Last Friday, I attended the annual meeting of the local economic development council. The keynote speaker was Congressman Derek Kilmer. He gave an inspiring speech, yet one thing resonated with me. He proclaimed his belief that both public and private businesses must compete with everyone, every day, everywhere, forever.
Compete with everyone, every day, everywhere, forever. Let that sink in.
I immediately recalled coaching my high school basketball players that we had to have the mentality that we’d play anyone, any time, and anywhere. Just needed a ball and an opponent. Congressman Kilmer’s language speaks to the same principle of readiness and preparedness.
If you’re going to do more than merely survive in business – as a CEO or a business professional that cares about your career – then “competing” is more than an aphorism. You’d better be prepared to do more than scream some rallying cry, or your bound to get thumped by someone that is prepared.
Let me put it to you in business terms: If a sales professional isn’t prepared to respond to either interest or objection to them or their company, they’re negligent and unprepared. If the CEO isn’t ready to deal with a crisis that could damage his or her business and the livelihood of the employees, he or she is not competing. If the leader of an organization doesn’t take the time to invest in themselves personally to grow and become better in their craft; then the consequences of this lack of motivation will soon mean the loss of respect and business from those that surround themselves with him or her.
On Saturday night, the Oregon men’s basketball team had the inside position to rebound missed free throws twice and got out-hustled by North Carolina players that competed just a hair harder. The result of North Carolina’s efforts catapulted them into tonight’s championship game as they won by one point. Championship opportunities are there in both basketball and business to those who don’t always get the inside position, but compete harder.
Can your “team” win the close games because they are ready to compete with everyone, every day, every where forever? How can you tell?
Do you or your company need help competing better every day? If so, let’s talk. I can help you move forward to better performance and resilience individually and organizationally.
Quote of the Week:
“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”
~ William Shakespeare
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