Today I will continue to go over the concept of competition, enemies, and partnerships as described in chapter four in the book, “Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management” by Blaine McCormick. As I go through the chapters I will be extracting information that I find interesting or useful. [Read part 1 here]
Enemies are useful:
In today’s business world we think of other companies generally as competition. They are the enemy. Perhaps we should be thanking them or becoming their partners.
It’s hard to determine who our enemies really are. The book gives the example of Apple Computer going after IBM in the 80’s and part of the 90’s, meanwhile Microsoft was working under their radar. Microsoft kept a low profile until they launched Windows and this nearly wiped out Apple.
The analogy that I’ll give you is all about risk, not just risk, but the board game Risk. Let’s say you are concentrating on taking over North America. It is not unlikely that you could be in a constant struggle with an opponent going after the same area. Both of your armies will be considerably weaker and vulnerable to attack from somebody who has been sitting quietly in South America for the past five turns.
In a blurred second, the person controlling South America turns in a set of cards giving him an enormous amount of armies and plows through taking over the entire continent of North America and taking you and the other out of the game. So by focusing on one “enemy” you have blinded yourself to the reality that the rest of the world exists.
Not everyone is your enemy:
Sometimes you can accomplish a lot more when you team up and partner with others who will bring in new ideas, methods, and skills to the proverbial table.
Your enemies have good advice and feedback for you. It’s not something that will be directly given to you. If they are beating you, perhaps the feedback indicates you need better products or marketing. If you are beating them, perhaps it is to not get arrogant or cocky. The best way to stay in tune is to not insulate yourself with ‘yes-men’ as many companies do.
Little Favors Lead to Big Favors :
This section of the book describes how favors can build up trust. The example given is that it is a lot easier to convince somebody to put up a sign in their yard after you have talked them into wearing a button for a certain political candidate.
Even with a post this long I have excluded quite a large bit of the chapter’s information. I would encourage you to run to the library, or the bookstore, or just click to Amazon and get a copy.