Are you making the most of your expertise and hard work?
You have invested time, effort and money to get to where you are now.
You’re in the game.
But qualifications, knowledge and experience mean nothing in isolation – it’s what you do with them that counts.
To make the most of your expertise and achieve the kind of exceptional results that set you apart from the competition, you need edge.
The 7 edge attributes that drive success
The first attribute of edge is getting stuff done in the most efficient way – working smart.
You know how much more productive you can be on a good day – imagine how much you could achieve if every day was a good day.
This requires you to have robust plans and systems, effective habits and checklists and a productive mindset that ends procrastination and increases resilience.
Now some people are naturally organized and get a kick out of planning their lives. But like the other attributes I’ll share with you, the ability to work smart is not some innate, you either have it or you don’t, quality. Even a clinically untidy supposedly lost-cause such as myself can learn to work smart.
The second attribute, Personal Insight, has 2 dimensions. Firstly, you. How you perform depends on how you think – and yet so much of what happens in our brains is unconscious and automatic. If you understand your own emotional triggers, personality and cognitive biases, you can press pause and interrupt these hidden thought patterns. Then, not only will you make better decisions, you will become more flexible; the best version of you for each situation.
The second dimension of Personal Insight is understanding others so that you can build better relationships – which leads to more cooperation, support and effort from others on your behalf.
You’ll achieve a lot more with others on your side than you can on your own.
From time-to-time, you may need to be persuasive – the best ideas do not always win and whether you are selling your services, negotiating with a supplier or asking a colleague for help on a project, the ability to influence others is an essential attribute in achieving results. It requires more than simply building a cast-iron logical case for your proposal – how many times have you been ‘right’ in a discussion and yet no amount of facts or data can sway the other person to see things your way. Effective influencers work on multiple levels and turn doubters into committed advocates. And, if they can’t, they know how to negotiate to get the best deal.
And so, on to the fourth edge attribute: Financial Savvy. If you don’t fully understand the impact of your actions on profits, cash flow and return on investment, then how can you make good decisions that add value? Additionally, your proposals are more likely to be approved if they include a robust business case and a financial what-if analysis. If you are not financially savvy, then you are excluding yourself from the discussions that matter; discussions that may shape your business or career.
Being financially savvy is relevant to the next edge attribute: Personal Brand. Wouldn’t it be great if people could see all the fantastic work you do, the challenges you overcome, the effort you put in … but they don’t. They are too busy doing their own stuff. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t make judgements about you, sweeping judgements about your attitude, expertise or flexibility based on how you behaved in a meeting. It’s not fair but there’s a good chance that you’re just as guilty as I am of putting people in boxes.
Managing your personal brand means acknowledging this is the way the world works and taking responsibility for the perception that you create in others’ minds. It doesn’t mean being false or fake – it’s about helping people to jump to the right judgements about you – because those snap evaluations can have significant outcomes, such as winning a contract or being selected for a major project. It’s why I said that financial savvy is relevant; irrespective of the intrinsic value of making good decisions, being financially savvy is a signal that you are a serious business professional.
You can be a leader whether you’re a manager, a technical professional or a new hire; being a leader is a mindset, a set of skills, not a position.
“What we care about is, when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead.”
Laszlo Bock, Google
Good leadership engenders creativity, initiative and resourcefulness. It motivates, enthuses and energises staff. It increases efficiency, self-reliance and teamwork.
It’s win-win-win. You achieve the kind of exceptional results that get you noticed, individuals working with you thrive and the organisation prospers.
And if you’re concerned that you’re not a ‘born leader’, you may be interested in the words of Professor Warren Bennis:
“The most dangerous leadership myth is that … people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true.
Leaders are made rather than born.”
The final edge attribute is Networking. If that’s a word that fills you with dread, fear not; you can be an effective networker without having to resort to forced, superficial conversations with people you normally cross the road to avoid. And there are lots of reasons you should network: your network contacts connect you with opportunities, influence people on your behalf, keep you informed and provide feedback, encouragement and advice. My biggest professional regret is underestimating the value of a network – don’t make the same mistake.
