Picture this: You’re just about getting started in the Game of Life, a multi-league game where you can be a soccer star, a charts-topping hiplife cum hi-life legend, or even the President – sometimes, all three if you’re feeling particularly ambitious. You’re pacing in the dressing room wondering, “How do I score goals, release hits, and win debates?” Time to pull out the playbook for the ages: the SWOT analysis. Yep, you heard right! SWOT isn’t just for boardroom folks – it’s for aspiring Abedi Peles, Kojo Antwis, and Nelson Mandelas, too!
SWOT analysis, an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, has long been the stalwart companion of businesses in strategising. In recent years, it has emerged as a personal compass guiding individuals through the ocean of self-discovery and growth
Let’s give SWOT the dressing room pep talk it deserves.
Strengths: These are your ‘GOOAAAL’ moments. Like when you’ve got Abedi’s dribbling skills, Kojo Antwi’s vocal range, or the charm of Madam Joyce Aryee. They are your own unique killer moves, the abilities that make the crowd go wild!
Weaknesses: Here’s where you occasionally score an own goal, break a guitar string on stage, or fumble during a speech. It’s okay, nobody’s perfect. But identifying these faux pas early on helps you avoid becoming the next viral meme (and not in a good way).
Opportunities: These are your power-ups. When a scout attends your soccer match, you get an invite to perform at Stanbic Jazz Festival; or there’s a political rally near you, it’s time to put on your game face and hustle. Opportunities are the golden tickets to the Big Leagues.
Threats: These are like having an ultra-defensive opponent in soccer, a music rival releasing an album at the same time or facing a formidable opponent in an election. It’s like suddenly realising you’re not the only star player on the field.
Ready for some real-life examples?
Imagine you’re an aspiring soccer player who can juggle the ball and hit with precision across the field like using google maps in the Airport Residential Area (Strength). However, your accuracy in shooting goals is as uncertain as catching the Tro-tro when it rains in Accra (Weakness). Suddenly, your coach announces a local tournament organised by CAF (Opportunity)! But wait, Asamoah Djan’s nephew, who is rumoured to have inherited a full deck of skills from his dad and uncle, is on the opposing team (Threat). Time to SWOT up!
Or perhaps, you’re a musician with a voice that could bring a tear to a glass eye (Strength), but your stage presence is comparable to a herd of sheep (Weakness). Lo and behold, you get invited to perform at a local music festival (Opportunity). But then, your musical nemesis decides to stage-dive into the crowd just before your act, setting the bar impossibly high (Threat).
Maybe politics is your arena. You’ve got a silver tongue, have some student leadership or community activism track record under your belt and can mobilise or negotiate like a pro (Strength), but your understanding of economic policy is, well let’s just say, your piggy bank manages finances better (Weakness). Upcoming media discussions could be your big break (Opportunity), but you’ve just learned that Professor Bokpin, the economics guru cum whiz, is on the same schedule (Threat).
So, what’s the game plan? Lace-up those cleats, tune that guitar, and polish that campaign strategy document because SWOT is the ultimate coach. Focus on your strengths, work on those weaknesses, seize the opportunities, and have a game plan for threats.
And remember, stay hydrated (seriously) and keep that SWOT playbook handy. Regularly update your strengths and weaknesses, keep an eye out for new opportunities, and be ready to tackle those threats.
Whether you’re a striker waiting to score, a musician ready to top the charts, or a candidate ready to lead, ask yourself: “Is it SWOT time?” If you’re seeking growth, then the whistle has already blown. SWOT analysis isn’t just a kick around the field, a simple sound-check, or a warm-up debate. It’s your pathway to becoming MVP, the headliner, or the leader of the pack.
So, what are you waiting for? Put on your jersey, lace up your cleats, and get on the field. Update your SWOT playbook, tackle your weaknesses, pass the ball to your strengths, score with your opportunities, and defend against your threats.
Margaret is the Head, Affluent Clients – Stanbic Bank Ghana