jen spencer coaches

competitive edge

I love clever solution finding.  When you are in the business of helping people move forward, you have these golden moments when you realize a stroke of simplicity is actually a stroke of genius.

A problem that seemed dramatic, impossible, and even unsolvable becomes a win through Competitive Edge.

Possessing Competitive Edge requires a strong desire to succeed, unexpected approaches, and the ability to create solutions beyond your first failed attempts.

Competitive Edge allows for you to move past roadblocks.

Nike courted the World Cup to be its sponsor, but the World Cup turned them down and kept their loyalty to Adidas.

Nike wanted to play.  So they did just that.  Most of the people who read this newsletter have seen the Write The Future spot.  And for those who haven’t, it captures the sport in an authentic way and has the production quality of a TV commercial even though it was made for the web. Such investments are rarely made for the web. And, it was expensive, very expensive.

Yet it’s more than paid itself off with 19 million+ views thus far.

They turned a sponsorship “no” into a guerilla marketing effort.

Competitive Edge is strategic.

A company had a snarky blogger trashing their product on a well-read blog. After weeks of pain and annoyance, they reached out to them and started feeding the writer stories as though they were a legitimate reporter.

Now the blogger let’s them give quotes and on-the-record corrections before posting about their company.

They turned a pain-in-the-ass into an advocate by changing their approach.

Competitive Edge allows for you to get what you want.

I’ve heard a story about Steve Jobs during the original “Think Different” branding campaign. On short notice, he decided he wanted ads on the back covers of every major magazine. The media team told him he couldn’t get the back covers until 2 months into the campaign.

Not good enough.

Jobs countered,  “Then get me the front covers.”

And that’s exactly what happened.  Through PR, Apple made the front cover of every single magazine he wanted.

A PR effort achieved what a media buy attempt couldn’t.

So how do you turn a “no” into a yes?  How can you jump above that hurdle?

Ask yourself what you really want.

Don’t stay attached to any one answer.  Attachment can kill possibility.  Use your network.  Ask others who don’t do what you do. Go outside the box.  Figure out what thinking, actions and changes you need to make to make it happen.

Recognize areas needing necessary improvements.
Pinpoint your biggest obstacles.

Are there problem employees who you can turn into your champions? Are there areas your company is lagging behind in? Can you throw further resources into those areas that would allow you to leap frog over your competition?  Or are there problem areas sucking more time than they are worth, and it’s time to cut your losses?

Take Action.
Move forward.  Now.

This isn’t about waiting for others to “get it” or for the timing to be perfect.  To borrow from Nike, this is about writing your own future.  Today.

Through this reflection and action, you might find that the path you are on isn’t the one that’s going to get you to the next level. The great news is that there’s no better time than the present to change that.

As always, I’m here to help.

Your Wing Woman,


Getting Unstuck
Professional Destiny

1 Comment so far
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LOVE IT! Perfect timing, Jen, as always…Just in the last week, I’ve had lunch or meetings with 5-6 different people (past clients, present vendors, future clients, my staff, etc). The fascinating thing is, each one fed on eachother…meaning, I found that I was intuitively connecting each of them together, serving each of *their* needs/challenges thru my contacts and in turn, helping my own company find solutions for our own needs/challenges. It’s that whole “never eat lunch alone” concept, that I’m just now starting to grok. Problem solving by tackling it from a completely different angle and approach…gaining that edge in a new and refreshing way. AWESOME.

Comment by Mary Baird-Wilcock

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