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. Despite fitting this description, she recounts in a number of response letters received from dance tryouts that she “lacked the structure”, “had the wrong body for ballet” and was “too old to be considered”. It seemed as though the dance world had in its mind another idea of what a prima ballerina should be. Rejection letter after another exclaimed she simply would not fit. Misty began dancing at age 13, too late by many industry standards to attain professional success.

This late start was seen as a disadvantage of experience, and, given the cut throat, highly competitive world of dance, she was continuously discredited by instructors and dancers alike. However, becoming a principal dancer, she recognized, required not only skill but also incredible emotional stamina. For every successful principal dancer, she noticed, there were many more in her place who simply “burned out”- unable to sustain the grueling eight hour per day six days per week regimen of toe-crushing exercise.

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CopelandShe says: “A dancers body is the instrument with which she makes music, the loom with which she weaves magic. But we take our bodies to places they would naturally never go. We make them fly, dance on tiptoe, whirl like a dervish. We subject ourselves to unbelievable strain. And sometimes we stumble– or break. ” This late start”and its negative association”– ultimately became her competitive dancing “edge”.

She was not susceptible to “burning out’ nor had she endured as much of the icy, carnivorous culture of competitive dance which weakened a great many [of her contemporaries]. Much like the Firebird’s ascent from the flames, a soloist role she took danced as a soloist for in NYCs prestigious American Ballet Company in one of Balanchine’s most amous works, Misty is today classical ballet’s most powerful force today. She is also one of the first spokeswomen for sports apparel maker, Under Armour, a near perfect reflection of the company s own position as an “underdog’ in its beginnings.

Despite the many obstacles” poverty, racial bias, and the often haughty underpin of competitive dance”Copelandshe has reached the top of her field; and has done so by harnessing context [add: definition], circumstance [add: definition] and a choreography [add: definition] to create a leading competitive position in one of the most competitive of environs. Much like Honda Motor Companys unlikely rise within in the U. S. motorcycle industry, both starting positions were characterized by incredibly strong headwinds.

Each party was dismissed from the start and not considered a competitive threat. Misty’s presence, viewed as “good for the sport’ in terms of exposure, was never expected to amount to anything. Similarly, Harley Davidson, dismissed did not view Honda as a competitive threat and was never expected Honda to be a competitor beyond seen only to helping to bolster demand for the their class of motorcycle industry. Theseis dismissals enabled Honda to create a new niche without any ompetitive resistance, and enabled Misty to develop her skills away fromof the microscope.

Despite high barriers to entry, circumstance directed each party towards a more comfortable and unattended place within their field, and caused enabled them to stretch the boundaries of their capabilities and of the market in order to flourish. For Honda, the political and social context in post-war Japan created not only a real market need for lightweight bikes, but also enabled Honda with it a proof of concept opportunity, as well as time to develop its technology and take risks early on. From this experience, Honda developed the confidence and know-how to replicate the strategy and introduce a proven product in a new US market. add: Misty example] In order to craft a sustainable competitive advantage, it is necessary to first understand the context in which the organization operates. This includes having a political and cultural awareness of the markets and geographies, customers’ needs, and the structure of the competition. In dance, choreography, is the intersection of vision and motion. Much like a dancer training for such a leading stage role, Honda has repeated a set of necessary, ainful (at times) and yet highly choreographed movements in Order to achieve its long term market share objectives in the US.

It deployed low-cost pricing, target marketing, and innovative manufacturing techniques with the goal of market share leadership in mind. The company was often willing to take short term losses in order to build the distribution network. In both cases, leading with a clear long term goal that can be translated into an actionable set of activities is an effective way to distill the rigor and intricacy of a competitive challenge. These combined activities, over time, become ery difficult for competitors to imitate which only strengthens the overall advantage.

In this way, we note, Wwhile many business leaders understand the importance of a strategy as a means to “win”, many suffer from short- term bias, often ignoringe the long-term perspective in strategic decision making and even at times adopting a myopic point-of-view. A crucial task of business leaders is to becomes, choreographing a set of short term, deliberate, collective set of actions that enjoin to realize a long term objective. Vln viewed as a whole, Honda’s entry strategy into the United StatesUS otorcycle market took on the elegant simplicity and yet trailblazing nature embodied by Copeland’s breakout role The Firebird.

In order to innovate and create a position of leadership, we urge business leaders to be more willing to challenge norms and embrace a path of least resistance that might appear unattractive. [Add better ending] Both were willing to take the challenge against the norm but you can’t just blindly go challenge the norm, there has to be something special and sustainable about your strategy.

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