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Play tough when you need to

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Being soft-spoken doesn’t mean you don’t trot out Mr. Hardball when it counts.

Hardball players:
  • Focus relentlessly on competitive advantage. Find something tangible you have that others don’t. And make it something that will remain an advantage tomorrow.
  • Strive to convert competitive advantage into decisive advantage. That puts you out of your closest competitors’ reach. Other players will just have to pick up and go home, and the best will want to join your team. Overwhelm the opposition with your strength.
  • Employ the indirect attack. Go for your opponents’ weak spots,using the element of surprise to hit them where they least expect it.
  • Exploit their people’s will to win. The good people you’ve hired or inherited are probably more action- oriented and impatient than you think. Exhort them never to fall into complacency.
— Adapted from Hardball: Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win? George Stalk and Rob Lachenauer, Harvard Business School Press

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