DO WE NEED AN ENEMY TO SUCCEED?
I can’t tell you how many times during a management meeting, the mention of a competitor’s success gets the group going, gets the juices flowing. I found myself asking, do we actually need an enemy to be motivated to do better?
Sports teams are notorious in telling their players before the big game…don’t say anything to get the other guy fired up “don’t ever inadvertently give the opponent an edge, an advantage.’ My sense, my conclusion is that our performance is driven more by the enemy within than the enemy on the field or in the boardroom. Our own mind’s reflection on ourselves, sowing the seeds of self-doubt is the greatest barrier to success. It’s not about the capabilities or advantages of the competitor but about how we are prepared to respond to those challenges that makes the difference between success and failure.
Measurement is important. It is critical to know your market share, how consumers value your service, your performance targets, and how you think you ‘stack up’ against the competition. Measurement sets the bar for improvement and innovation. But it shouldn’t be the driving force to be better …don’t be consumed by what you find out….by the negativity, by the naysayers who say it can’t be done, that you simply can’t compete, you don’t measure up…that you are destined to finish in second place !!! At the finish line Its more about you than the other guy!!!
There is an old African proverb that says “ if there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do no harm”….if you start each day on the positive side of life, if you have a strong belief in your own capabilities, and you are constantly striving to improve, to get faster ,better ,stronger ,then the enemy outside doesn’t matter. Your own self confidence will overcome any self-doubt from within…. conquering your own fears, your own deficiencies, strengthens you against the enemy. Do some self-reflection right now….what am I really good at, what is my company really good at….what am I lousy at, where do I need to improve….Write them down and set out and prioritize how am I going to fix my weaknesses and enhance my strengths….and take stock every day. This is a lifelong process.
Its important to remember that on life’s journey you shouldn’t really care what others think of you…as long as you are not making enemies intentionally!!! But self-doubt creeps into our comfort zone and we often find ourselves worrying about what others will think…’I can’t possibly do that’….’that’s not my skill set’…’I don’t want to embarrass myself’….self-doubt is the number one killer of success…because I am defeated from within before I even start….when you believe in you, you don’t need others to believe…now it’s a grand reassurance to your own self-worth when the team follows…and belief assured by others is very contagious….this will only come with hard work…you have to fight for your dream….preparation, practice, repetition ,creates self-confidence. Great leaders command the lead…not because of bravado or self-aggrandizement but because they are already prepared for the situation…their self-confidence is showing… in hockey how can a team of plumbers and grinders possibly defeat the super skilled super stars…because they believe they can and are willing to battle for every inch of ice to get it done…they will battle those who suggest for a minute it can’t be done, they will battle those that criticize and downplay their skill set…they have a will to win that is stronger than the more skilled competition….and they will be victorious, no matter what anyone thinks because they have eliminated self-doubt and replaced it with a plan to win !!!
Control that inner voice and make it work for you. Decide each day that fear will never overtake you. Start each morning with a reminder to yourself that you are good enough…because you are!!! Focus on the solution not the problem. Have a “how do I fix this attitude “and above all NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!