In a turbulent, winner-takes-all, competitive world, these 7 attributes set you apart and give you the edge to achieve exceptional results.
And the most effective way to develop edge is: The Edge Program.
Why the Edge Program is so effective
I realise that you’re busy and that if you’re going to invest time and money in a course, it must be practical and yield tangible, real-world results. In the video below, I’ll share with you how I developed The Edge Program and why I believe it is the most effective approach to developing the attributes that will drive your career success.
The Edge Program continues to be developed as research uncovers new approaches to achieving success and your fellow subscribers add their own experiences and insights in the Edge Community.
Before developing and delivering training programs, I was marketing manager for one of the Top 40 companies in the UK, overseeing a marketing team and a multi-million pound budget. Earlier in my career, I was a director of a consulting firm and established my own company marketing interior accessories to major retailers.
My training work has included developing and delivering programs for these companies amongst others:
My longest association has been with Ericsson, a Forbes’ Top 100 Digital Company, employing more than 100,000 people. I have been an accredited facilitator on the Ericsson global leadership program for over 20 years, designing and developing several iterations of the program.
I have an MBA from the London University and a degree in law from Oxford University.
“Paul Taylor has been a global consultant of Ericsson since the late 1990s. In the last six years, Paul and I have worked very closely together in designing and implementing at least three of our most sought-after global leadership programs. Under immense challenges of time and cost constraints, with Paul’s active involvement, we were able to design and roll-out world class programs, all on Blended Learning Methodology. Specifically, we combined use of self-produced e-learning and video material, virtual group discussions, face-face workshop and coaching.
From my perspective, Paul is a unique blend of business, human and technology expertise which he utilizes and puts together. He is creative, using this to find various learning approaches to learning objectives. The programs Paul has worked on and conducted have been well received. Participants find them business and work relevant, very useful and applicable at work.”
Joselito Rivera, former Head of Global Leadership Development, Ericsson
The Edge Program
Once you have subscribed, you will access content through our online learning portal, where you will find:
- around 50 hours of video
- questionnaires, including an option to get feedback from others about yourself (companies charge hundreds of dollars for this as a standalone service)
- regular interactive webinars – and you get to say what topics are covered
- step-by-step guides to help you achieve personal and business success
I know from experience that most people, faced with this level of content, would be overwhelmed and that, despite their best intentions, they would stop. And understandably; once you are out of full-time education, there’s a lot of other stuff that you need to attend to. That’s why I have structured the program into monthly bite-sized chunks, including activities that help you to apply your learning to your own work.
There will be about an hour of content each week together with recommended activities. Thus, in month 1, I will help you to:
- build an action map (plan) to achieve your vision – this will be a red thread that connects everything you do in the program – the focus is always your success
- develop effective habits and checklists
- cultivate a success mindset
This is not a passive program; to get the most from it you will need to invest some time and effort in experimenting and applying your learning. But I will be there with you every step of the way.
You’re in Control
Whether you are a night-owl or an early-bird, you can access the program materials at any time that is convenient for you and on any device with an internet connection. There’s no software or add-ins to install and our system will track your progress, allowing you to re-start where you left off. You can go at your own pace, analysing and reflecting on the content. When appropriate you can experiment with your new skills, then analyse and reflect again. This is what brings about real personal growth.
Even so, in a program with so much content – and with so much else going on in your life – retaining and using what you have learned is challenging. That’s why we use a proven approach called ‘spaced repetition and recall’. As you go through the program, we will remind you of content from earlier in the course – several times! We will continue to remind you even after you have completed the program.
And, all your insights, goals, habits, actions, networking ideas etc will be captured in the action map you begin in month one.
The Edge Program is Unique
I could have split The Edge Program into 7 separate courses but it didn’t make sense to me because all the attributes are connected and support each other: understanding your inner drivers is crucial to your productivity, emotional awareness is integral to building relationships and influencing people, a strong personal brand will boost your networking activities, financial savvy will ensure that your plans are realistic and all the attributes are essential to be a good leader.
