Admittedly I am a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell. Clearly he’s one of the most thought-provoking writers of the past decade, and I think he’s one of the most thought-provoking writers of all time. Of all his books, I like David versus Goliath the best.
He essentially makes two points: our disadvantages are not nearly as bad as we might think they are, and perceived power in other people is not nearly as overwhelming as we first think. He explains these two points through a set of remarkably diverse examples.
Without saying it, what I really think he is talking about is accepting our current reality and then figuring out how to leverage it into a better future. Don’t call your current situation “disadvantaged” or as “being in the power seat.” Just look at what you have, where you want to go, and what you can do to get there. And then begin to assemble your plan and move into action. The Davids of the world beat the Goliaths of the world quite frequently. Their modus operandi lies in thinking and cleverness and intentional actions and understanding their own realities as well as the realities of those they are competing against.
Two Questions for The Underdog Approach to Leadership
1. In what three ways are you at a disadvantage in the marketplace right now and how can you turn each of those disadvantages into advantages for your organization?
2. What three things can you do right now to carve out a unique competitive advantage that matters deeply to your customers and potential customers?