You have competition every day because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that. – Michael Jordan
To be the best, leaders have to find ways to set their organizations apart from the competition. This might be something you consider regularly, or maybe you’re more like me and don’t necessary feel competitive with others on a day-to-day basis.
For Southwest Michigan First, not unlike many organizations, we do compete with others for jobs deals or for contributor resources. However, instead of worrying about what our direct competition is up to, we choose to spend our time focused on organizations that are doing things we can learn from.
We have to keep learning and evolving to stay relevant, so we seek out the best of the best and study their practices, whether that’s an organization within our industry or not. For example, we love to study high growth churches and the excellence with which they do things. We like to study Chick-Fil-A because when it comes to sales and customer service, they are the top of their industry and we want to know why.
Likewise, we believe it is our responsibility to do the same thing when we achieve levels of success – and openly share our best practices with others. We’ll share everything that makes us excellent because we want to lift up organizations in Southwest Michigan and across the country that are striving to do great work. We open our doors and partner with companies that would appear to be our competition because we know it elevates the entire industry or community and forces us to evolve for the better.
Great organizations and great leaders are more focused on learning from other greats than thinking about how to beat out the competition. In fact, innovating on the best practices of other leading organizations will set you so far apart from your competition that you’ll never have to compete, in the traditional sense, again.
Question: Who are you spending more time watching – your direct competitors or other great organizations?