The Edge Program equips you with everything you need to achieve business success: personal insight, effective decision-making, emotional intelligence, action plans, efficient processes, habits and checklists, a strong personal brand, a networking system, persuasion skills and financial savvy.
There is no program like it.
A Peek Inside The Edge Program
The video below gives a quick overview of how you will access program content.
Action Groups and Community (Optional)
If you wish, you can join an Action Group. This is a small group of fellow members – business people who are, just like you, committed to success. Each Action Group has its own private forum featuring threaded discussions, messaging and alerts – all the stuff you get with Facebook and LinkedIn groups but with the added focus that the program content provides (and without the trolls and the constant stream of connection requests from spammers). You will get to know your fellow members and the Action Group will be a place to share ideas, get advice and new perspectives, give feedback and discuss program content. And, if you need an occasional dose of accountability, share your plans with the group and they’ll give you the prod you need, when you need it.
Your Action Group could be a key part of converting your learning into action and career success. But if you really want to learn ‘solo’, that’s not a problem – joining an action group is your choice to make.
In addition to your private Action Group, you will also be able to interact with the entire Edge Community in the Edge Network. Here you will benefit from the perspectives of business people from many different sectors, types of organisation and, because this is a global program, countries. You will be able to seek advice, feedback, ideas and recommendations for products and services – and share your thoughts too.
A RESEARCH-BASED, PRACTICAL APPROACH
There are thousands of sites offering you quick fixes and shortcuts for everything from procrastination through to fear of public speaking. Article after article churned out with titles like ‘5 tips to make you more productive’. They are click-bait, written to make something challenging seem easy: ‘Look, you only need to do 5 things’. We read them and then do nothing because life is complex.
They promise to reveal the ‘secret formula that will skyrocket your your career’.
Except they don’t, because it doesn’t exist.
You can’t simply copy the approach of a successful person because the world is complex and your situation is different, it is unique. Your situation may look similar but any one of hundreds of factors could tip the balance between success and failure: personality, connections, financial resources, competitors, customers, economic conditions, culture … And, what’s more, blindly following in the steps of a person that achieved success in the past in a world that is changing so quickly would appear to be a shortcut to disaster.
So, I don’t make wild promises of a cookie-cutter, universal blueprint for success; there’s no such thing. Instead, I combine the latest scientific findings from areas such as neuroscience and psychology with tried-and-tested approaches that that I have learned from my work as a consultant, trainer and coach with business people in many different sectors.
The purpose of The Edge Program is to give you the insights and tools to plot your individual route to success, based on your unique situation.
The Edge Program In Detail
I have given a brief outline of the content in The Edge Program above; if you would like more detail on each specific area, click on the images below (content will open in a new tab).
The potential rewards from developing the 7 edge attributes are enormous. For many, the headline benefit will be increased earnings as your exceptional results pave the way for promotion and open up new opportunities. The payback on your Edge Program investment will be quick and the benefits will multiply year after year.
And the rewards are not only financial. You will have:
- better professional relationships
- more autonomy to do things your way
- personal satisfaction from achieving more
- the respect of your colleagues
- greater flexibility to adapt to the new ways of working that technology will bring
- a network that provides support and access to opportunities
And, since The Edge Program is ultimately about personal growth, you will feel the fulfillment of becoming the best version of you.
With so much value, you’re probably wondering: “What’s the catch?”
And I can understand that concern because other programs with a fraction of our content are being marketed at prices many times higher. There are 3 reasons for this low price:
- Rather than spending £000s on marketing trying to find 100 people who can afford a subscription of £300 a month, we prefer to have a 1,000 members paying £30 (who then tell their friends …). It may involve more work for us but it means we have an active community full of diverse ideas, perspectives, experiences and tips. And that means we enjoy our work more and you get even more benefit.
- We are passionate about helping people to develop their edge and we don’t want price to be an issue for anyone.
- We’re a lean, mean machine. We invested in technology to reduce our running costs and we can pass our cost-efficiencies on to you.
