flowery adjectives that only look good on paper or a wall. This vision needs to connect emotionally with your team. It must speak to the limbic system in the brain, the part of the brain that is responsible for feelings, such as trust and loyalty. It is also responsible for all human behavior and decision-making, but it has no capacity for language. How’s that for a big challenge. It’s also why so few organizations have a compelling vision.
We still need to look into Work Ethic and Leadership, so if you are interested in learning more about cultivating your edge, join us on The Next Page podacast as Marisa and I dive into this powerful topic.