Finding Strategic Advantage and
Establishing Corporate Significance:
A note from Dean Ledbetter
for those who care to read.
The sage philosopher, Aristotle, tells a story of how Thales of Miletus, one of the greatest minds of pre-Socratic Greece, secured his fortune and proved the worth of thought by obtaining long term leases on the olive presses in Ionia then releasing the owners of the presses of their obligation at harvest-time on the payment of a fee above the cost of the lease. In brief, Thales used his mind and minimal resources to turn a profit where there was none before.
Sun Tzu, the most highly quoted ancient Chinese General who wrote the “Art of War” almost 2500 years ago, said that it takes 20 bales of hay to move one bale to the front lines. He saw tremendous profits in consuming the resources of his defeated enemies or stealing the assets of those with which he was engaged.
In our time, ISIS is consuming the resources of the defeated Iraqi army even as I write this. “The more things change, the more they stay the same,“ according to the ancient French proverb.
Sun Tzu also famously said, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
Eli Goldratt in The Goal shows that cause and effect can offer abject systemic failure or strategic advantage.
If you can see Sun Tzu’s words in light of developing a competitive edge in your approach to contracting, then apply your mind to know your competition, know yourself, using cause and effect to establish an edge in the outcome and share its profits with your client then success will follow.
In all the work I do: workshops, consulting, and other products that I offer to this market, they focus on helping my clients see and know their market, their competition, and themselves, empowering them to use creativity in approach and strategic combinations of resources and relationships to achieve an edge and success in this very competitive federal marketing place.
Dean Ledbetter is recognized for his leadership in small business, nation wide. He is also a 32nd Degree Mason, a Knight of St. Andrew and a Member of the Mahi Mahi Shrine of Miami.
If you want to make breakfast you have to break some eggs and cook them over a source of heat. But then all you have is: breakfast.....
What you have done is expended resources for some result, in other words made an even exchange, one for one. You have achieved your objective. Good work, Kimosabe, but is that all there is to this game of business? If that is true, then there is no innate profit here.
The scribes and bean counters among us see profits only in financial measures of success. While it be true that the financial is where we gauge our success, the profit does not come from the measure but comes from an advantage in ownership, the process, the skill set, positioning, innovation, the shrewd acquisition, utilization or disposition of common resources or simple timing.
If everyone else is seeing this work as a one to one exchange then you always win by sharing your success with your client. You are empowered to do this by a strategic advantage built into your work, unique to your approach and secured by your position.
Nassim Taleb in The Black Swan, tells us that people do not normally plan for extra-ordinary events. And it is those unusual, unanticipated events that can change everything.
If some advantageous outcome is precipitated by a choice made by an architect of the work then some call this an edge, which is almost always accompanied by the element of positive surprise and elation. Elation begets enthusiasm. It is this enthusiasm that you need on the selection committee to propel your bid to the fore.
Everyone has the capacity to find or develop an edge. The limits are: creativity, wits, character or insight.
“Self-interest drives everything,” observed Eduard Gibbon, famous author of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire published in 1776.
So the new paradigm is the old paradigm which the world of big business knows so well, despite their bloated overhead, exalted marketing costs and debauched private jets.
Machiavelli and Plutarch admonish us to seek success through virtue. Find your profits and your success in the product and not in the price.
New Paradigm has been helping small business since 1983.
Member Society of American Military Engineers
Association of Government Accountants
US Chamber of Commerce 2014