7Building Your One-Upness

God fights on the side with the best artillery.

—Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon knew a thing or two about being One-Up: His battle record was fifty wins and seven losses. Your insights comprise a large part of your “artillery,” along with your ability to transfer them to the decision-makers and decision-shapers you serve. In a book titled Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights, Dr. Gary Klein provides the best and most complete account of how we acquire insights. Here is how he describes what he calls discontinuous discoveries:

Insights shift us toward a new story, a new set of beliefs that are more accurate, more comprehensive, and more useful. Our insights transform us in several ways. They change how we understand, act, see, feel, and desire. They change how we understand. They transform our thinking; our new story gives us a different viewpoint. They change how we act… . Insights transform how we see; we look for different things in keeping with our new story.1

How helpful would it be if you could provide your contacts a new story, one that delivers a new set of beliefs that allow better decisions? What if you could change how your contacts understand their world and provide them with a different viewpoint? In large part, achieving those goals is a matter of securing insights that allow you to occupy the One-Up position.

Klein provides a model of insights that follows one of three paths. The first path is triggered by a ...

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