How to Distinguish Yourself in a Hyper-Competitive World – 6 Powerful Lessons

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The internet has done many wonderful things, including empowering us to transcend geographical boundaries.

While finding people who matched our needs was difficult earlier, we now have an abundance of resources to help us achieve our goals.

But abundance always leads to commoditization. And the abundance of human resources is no different. Human beings have turned into commodities especially at the workplace.

Such commoditization has led to the inevitable “price wars,” where people get paid less than they would like for job roles lower than they think they deserve. Not to mention career stagnation and layoffs when the market gets tight.

The only method to win this “price war” is to stand out in a meaningful way.

Believe in Yourself has conducted roadshows to make professionals across 6 countries aware about power and potential of culture, coaching, inclusion, and future skills. It started from Bengaluru in November 2018 and came full circle on February 2020 to The Paul, Bangalore, where industry experts shared core learnings without boundaries in form of a Masterclass and
Culture Confluence. The future is about juxtaposing of both business & digital skills.


Here are 6 key takeaways.

1. Personal Branding is Key

We live in a world where people constantly perceive us and their perception matters, said Aadil Bandukwala .

This is why personal branding is essential. Not just to show what we do but also what we stand for. Done right, personal branding empowers us to engage an audience that’s looking for what we offer and collaborate with like-minded people.

Takeaway: Create interactive and engaging content. Share lessons learned and connect with people who matter. You’re your own real estate online.


2. Authentic Leadership is the New Black

Leaders whose actions don’t match their words run the risk of alienating people, according to Harlina Sodhi.

Authentic leadership – where you lead from the front – has always commanded respect. But in today’s times, it’s non-negotiable if you want to build a talent pool to help your organization stay ahead of competition.

Authenticity means knowing your why before your what and how. It means helping people in meaningful ways and proving through actions that you’re more than a paycheck and a designation. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities. Instead, lead by example by moving
ahead despite them.

Captain Raghuraman substantiated this by explaining how authentic leaders don’t just tell good stories but search for the right ones that make people connect the dots and inspire them to achieve stretch goals.

Takeaway: Never was the adage “Actions speak louder than words” truer than today. A leader must build and protect her reputation through authentic actions.


3. The Critical Skills for the Future of Work

Work no longer just puts food on the table; it’s something meaningfully engages us.

According to John C. Cherian , we need the three core skills to thrive in the workplace of the future – critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and managing people. The world has switched to an Inverted-T model, where core skills and goals help us identify and develop cross- domain soft skills.

To stay competent in the future, organizations will have to:
Reimagine human roles from a value perspective e.g. Amazon keeping customers at the center of everything it does.
Localize to engage customers e.g. Tik Tok tweaking its offerings according to geography to engage audience.
Suggest nudges to implement new strategies e.g. P&G connects employees’ performance-linked incentives to whether they meet customers.

Takeaway: What got us here will not take us where we want to go. To thrive in the future, we must develop skills the future demands.


4. Develop the Founders’ Mentality

An organization thrives when people take initiative rather than saying, “Someone should do something about it.”

Prathima A V and her team strived to imbibe such a mindset at Mphasis through an extensive training program which imbibed the “founder’s mentality” in participants. To achieve this, they followed a three-step process:

They defined what the term meant.

They assuaged people’s doubts and concerns regarding personal abilities to develop it.

They induced subtle nudges like displaying top scores and rewarding best performers with promotions, to keep participants engaged.

It’s essential for leaders to define a goal tangibly and measure expected outcomes consistently.

This is how leaders can show that they prioritize an initiative.

Takeaway: The founder’s mentality empowers individuals take charge instead of waiting for permission. It’ll also fuel actions to alleviate pains that ail society today.


5. We Still Control Machines

In the last decade, the discussion on whether technology will make humans obsolete has become increasingly loud.

A panel comprising of Shalini Nataraj , Bindu Venkatesh , Poonam Narang, Chhavi Bajaj , Neelam Ahluwalia , Avinash Nair and Amit Sharma , moderated by Dr. Vishal Shah , debated this hot subject at the Culture Confluence.

One side raised concerns about how technology was doing things better than humans. The other explained that humans still instruct machines and hence are still in control. Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov and a computer defeated experts at Go. Yet, a machine doesn’t possess the intelligence to conduct a wide variety of tasks like humans.

Takeaway: We can only wait and watch to figure out which side turns out right.


6. Millennials Want Meaning

Leaders have struggled to engage and retain talented millennials, especially since the search for talent has turned into a sort of arms race.

A panel comprising of Nikita Doshi , Radhika Mathur , Parna Bhattacharya , Ketan Krishna and Dharmesh Parmar , moderated by Sammir Inamdar, shed light on what millennials really look for.

Millennials have taken to the sharing economy like a fish to water. They have less responsibility regarding owning vehicles and homes. In turn, this has made them confident and individualistic.

They prioritize meaning, autonomy, and a direction in their career. (This aligns with a study stating people are open to a slash in in pay in exchange for more autonomy.)

Takeaway: To engage millennials, organizations must enable them to find meaning and help them discover their own answers through open-ended questions.


Summing Up

To thrive in dynamic times, we must not just break away from the herd but also remain lifelong learners and find creative and authentic ways to showcase our work.

The Believe in Yourself platform wants to create empowered communities across the globe. We want to work with leaders to create a lasting culture, ensure senior leadership alignment, and imbibe their values deeply into company’s core processes.

We aspire to pave the way for companies to build digital, agile, and authentic organizations with cultures of and for the future.

Join us on this exciting voyage to go all out and become a catalyst to “Be the Change.”

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