Best of the Best – Your Second Chance

Lion Dance Sheko

Lion Dance: King of the Jungle?

新年快乐! Kung hei fat choi! As China welcomes the year of the rabbit, westerners have a second chance to make a New Year’s resolution and may I suggest something of global proportions.

There is talk of countries using creativity to increase competitiveness through innovation. That’s fine for whole countries but what about us? Individuals are also starting to look around and realize they are not the only ones running the race.  What steps can we take to become personally more competitive?

Although globalization has fans and opponents, it’s nothing new and has been around since before the Phoenicians sailed the Mediterranean or caravans traveled the Silk Road.  Today’s phenomenal growth in the East is partially the result of centrally planned capitalism, for example, China has thrived by looking at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) and using this to target industries to put their resources.

Year of the Rabbit (SWOT Analysis)


Strengths


Weaknesses

Cute, Fast, Soft

Small

Multiplies

Poor Language Skills

Four Lucky Feet

Damages Gardens

Excellent Hearing

Owns Easter

Bugs Bunny Franchise

Opportunities

Threats

Silent Spokes-model

Foxes

Entertainment

Wile E. Coyote

Gaming

Competition from:

Pets

Dogs and Cats

Surveillance

Fur Coats

It’s no longer good enough to be the best rabbit on your block or your neighborhood, today; we must be the best in the world. What steps do you need to take to get in the top 1 percent of people within your skill set. We can start by asking what do like to do? What am I especially good at? Where do I add the most value?

List a few things by asking: What do I need to do to get on next year’s top ten list? How do I win the gold medal in cost accounting? What do I need to do to win the Oscar for most efficient software coding, or the daytime Emmy for most positive influence on children, or the people’s choice award for most caring of my patients, or the best supporting customer service rep? Think about what business you are really in – Apple is not in the computer business but information sharing.

Find the best teachers and first-class partners. Find the intersection between your chief skills and your collaborators unique abilities. If we happen to be the best auto mechanics and team up with a great farmer, maybe our competitive advantage comes from improving tractors.

Being the best in no longer about vanity or bragging rights, it’s about survival.  If you take steps to identity and refine your skills now: “You’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest,” as Dr. Seuss said.

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Comments

  1. I LOVE that rabbit SWOT! I ‘adjuncted’ at a small private college in MD, teaching Strategic Mgmt–the capstone course, integrating all the previously learned disciplines. For their senior project, I told the students they would create a business plan for their own lives beyond graduation, & to start with a clear-eyed SWOT analysis.
    Even though I offered individual consultations, these students–with one foot out the door–reacted bitterly. But 2 students (with healthy egos) came to embrace their projects, and their presentations topped “all the rest” while providing revelations to the students who couldn’t see any value.
    Often students (people in general) don’t act in their own self-interest. Teachers/leaders often need to find & use early-adopters, surrogates, &/or peer conduits to get valuable messages across to recipients who are not pre-disposed to listen, learn & exel. Thank god, for those 2 students who ‘got-it!’ But i ultimately decided I didn’t have the Strength(s) to overcome the Threats in academia. But I did find a new joy & appreciation for my day job at a Fortune 500.

  2. For the Swot, I almost used a fly but that seemed too obvious.

    Thanks for being the first to comment Carol, and I’m
    Glad that you “got it.” A Swot can be a powerful tool for balancing internal and external factors, but it’s really an exercise in planning and that’s not everyone’s preference – I don’t think too may bunnies go through such a formal process.

    Best,
    David

  3. After reading this article, I came to think about RESOLUTIONS. There are many times that previous year would adjust for you and gives you negative feed backs for the year and according to Chinese numerology, there are positive person and negative.

  4. David, this is my favorite article here in your blog. I just want to say that i have learn many things here and i hoe that you will put more interesting post to read.