X-Factor is essentially considered to be an unknown but vital quality for achieving success. Interviewers and judges often speak of an ‘X- Factor’ when they consider multiple candidates for a single open position, or when they are deciding the winner of a contest. In the above context, the term stands for a certain undefinable quality that works in favor of the person who has it and gives them an edge over the others.
Let’s take an example. A lot of actors may audition for playing the role of the master spy James Bond. However, only very few will have that air of mystery around them which is required for a successful portrayal of the character. That air of mystery is the X-Factor in this case.
Also when people talk about an X-Factor, it seems to be like one of those things- you have it or you don’t. There is no way to develop it.
Then the other day, I came across an article in which the author wrote about identifying our X-Factor and developing it to increase our odds of success. She wrote that our strengths should be our starting point, and suggested a two fold approach –
1. Reflecting on our Strengths: This is pretty straightforward. We have certain inherent strengths and reflecting on them will help us in identifying our unique advantages.
2. Identifying our Hidden Superpowers: This one we will need to take external help for. We all have qualities that may stand out to others, but are unknown to us. If we can ask others about them, it will enable us to identify our hidden superpowers.
However, once we identify our unique competitive advantage, we will need to work on it and go the extra mile to get that slight edge.
What are your thoughts on this? How big a role do you think an X-Factor plays in success? Do you believe that an X-Factor is something that can be identified and developed to some extent?
*This post is written for the AtoZChallenge.
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