The Hard Edge

September 7, 2020


Competitive spirit. Thick skin! A bit of mongrel. 

Over the years the hard edge has been called many things. 

In sport, the hard edge typically implies a player has an assertive to aggressive nature and is willing to push themselves into harms way to achieve their own or team’s objective. 

These players are usually celebrated and highly decorated. Warriors built for battle. When times are tough you can always rely on them to lead by example and get the job done. 

So what do these types of operators look like in business? 

I will be 100% honest with you — the sharpest operators that I work with in business at the highest senior levels all share the hard edge qualities. This edge is observed in them being extremely assertive and unbelievably passionate. All of them endowed with a healthy sense of delusion when it comes to achieving their goals and vision. They drive high expectations and accountability. They demand more from themselves and this reflects how they see others.

This form of edge also reflects extreme levels of care, particularly towards those who show them fierce loyalty.

They will push hard, but it feels like belief.

They will fight, but it feels like empathy.

They can be down, but will never signal defeat.

The hard edge operators are not necessarily calm under pressure, yet always positive even when faced with extreme challenges. 

Every business or team needs this type of edge to succeed and survive long term. Call it a competitive edge, call it what you like, but they need something to help them cut or burst through. If your competitors have more of this edge than you, you’re in real trouble. 

Our world is now consumed by content creation. The success of platforms like Facebook, Insta and TikTok are examples of how much our society is now content addicted.

Does your message have the edge required today to cut through?

How does your message engage and influence behaviour?

If you’re a sales person, what does the edge look like for you? 

Gary Vaynerchuk is a colourful example of the hard edge in action. His communication style is direct. Is he controversial? F+$#! yes! There’s the hard edge right there.

His content messages are potent and ultimately come from a place of empathy and care. There’s that word again – care. Granted, he’s not for everyone – but he’s a super sharp example of an individual making a massive impact with elements of the hard edge. 

Having met him in person I can say I felt Gary’s genuine edge and care shining through. 

Can you replicate Gary V? Probably not. But you can do it in your own way.

Your edge is sharpened when you are crystal clear on your vision and how you want to uniquely impact the world.

It’s sharpened when you surround yourself with smarter, passionate and strong people.

Strengthened further when you navigate the world via your values and a deep belief in what you say and do. 

The reality is when you operate in this manner – it’s not for everyone. You are not fussed about what everyone thinks. You’re more concerned about what your community needs, however big or small that may be.

All things being equal the hard edged operator will win. Think about what that hard edge could look like for you and your business and how it will ultimately serve others…

Then unleash it!


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Trent Portrait

Trent Leyshan

Trent Leyshan is founder and CEO of BOOM! Sales. Sales expert, sought after speaker and facilitator. He is the author of Outlaw & The Naked Salesman.

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