Edge: Turning Adversity Into Advantage – Laura Huang

Edge: Turning Adversity Into Advantage – Laura Huang

Laura Huang, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, shares her views on developing a competitive edge. The main theme of the book is that hard work on its own is not enough, and I definitely agree with Laura’s conclusions..


Her four cornerstones for success revolve around the “edge” acronym

  1. Enrich – demonstrating and knowing the value we bring and have others believe that we provide value. You have to convince others that you bring value to the table.
  2. Delight – how do you delight your customer? There is opportunity in how we show others our value…the ability to make others stop and take notice. She gave the example of the first time someone went in an Uber: “We just stopped and said ‘this is a real cool concept.’”
  3. Guide – you have to guide that interaction. Guiding and redirecting people’s perception of you is important.
  4. Effort – hard work is the final element, but is also a product of the other elements. When you do the first three elements, it magnifies the results of your efforts.


My five main takeaways are below

  1. Supercharge your effort by developing skills that will allow you to better deliver your message. Laura cites Abraham Lincoln in her book. “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I would take six hours to sharpen the axe.”
  2. Work on things that can augment your natural skillset.  Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, said, “I’m no genius but I am smart in spots and I stay around those spots.” Where you have an edge on your competition, determine how you can best build out that sweet spot. World renowned American investor and businessman Charlie Munger shares this view, “Figure out your aptitudes. If you play games where other people have the aptitudes and you don’t, you are going to lose.”
  3. Focus on the opportunity and not the constraints. When a problem comes your way, get up, get out, and get thinking. Also, stay active when searching for ideas and get outside your normal workspace. Many aha! moments will come while in the shower or while taking a walk. Give yourself space and time to think big.
  4. Don’t follow the money, follow the worth. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle,” according to Steve Jobs. It doesn’t feel like work when you are truly passionate about something.

It’s not where you have been. It is where you are going. This expands on a point I read in Steve Moawad’s Book It Takes What It Takes. Moawad champions the power of neutral thinking.  Your past is real, but it is not predictive. It is what you do next that matters. Neutral thinking is going straight to the truth and laying out your best course of action going forward.


Author Bio
Lorne Marr
Lorne Marr

My passion for fitness began in 1981, when my father, Larry Marr, bought me my first Weider weight set.

Hearing the clanking of those weights and, more importantly, wanting to get buff to impress my buddies, created an obsession that has lasted a lifetime.  Staying active and following a health minded diet and lifestyle has allowed me to live a more productive, happier and overall better quality of life.

There have been some hurdles along the way.  When I hit 45 injuries starting piling up and made working out and playing sports more challenging. So I took a step back and reexamine my training and diet. I reached out to a host of experts within my Fitness community on how to maximize performance and optimize my health and hence the genius of FitAfter45.
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