Advantages and great opportunities are often born out of what initially look like the least advantageous and opportunistic situations. And, business leadership is no exception to that!
The real truth is that the strongest leadership advantages are hidden. By that, we mean that they initially come across as disadvantages, but are actually hidden success tools!
That being said, we're sharing 7 hidden business leadership advantages that most business leaders initially assume are disadvantages. If you have one of these hidden advantages, then you've certainly got a leg up as a leader.
Unless you look for these 7 hidden advantages and use them as such, then you’ll likely:
- Keep spinning your wheels without getting where you want;
- Never live up to your full potential as a leader and business owner; and
- Lose out on what could be a potentially your secret weapon for success.
The hard truth about life is that, when something looks like an obvious advantage, the opposite usually tends to be true.
On the flip side, when something looks like a disadvantage, it's actually your path towards success in disguise!
7 Hidden Advantages That Give Business Leaders a Leg Up
Nothing is disadvantageous until you label it as such! Any situation you run into can play to your advantage if you choose to make it an advantage.
That being said, these 7 scenarios are usually labeled as disadvantages to business leadership, but are actually some of the greatest advantages one could have.
Are you one of the lucky leaders who has a leg up in the business world?
Think of a time in which you were a total beginner to a new situation. For example, maybe it was your first time in a new work environment. Or, maybe you went from working in human resources to starting a new business... How did you feel as a total beginner?
If you're like most people, beginnership freaks you out a bit for several reasons, including:
- You feel as if you're at the bottom of the food chain;
- You don’t know the ins-and-outs of what you're doing yet; and
- You might even feel threatened by people who have more experience.
However, what if I told you that beginnership is one of your biggest advantages, specifically when it comes to effective leadership?
The real truth is that being a total newbie to a situation, including being totally new to a leadership role, can be your biggest advantage IF you chose to let it be.
You don't need to climb the ladder, follow a specific set of rules, or copy what more experienced leaders are doing... Instead, you need to lean into your beginner-ness!
Beginners Don’t Know the Rules of the Business World
There is a set of so-called ‘rules’ and ‘etiquette’ to almost every situation. For example, if you do a basic Google search of what to say and what not to say during the job interview process, you'll find many apparently credible sources claiming that you shouldn't discuss pay at the first interview. Why? Because, according to these sources, it's taboo and poor etiquette.
However, the thing is that most of these situational ‘rules’ and so-called 'etiquette' are pure trash! They're simply social norms that exist to make people feel comfortable and cooperate with one another, yet they only end up causing problems down the road!
That being said, beginners don't know these so-called rules and norms of the business world. Because they're unaware of how they're apparently supposed to act, they just do what makes sense to them. More often than not, this puts them ahead of the curb.
As a result, they're far more likely to:
- Go knocking on doors that they might not have knocked on had they understood hierarchies;
- Seek direct paths to success rather than following unnecessarily long processes; and
- Be generally fearless!
Bottom line: Beginners don't know the rules, therefore they just go for it! On the other hand, more experienced leaders, having been in the game for so long, abide by the rules so as not to disrupt the flow of how things are apparently supposed to work.
In the end, the bold beginners beat the experienced leaders who never break the rules.
2. Not Having All the Answers & Knowing It
Do you ever find yourself freaking out because you don't have answers to the business problems in front of you? Does that make you feel like you’re at a disadvantage as a leader?
As freakish as not having all the answers can be, the truth is that not having all the answers plays to your advantage. Not only that, but some of the world’s most successful business leaders became successful as a direct result of not having all the answers.
Don't believe it?
Consider this: Co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, is regarded as one of the greatest leaders of all time. Why? Because, instead of focusing on having answers, Jobs focused on asking questions... He had a clear vision of a world empowered through technology, so he asked those around him how they could make that possible. More specifically, he had a direction he knew he wanted to head in but didn’t necessarily know how to get there, so he asked questions which eventually led to the creation of products like the iPhone.
Moreover, Jobs became successful as a direct result of not having all the answers right off the bat!
Instead of having answers, he had a vision and questions regarding how to turn the vision into reality. If Jobs thought he knew everything there was to know right off the bat, then we likely wouldn't have the smartphones we have today!
The next time you feel overwhelmed not knowing how to solve every problem in front of you, remember that if you learn how to ask the right questions, that not having all the answers can be your greatest advantage.
Effective Leaders Ask More Questions
Effective business leaders ask more questions instead of giving more answers. Knowing that you don't know all the answers can literally turn you into a better leader of a more successful business!
