Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Your competitive advantage

There's a significant advantage that you shouldn't overlook. In whatever you care about, how likely is it that other people are thinking about it as much as you are?

Your advantage is your ability to think through every scenario, every defensive response, every potential roadblock. You can figure out the solution to every one of those items before you ever begin the discussion. There's the magic.

In "Freakonomics," Levitt and Dubner use the term "Information Asymmetry." It's when a professional has access to information you don't have. Whether intentional or not, they can use the imbalance of knowledge to their advantage to get the better of a deal.

You can create an asymmetry with your passion, too. It's an easy and available way to drive your agenda. Let's call it a "planning asymmetry." Your recipient is thinking about the eight phone calls they've got to return, the conversation they've got to have with an unresponsive employee and what they're going to have for dinner. You, on the other hand, are looking for agreement on one thing, and you've spent eight, twenty or two hunred hours thinking about how to get from here to there.

Really, who's got all the power?

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