Self-Awareness, Authenticity, and Reality

Building a successful company is predicated on a variety of elements, with the recipe for success continually changing. In every industry, there are numerous components and unique workings that must come together to achieve a positive outcome and deliver maximum value to customers. While each industry is different and the tides of markets are always changing, there are certain elements that must always be present to win.

These fundamental elements allow companies to maintain a grounded approach toward leveraging their core competence, while simultaneously putting priority on dynamic activities that will set their operation apart. This ultimately delivers bottom-line results.

Unfortunately, this often gets lost because of competing agendas and alternative areas of focus. Though it is critical to maintain a zest for being cutting edge, and it can be important to continue developing new products and services that have the potential to generate revenue, the importance of balancing priority between who you are and how you will develop moving forward cannot be overstated. You must balance leveraging the competitive advantage you have with the disruptive changes that are taking place in your industry and market.

To maintain this balance, the three elements every company must have are: self-awareness, authenticity, and reality.

Self-awareness is knowing who you are, what sets your business apart from the competition, where you are vulnerable, and the best way to maximize profits. It enables companies (and people) to have a balanced perspective of what the organization can expect to achieve without losing focus on what is important. By maintaining self-awareness, companies are able to place prominence on products and services that create value and avoid business ideas that lack practicality or fail to fall in line with what sets them apart. This enables companies to be mindful of boundaries while simultaneously enabling them to develop.

Authenticity shapes the way companies manage their business. The willingness to accept that industries are changing and products and services are evolving provide authentic companies the opportunity to align themselves with the changes that are taking place around them.

They understand the importance of accepting the ebbs and flows of their industry and the need to remain fluid and agile. Conversely, companies that lack authenticity live in their own fantasy world and make the rules up as they go. Rather than admitting there is a need for change, they instinctively lie to themselves by using ill-advised data and faulty research that have been created to blur lines and sway opinions. Those that maintain authenticity understand that business is constantly changing and the ability to stay the same (and still win) is absurd. Those who fail to grasp this concept hold onto yesterday’s glory, while believing it will bring tomorrow’s success.

Reality comprises the willingness to accept that there is an inherent need to adapt, evolve, and improve. Companies that maintain a strong sense of reality embrace strengths, acknowledge weaknesses, and place emphasis on discovering how they can beat the competition while building on what has enabled them to succeed in the first place. It is reality that helps companies know in which direction to move.

By maintaining self-awareness, authenticity, and reality, you are able to remain in alignment with your core competency and set yourself up for future success. This eliminates the risk of straying away from your competitive advantage, placing importance on activities that lack true value, and accepting the belief that you can remain the same and flourish. You can instead focus on what is most important to consumers while remaining true to yourself. This ensures you will make appropriate changes at the proper time, enabling you to maintain your competitive edge.

Universal Studios figured this out with Jurassic Park; dinosaurs eating people causes millions of moviegoers to flock to the theaters. It puts butts in seats and makes the company an average of $1 billion in revenue each time a film hits the screen. By maintaining self-awareness, authenticity, and reality, Universal Studios is able to capitalize on the interest of their customer base while leveraging their talents. And though they venture oft' into new genres, explore innovative ways to meet the demands of customers, and improve their products and services through technological advances, in the end, they maintain focus on what is most important to their customer base and what will enable them to maximize their return on investment.

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