We all want to be the best don't we? Don't we?
Well, may be. But if we do, here are a few questions...
Do we really know what "best" means?
In sport it's a little easier to measure as there are quantifiable metrics that we can (generally) agree on, although comparing players or teams from different periods in history is much harder.
In business, references to being best are common in vision/mission and goal statements: "Being No. 1 in our market" or "being the preferred service provider" or "to be a leading supplier of..."But...what does does that actually mean and how would you measure it?
Unless these are crystal clear, statements about being "best" are not worth much. Furthermore, if you can quantify exactly what best means for you, and you can measure it, and you actually achieve it........what happens next?
"Better" is Better...
Benchmark yourself against what you are capable of, not against the competition.
One of my favourite speakers, Mark Sanborn was preparing to give a presentation to a team from Panasonic. Earlier he had congratulated a senior executive about their leading position in the market. The executive asked Mark not to mention that on stage. He went on to explain that they don't compare themselves with other companies, only against what they feel their potential is. Although they were currently in a leading position externally, they thought they were underperforming internally...
Imagine the likes of Roger Federer in tennis, or Michael Jordon in basket ball, or Lewis Hamilton in motor sports or Bill Gates at Microsoft, saying "I'm the best, there's nothing more to achieve here..." Unlikely! These people have never stopped pushing the boundaries of what was possible. They've looked at themselves and thought, "I can get better here, I can improve that, and got to work."
Why Get Better?
The competition wants your customers (current and potential)...
Unless you are in a rapidly expanding market (rare) where pretty much anyone can be successful at least for a while, the only way to succeed will be getting a customer from the competition or getting to a customer before the competition does.
Think of a swarm of locusts. They fly fast. Very fast! The reason is, the locust behind is trying to eat the one in front, who's trying to eat the one in front of that. You eat or get eaten! Such is most of business today.
Your customers will always want more...
Whatever you gave customers last time will become their new baseline expectation. And by the way, competitors will always try and offer more to get customers from you. We need to be looking at ways of continually delighting customers during their tenure with us. And there probably a lot more possibilities than you've currently thought of.
Out-executing your competition is a great way to be winning continually. Ask yourselves at least at every planning period, what can youdo to execute better: faster, more accurately, with a different focus, on different areas. Do that continually and you may even be judged in some area, or by virtue of receiving some award, to currently be the "best"!
(.......but if that happens, please please don't stop there!)
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