Competitive advantage is the advantage you have over your competitors. What makes you special and stand-out among all other candidates. In this post, we shall learn some competitive advantage lessons from the military sniper.
This great piece of words is extracted from the video of Michael I. Kaplan. Michael I. Kaplan is an entrepreneur, speaker, military veteran, and bestselling author of “The Prior-Service Entrepreneur: Veteran Entrepreneurship & Lean Business Start-Up.” Catch with the great lessons on competitive advantage you can learn from a military sniper.
Individuals and businesses are always looking for a competitive advantage that sets them apart from the crowd. You are probably looking for a competitive advantage too.
The true competitive advantage isn’t gained by a thing possessed, but by a mindset developed over time.
But here’s the question: are you looking in the right place for that competitive advantage? I’m going to share with you five lessons that I learned in military sniper school. They apply to everyone; you don’t need any unique skills or requirements to master this mindset. I will give you the sniper lesson first. Then I will give you the practical application on how to follow that up in your everyday life.
1: Snipers don’t quit when they’re tired, Snipers quit when they’re done.
Lesson 1: Driven by Mission. Strength and stamina are true competitive advantages, but true strength doesn’t come from what you can do – it comes from doing what you previously thought you couldn’t do. That type of strength doesn’t come from the body; it comes from the mind. If you’re mission-driven, you’ll run circles around people who aren’t despite their degrees and certifications. Your mission-driven mindset feeds you the energy you need to persevere, and to weather the storm and drive on despite overwhelming odds.
2: Snipers aren’t deadly because they have rifles and bullets. Snipers are lethal because they’ve learned how to weaponize math.
Lesson 2: Expertise, not Equipment. Have you ever wondered what’s going through a snipers’ mind right before he pulls the trigger? Mathematics. He’s adding and subtracting fractions, calculating geometric angles and solving time vs. distance equations. The rifle is nothing more than an extension of a snipers’ true lethality: his mind.
In today’s business world, it’s easy to misplace your focus on technology, hype, degrees and certifications as the source of competitive advantage. That is a mistake. Those things do provide knowledge, but knowledge in and of itself isn’t power. Applied knowledge is power. The true competitive advantage is found when you’re left with nothing but your mind to compete with and you win anyway.
The sniper motto is “One Shot, One Kill,” not “Spray and Pray.”
Lesson 3: Economy & Efficiency. Studies of the Vietnam War have revealed that conventional forces used 50,000 rounds of ammunition per enemy kill (for a total of $23,000 per body), versus snipers who expended 1. 3 rounds per kill (which was $0. 17 per body). The ROI snipers bring to the table is obvious.
If you’re sending out hundreds of resumes or chasing down hundreds of prospects, instead of going to your targets with a laser focus, you’ll directly benefit from this lesson. If you adopt the efficiency of the “one shot, one kill” mindset, you will have a distinct competitive advantage in the business world and everything you do. A person who can manage time, laser-focus on tasks and identify well-suited audiences for their message can accomplish infinitely more than those who don’t.
Snipers wait for the best shot, not the perfect shot.
Lesson 4: Opportunity and Timing. In sniper school, we’re trained to wait for our shot, unaffected by the environment patiently. When the target presents itself, we act: range it, dope it, scope it and pull the trigger. We’d like a perfect shot, but we know that if we hold the scope on target too long, muscle fatigue sets in and our scope begins a figure-8 wobble. When that happens, we have missed our opportunity.
In our modern culture, ideation without execution has no value, and if can act with intentionality, and make course corrections along the way, you’ll have an incredible competitive advantage over your counterparts who are suffering from “paralysis by analysis. ”
5: A sniper can change the history of the world with the right target in the crosshair.
Lesson 5: Driven by Purpose. History is full of examples of snipers having a strategic impact on world events. Dictatorial leaders have been deposed. Cartels have been disbanded, and innocent lives have been spared in hostage situations that could have resulted in mass casualties.
In contemporary society or business world, if a purpose drives you, you’re the most powerful force that exists. Margaret Mead in her statement once said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. ” One person can change the world, and there’s no reason that person can’t be you.
A sense of passion drives a purpose. If that purpose drives you if you possess it. You will have an incredible competitive advantage over those that are motivated by other factors.
A True competitive advantage whether you’re a job-seeker, business owner or corporate professional seeking to excel within your field is not a thing to be acquired. It’s a mindset that needs to be cultivated, developed and nurtured over time.
Do you want a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace? Turn your eyes away from the technology and the hype, look in the mirror instead. That’s where true competitive advantage resides, and that’s precisely where you’re going to find it.