Tearing Down Competition

Tearing Down Competition

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about how we deal with competition.

I was discussing our video content with a member of my team and they asked me whether we could do an exposé on some of the bad agents in our industry.

Of course, in the right situation, it’s important to bring attention to companies or individuals who have bad intentions. However, the motivation for doing this should not simply be, ‘because they are our competitors’.

We see this sort of behaviour everywhere, from politics to business and even in social settings. Just because someone is a competitor or rival, it somehow justifies trying to tear them down. This shouldn’t be the way we approach competition.

Instead, I feel it’s much more important to take the high road. It’s similar to what Michelle Obama (whose book, Becoming, I recently read and really enjoyed) said:

“When they go low, we go high”.

In other words, even if people are trying to drag you down, don’t let them take you down to their level. The same goes for our competitors.

Seth Godin mentions this in his book This is Marketing. He refers to the following diagram:

“And quadrant 4 is the hard-charging selfish person who desperately wants to win every engagement, and who is willing to do it with a combination of creating value and tearing down the competition.”

– Seth Godin, This is Marketing

This is not the sort of person I want to be and this is not the sort of company I want to be involved in.

Competitors don’t have to be seen as adversaries. Instead, they are part of the environment that is going to help you to get the best out of yourself and your organisation.

When a competitor does something well, it’s a chance for you to push yourself to do something even better. When a competitor does something wrong or attacks you, you can go high while they go low.

As Jim Rohn said:

“There are two ways to have the tallest building in town. One is to tear everyone else’s buildings down, and the other is to build your building taller.”

There isn’t enough time to tear anything down. I’m too busy building.

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