When you know that you don't know it all, you surround yourself with better people who you can ask questions to. Then, with more strong minds in one place, you ultimately manifest your business visions.
Great leaders don't know it all and they know it! As a result, they simply ask more questions to manifest the businesses of their dreams.
Not Having Answers Forces You to Test New Ideas
When you know that you don't have all the answers, you put yourself in a constant state of evolution. By that, we mean that you're always seeking new ways to improve and build upon what you've already created.
On the other hand, leaders who think that they've got all the answers right off the bat get stuck in their ways.
Think of it like this... If Steve Jobs believed that his first version of the iPhone was the absolute answer, then we'd all still be carrying around what look like walkie talkies in our pockets!
Not having all the answers = adaptability = ready to try newer and better ideas at all times = you win!
3.Potential Customers Who Think They Don’t Need You
If you're like many business leaders, then achieving solid, consistent sales growth is a regular struggle for you and your team members.
In your mind, you believe that you struggle to close deals because:
- Your customers can't afford you
- Your customers already have someone who does what you do
- It's not the right 'timing'
Moreover, you believe that the reason why you struggle to close sales deals is because your potential customers don’t need or want you. And, of course, you see this as a disadvantage.
But, what if I told you that the fact that you have a lot of potential customers out there who don't think that they need you and your deliverable is your greatest advantage?
YES. When it comes down to it... If potential customers in your target market don't think that they need you, then you hold a major advantage!
You’re the One on Offense
So, what makes having potential customers who think that they don't need you and your deliverable so advantageous?
It comes down to a few factors, including:
- You get to control the entire sales process;
- You're the one asking questions instead of being questioned; and
- You get to show off the fact that you're an expert who knows the real truth!
When potential customers think they don't need you, all the power falls into your hands. Suddenly, you're on offense rather than defense!
On the flip side, if your potential customers think that they need you and your solution, then power falls into their hands. All of a sudden, they're questioning you, comparing you against your competition, and treating you like a vendor.
Think of it like this: Nobody ever knew that they needed an iPhone until Steve Jobs made it clear to people that they needed them. Up until that point, most people were content without a smartphone, and Jobs used that to his advantage.
Having potential customers who think that they don't need you is a straight shot towards sales growth, overall business growth, and strong leadership.
4. High-Running Emotions
How many times have you had somebody say something to you along the lines of, 'You need to learn how to manage your emotions' or, 'You need to learn how to stop being so afraid', or worst of all, 'Stop being so emotional, or you'll never succeed!'?
If you're like most leaders, then you've certainly heard those things before.
However, what if I told you that being a highly emotional person can work to your advantage IF you chose to harness the power of your emotions?
The real truth is that being highly emotional is only a bad thing if you let your emotions go unchecked. It certainly takes a considerable amount of self-awareness to keep your emotions in check, but if you can do it, then you have an advantage over leaders who are less emotional.
Once you do develop an awareness of your emotions, you can use them as energy to keep you motivated throughout your business journey.
Don't fall for the line that having high-running emotions is disadvantageous. As long as you’re aware of your emotions and direct them into the right channels, then they will work to your advantage.
Emotions are Simply Energy
Don't get it twisted: Emotions are simply energy created by the thoughts you think. And, there is nothing inherently bad about energy.
For example, if you think negative thoughts about yourself such as 'I don't have enough business leadership skills to be a strong leader', then you'll inevitably feel negative emotions such as fear, sadness, and anxiety.
That being said, true emotional intelligence is understanding that emotions are purely energy, and while you shouldn't let emotions run your life, you also shouldn't try to crush or get rid of them.
Instead of trying to crush your emotions (which is ultimately impossible because they're a product of human nature), put your emotions into the correct channels in order to use them to your advantage.
The Best Entrepreneurs Use Every Emotion to Their Advantage
Instead of trying to put a lid on their emotions, successful leaders use each emotion to their advantage.
The way that they do that is by practicing energy transmutation!
Energy transmutation is the act of turning one form of energy into another.
The next time you start to feel negative emotions or energy come on, such as fear, transform it into positive energy such as adrenaline or excitement. By doing so, those high-running emotions will start to work for you instead of against you.
Instead of being the type of leader who does everything to keep their emotions at bay, it's more advantageous to you to learn how to make your emotions work for you.
Bottom line: Being highly emotional is only a disadvantage if you let your emotions run you. But, being emotional can almost instantly turn into an advantage if you learn how to transmute negative emotions into positive energy.
Are you one of the many CEOs out there who just can't stop procrastinating on major business tasks?
