The world will be very different in 10 years. Some of the changes we have seen in the last decade are likely to accelerate. Globalization will increase, as will its impact upon American lives and families. Work, at all levels, even managerial, will continue to be done where it can be done at the lowest cost and sold where it can command the highest price. Even C-Suite jobs will be outsourced.
Want to be successful? Doing some of the things listed below will keep you ahead of the curve. Doing all of them will make you phenomenally successful. Here are some tips on competing globally:
1. Achieve Excellence
Become the very best at whatever you do. Whatever your specialty is, try to be in the top 1% to 3% of the population. People in this top echelon are very passionate and in love with that they do. Find and pursue your love. There is a very fine line between people who go the extra mile and those who don’t. Try to be in the first category. People in this category are persistent, pursue excellence and do not give up under any circumstances. Keep refining that skill in terms of breadth (horizontally) and depth (vertically) so that you maintain your elitism of excellence. This will give you a huge competitive edge.
2. Keep Your Employer Competitive
Use your specialty to ensure your company always retains its competitive edge. Most employers nowadays expect their employees to do whatever is necessary to keep their company competitive. If a product needs to be redesigned, a process needs to be streamlined, the silo mentality needs to be changed do it or make it happen. Use information and the power of all technologies to serve the customers to continually earn the “wow” factor. That makes all the difference in repeat business, reducing “customer churn,” and even bringing new customers into the company. The important thing is that the company should continue to win in the marketplace.
3. Stay Vigilant
Continue to stay ahead of the boss, the customers and the competition. These days a competitor can come from an emerging company with no legacy costs and literally produce a better product and start selling it in your backyard. Try to anticipate that. Try to stay plugged into a global intelligence network to determine how the markets may be shifting and which new products may be under development which can torpedo your business. Such things are happening. Be vigilant of them and stay ahead of the curve.
4. Be Opportunistic
Opportunities never come labeled as such. Usually one can see them as “pain points,” inconveniences or problems for the customer. These are opportunities in disguise. Develop the uncanny ability to detect them. Look at any innovation and you will see the unique ability of some person who was able to develop a value solution. With training and an appropriate lens anyone can develop that lens to improve their batting average of spotting opportunity. Planned opportunism is even a rarer skill and can go a long way of helping you succeed.
5. Stay Nimble, Flexible, And Hungry
By nimble, I mean try to respond to any opportunity very quickly rather than later. Time and tide wait for no man. Be prepared to pounce on any opportunity that comes. Remember the old adage:
Opportunity + Preparedness = Success.
Keep preparing yourself so that when the opportunity comes, it will not find you waiting. These days the new normal is to be in continuous learning mode and keep reinventing yourself. That will keep you ahead of the curve.
By flexible, is meant being willing to expand your pool of expertise to take on something new. If an opportunity comes along that will yield long term results but you have to take two steps back consider it. I know a very successful consultant who did just that. He was an expert in implementing PeopleSoft systems. He did that for many years. Then when Workday came along he made a calculated decision to take a few steps back. He took a cut in pay, learnt and acquired expertise in Workday systems. This reinvention paid off rich dividends. Now, he has clients all over the world. He flies to exotic places like Geneva, Taiwan, and many more helping companies implement these systems.
“Hungry” has been borrowed from Steve Jobs. He always said stay “hungry and foolish.” Hunger is very essential. It is the hunger for success, for knowledge, for learning something new. It is this quest that drives people. Develop that insatiable curiosity to find out what the next frontier or the next assignment or challenge will teach you. That hunger will go a long way in keeping you motivated and constantly learning all the time, thus keeping your competitive edge intact.
You have just become a very formidable candidate competing against whom may not be easy. Good luck and enjoy the ride.
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