I have had many interesting conversations with talented people in business and in organisations; managers, salespeople, HR staff, service technicians, production staff… all categories of staff, and all have at least one thing in common.
We talk about how things are going in the industry, what the prospects are for the future, what they feel they are succeeding at, and what challenges they face. Many fascinating, interesting stories. And they all have at least one common denominator.
The result of what you do is made up of two main components: What you do (knowledge), and how – and not least why – you do it (behaviour). Of course, to do what you do, you need to know-how. You must have knowledge. There is a lot of knowledge out there! Perhaps this is especially visible in start-up companies that are often established by enthusiasts who have extremely good knowledge of what they are doing. They have probably developed a product from scratch, know how it is put together, how it works, and all the possible ways to use this product. They are experts!
The challenge is that all knowledge can be copied. If you are alone with a solution today – you can have competition tomorrow.
There is one thing, and one thing alone, that cannot be copied by others – no matter how hard they try – and that is behaviour: your behaviour, the behaviour of your colleagues, the behaviour of your company. There is only one of you!
Those who have the right knowledge, and can combine this with the right behaviour: Why do I do what I do? How do I communicate this? What attitude do I have towards myself, my job, and the people around me?
This helps to shape you as a person, and which no one can copy no matter how hard they try!
Initially, I wrote that we all have something in common, and here are a few examples:
As a leader: Have you experienced resistance to change / new ideas? If so, why?
Because the changes themselves are qualitatively poor?
Or because employees don’t feel included?
In the process, did you remember to ask the important question: “What do you suggest?” This is a behavioural issue.
As a salesperson: Have you experienced having the best offer – the best product at the lowest price – and yet the customers go somewhere else? Are customers exclusively concerned with price? Have you worked hard on a solution proposal, only to find that customers take it with them and have the product produced elsewhere? In the process, did you remember to ask the important question: “Why do you really want this product?” This is a behavioural issue.
This is what managers and salespeople are challenged with, every day. Across industries and areas of knowledge. What can we do about it? There is only one of you – you are a competitive advantage no one can copy. Take advantage of it!