The Edge Program Launch
The Edge Program will be launching very shortly
the monthly subscription is £30
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I believe that the 7 attributes of edge are relevant in every business context.
In my own career I have worked as a manager in a FTSE-100 company, been a director of my own companies and operated as a freelance consultant. I would certainly have benefited from edge in each of these roles. For me, it's a case of 'If only ...', but it doesn't have to be for you - if you take action!
I have spoken generally about the benefits of The Edge Program but it may be useful to think of edge as it relates to: (click on title to open)
I was a marketing manager for several years and I see 3 big, non-marketing, challenges for marketers:
- You can be perceived by others in your organization as being ‘lightweight‘. In their eyes, you lack technical expertise and don’t understand the obstacles they have to overcome to deliver the product. This can lead to all sides adopting a ‘them-and-us’ mentality. However, an effective marketer, with People Insight, is adept at building relationships and support throughout the organization. They know how to adapt their influencing approaches to different individuals and build networks. As a result, instead of friction, their plans are greeted with enthusiasm and implemented smoothly.
- To those in other departments, marketing, in the words of Sir George Bull,
“bears all the hallmarks of abstract art – it costs an arm and a leg, it bears only a passing resemblance to real life and you’re never quite sure what you’ve got at the end of it all”
Likes, click-throughs and brand recognition mean little to non-marketers; “Show me the money!” is their thinking. If you want to command respect and get your marketing plans approved, you need to have Financial Savvy. This means undertaking sensitivity (‘what-if’) analysis and showing how financial results (profit, cash flow, ROI) are affected by different variables. And by using value management principles (“God’s gift to marketing” according to Professor Peter Doyle), you can justify investments that have longer-term pay-offs (eg brand).
Marketing is what connects a business to its customers – and without customers there is no business. So marketers with financial savvy, and a strong personal brand, are outstanding candidates for roles in senior management.
- The third challenge for marketers is getting stuff done. Modern marketing is complex. Many different elements need to be drawn together, and timing is critical. The Maximum Productivity module in The Edge Program will help you to develop efficient processes and effective habits. And, since marketing is a team game, the ability to lead others is essential.
Your expertise is critical to the business; it’s part of what your company sells or it provides essential services that enables the business to operate efficiently.
‘Technical’ encompasses roles in IT (from data analysis and coding through to networks and hardware), engineering (in all its forms) and any other role where people outside your field have no idea what you do.
This lack of understanding makes people nervous – and that’s not good because their decisions can affect which projects get funded, the resources (people, equipment, premises) available to you and your freedom to choose how you work. Because your work is a mystery to them, they place a premium on relationships and trust. Having People Insight (understanding emotions, cognitive biases and inner drivers) will enable you to develop the relationships you need beyond your department.
And the positive relationships you develop with your regular work colleagues, supported by the effective working practices you learn in the Maximum Productivity module, will increase both the quality and quantity of your output.
Even with good relationships, sometimes you need to be persuasive to get your ideas approved. Given that humans are hard-wired to be emotional first and rational second (even engineers!), presenting only technical arguments reduces your chances of success. When you speak to your audience’s inner drivers and combine your technical analysis with a strong financial business case, then you’re more likely to achieve a positive outcome.
As your career progresses and you become responsible for the work of others, the leadership skills you learn on The Edge Program will help you to build a motivated, high-performing team.
And, with a strong personal brand and good connections, your opportunities will multiply.
Do you ever feel misunderstood?
Working in finance, you’re well-placed to make the move into senior management. After all, you can see the end-results of everyone’s actions. But to take the next steps, you need more than financial expertise.
Some will be happy to define you as a mere ‘bean-counter’. It’s an easy, lazy, bit of name-calling that helps to ease the frustration that they sometimes feel because of the constraints that accountants impose.
But what if you were to be seen as a trusted adviser rather than an adversary. By combining your financial expertise with positive relationships, persuasive communication skills and efficient processes, you would be seen as a natural and popular candidate for higher positions.
And when you add leadership skills, a strong personal brand and a supportive network, you will be unstoppable!