If so, instead of trying to completely get rid of your procrastination tendencies, learn how to channel procrastination to use it as a benefit at appropriate times!
Believe it or not, but if you're a perpetual procrastinator, you should use that trait to your advantage instead of trying to quit it altogether.
Now, that isn't to say that you should let procrastination totally overwhelm you, but it is to say that you don't need to completely kick procrastination to the curb. Because, the truth is that procrastination can lead to the development of solid business and leadership qualities.
Here's how to turn your procrastination tendencies into a business leadership advantage:
Procrastination Fosters Creativity
How many times have you sat down at your desk with the intention of checking an important box, such as developing your business strategy? Then, the moment you sit down at your completely sterilized desk, your mind goes blank... All of your great ideas seem to have disappeared. Since you're not getting anything done, you decide to procrastinate a bit and go for a walk. Then, after only taking a few steps outside, all of the great ideas start popping back into your head!
The truth is that procrastination fosters creativity. When you allow yourself some time to procrastinate, the genius ideas of your subconscious all of a sudden start popping up!
In fact, procrastination doesn't just foster creativity, but it can also lead to the development of:
- A more authentic leadership style;
- Better problem-solving skills; and
- Sharper decision-making.
When kept in check, procrastination can help you overcome some of your greatest leadership challenges!
6. Having ‘Enemies’
Okay, okay... So maybe you don't have business enemies who are deliberately trying to take you and your company down, but you probably do have strong competition in your industry!
Having solid competitors can play to your advantage IF you know how to make use of the shots they take.
In fact, having competitors is often more advantageous than having mentors or even business partners for two key reasons, including:
- Competitors will happily point out your business flaws for free; and
- Competitors can show you who you don't want to be.
First off, if you listen closely, competitors will happily point out everything that's wrong with your business for free!
For example, let's say that you're in an industry with stiff competition. While you're extremely focused on the success of your own business, you can't help but listen to how competitors are ripping on your company in order to boost themselves up. In some cases, they might just be talking smack, but in other cases they might be pointing out obvious flaws in your business that you didn’t spot yourself!
Moreover, if you listen closely to their criticism, your competitors will help point out obvious flaws in your own business! Then, you can apply their solid points to take your company to the next level.
Second, your 'how' is just as important as your 'what'. But that, we mean that how you deliver your product or service is almost as important as the product or service itself.
That being said, honing in on your delivery or 'how' in such a way that differentiates you from your competitors can be your biggest advantage. While everyone else is veering right, you can veer left in order to have a clear differentiator.
At the end of the day, you can allow stiff competition to take you down or lift you up. Which will it be?
7. Having Experienced Many Failures Before
Thomas Edison took out more than 1,000 patents for new inventions in his lifetime. Yet, most of us only know him for his few key contributions to society, including developments to electricity, telephony, and sound recording.
Can you imagine having invented thousands of new products only to be remembered for a small handful of them?
If Edison was still alive today, perhaps he'd be a little salty about only being remembered for a minute fraction of his inventions.
However, the fact that Edison experienced so many invention failures and had to try out countless ideas before getting a hit is perhaps his greatest leadership advantage. And, it can be your greatest advantage too (even if you haven’t filed for 1,000 different patents before)!
Edison isn’t the only leader who has failed epically so many times before… Leonardo Da Vinci is said to have painted thousands of portraits in his lifetime, yet only about 20 works of art became hits. Had he not failed so many times before, perhaps those 20 hits wouldn’t have ever happened!
At the end of the day, experiencing epic failures can foster the kind of leadership development that can only be learned through direct experience.
There are only two types of business leaders in the world... The first group includes those who get worse from their failures, and the second group includes those who only get better from failure.
Whichever group you fall into is 100% in your control.
Failure Can Be the World’s Greatest Teacher
There are only two ways to learn in the world, including:
- By making your own mistakes
- By learning from other people's mistakes
While learning from other people's mistakes is almost always your best bet, making your own mistakes takes learning to a whole new level.
Not only does being forced to deal with your own failures teach you about what does and doesn't work, but it helps refine the mental toughness required to be an effective leader.
Remember, whether or not you choose to become better from your mistakes is totally up to you. Failure can be your best teacher or worst enemy, and it's up to you to decide which it'll be.
Final Thoughts on Hidden Advantages In Business Leadership
Remember, nothing is a disadvantage until you choose to label it as such!
That being said, don't let what could be an amazing opportunity slip right past you, including the 7 hidden business leadership advantages above.
You're the only one who can take yourself from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. How much longer will you wait to become the leader you know that you're capable of becoming?
You May Also Like
These Related Articles