The Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage In Business

Self-awareness is the only “sustainable competitive advantage” in business, according to Scott Belsky, Executive Vice President at Adobe and author of The Messy Middle.

One meaning of self-awareness, according to Belsky, is “understanding your own feelings enough to recognize what bothers you.” Scott Belsky article

An interesting twist on this idea is that understanding what bothers you is an excellent way to understand what’s most important to you.

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Think about the things that really drive you crazy – those things that send you from zero to sixty instantly.  Have you got one or two?

Now consider the opposite.

Let’s say, for example, that when people take credit for others people’s work it drives you crazy; you just want to scream. That may mean that fairness, humility or gratitude are very important to you.  You can’t imagine taking credit when it’s not due.  The idea that someone else would makes your blood boil.

The things that bother us most are the things that challenge or threaten our most closely held values.  Examining the things that really drive you crazy is a great “back door” to discovering what’s important to you.