It’s funny how often certain things “stick” at odd times. Over the last year or so, one of my coworkers has talked about “how often the problem is our self and not those around us.” He talks about this all the time when we are out consulting with business leaders. But it never really hit me as to how this statement also applies to the bigger picture – the business itself.
As leaders, we often get fixated on the external things when looking for ways to improve our businesses:
- Is our team getting along?
- Are they treating our customers well?
- Is the freight being put to the shelf in a timely manner?
The list goes on and on. Every business has glitches and typically business leaders start fixing them by directly addressing the issue. For example, the team isn’t getting along, so they go an talk to the team. Where this approach falls apart is when the real problem lies within the leader. Great leaders need to start fixing problems by identifying their role in the problem (if there truly is one).
Let’s take this out to another level. How often do businesses get fixated on what their competition is doing as a way to fix their internal problems? Are customers ignoring you? Are you suffering from a lack of word of mouth? If so, it might be in your best interest to starting fixing the problem by looking within your company instead of focusing on how your competition is kicking your butt.
Copying what they do will only shift you into the “me too” mode. Customers don’t talk about “me too” companies. Nor does the company’s team get excited about belonging to a “me to” business. Instead, look within:
- Figure out what you do well.
- Figure out what you are passionate about.
- Keep it simple.
- And do it better than anyone else around.
Copying your competition will never scare your competition, nor will it help you improve your business. When you figure out what you are capable of doing better than anyone else around and do it, you’ll put your competition back on their heals.