“Everyone is tested by life,but only a few extract strength and wisdom from their most trying
experiences. They’re the ones we call leaders.”
Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas
The above quote from the Harvard Business Review Sep 2002 article leads me to call the ‘wisdom’ as a competitive advantage.
Let me bring in a few other classical reference frames from religious texts.
Quoted from Sanskrit Hindu literature “God’s songs’ circa 1st century AD: Whenever the balance is broken, restoring force springs forth.
Story of Gideon from the Bible, circa BC 1100 : ‘Gideon rises from the ranks and file of Israelites and takes charge as their leader. He and his modest motley band of warriors annihilate 120,000 enemies in no time.
To use a principle from finance, perfect competition marks a certain stasis and results in very low returns. Incentives for doing business disappear, until – this one is important – someone comes up with a competitive advantage in terms of technology or cost savings. The competitive advantage sets up a monopolistic condition that generates what is termed as ‘abnormal profits’, which are what people actually want!
I am trying to draw a parallel for the above phenomenon in sociology: whenever stasis becomes too boring or protracted, abnormal things happen and challenge the status quo. New balances will be restored in hitherto unimaginable ways. However, significant changes will have happened in the process. The protagonists in leading such changes have an intellectual competitive advantage.
I think this is becoming way too serious matter! Let me leave the theorizing here. Actually I am trying to simply say that leaders emerge from most unexpected quarters with novel ways of solving vexing issues. These leaders emerge in every situation, big or small.