Key elements to winning the competitive race:
1. Have a plan and be prepared to adapt and change it as new information comes available.
2. Look at the long-term goal and set interim targets for getting there.
3. Make sure you have sufficient fuel (money) to keep you in the race.
4. Know when to race hard and when to conserve your resources.
5. Winning is a function of time and money -- a continuous trade-off between them.
6. Team, team, team -- it matters who is on your team and how well they do their jobs.
7. Become No. 1 by setting a goal and making consistent strategic and tactical decisions with that goal in mind.

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Lea Strickland, M.B.A., is the founder of Technovation Entrepreneur , a program that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into businesses. Strickland is the author of "Out of the Cubicle and Into Business" and "One Great Idea!" She has more than 20 years of experience in operational leadership in Fortune 500 and Global 100 companies, including Ford, Solectron and Newell.

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