Chapter 8. Establishing Your Starting Position

In This Chapter

  • Discovering your capabilities and resources

  • Reviewing critical success factors

  • Identifying company strengths and weaknesses

  • Recognising opportunities and threats

  • Analysing your situation by using a SWOT grid

When you look into a mirror, you expect to see an image of yourself. When you listen to your voice on an answering machine, you expect to hear yourself. When you look at photos or home videos, you expect to recognise yourself. But how many times have you said

That doesn't look like me.


Is that what I really sound like?

An honest self-portrait – whether it's seeing and hearing yourself clearly or making objective statements about your own strengths and weaknesses – is tough to put together. Strengths and weaknesses have to be measured relative to the situations at hand, and a strength in one circumstance may prove to be a weakness in another. Leadership and snap decision making, for example, may serve you extremely well in an emergency. But the same temperament may be a liability when you're part of a team that's involved in delicate give-and-take negotiations.

You're going to face similar problems in seeing clearly and objectively when you take on the task of measuring your company's internal strengths and weaknesses. You may be surprised by how many businesses fail miserably at the job of objective self-analysis – companies that cling to a distorted image of the resources that they command and the capabilities that they ...

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