Forget “winning” the business war, just get to work on getting better.

Darth Trooper statue

I heard this the other day: “Business is war!”

Why? Why do some people think of it as war? Is it a preoccupation with competition? What exactly is there to be won? How do you measure the winner? Is it when your company is the last one standing? Is it when you make one more dollar than your “competitor”? Is it when you have a bigger building? What are the criteria for this “war”?

Well, all of that is laughable to me. I think business is a service. Yes, every business, a service. They all are doing things to help people. Isn’t that service? So, to succeed, a business should be working hard to provide the best help they can. They should be working to continuously improve whatever it is that is of value to their customers. They should be working on every aspect of how they deliver that value. Not to win some fictitious game but to be the choice that does the best job.

I have experienced big companies and small ones, mega-billion-dollar ones and meagre revenue ones, and the thing that set them apart had nothing to do with size or revenue, it was how well they helped me solve my problem, both technically and relationally, and the level of integrity they had when there was an issue. In my eyes as a customer, there was no winner or loser, just the business that took better care of me.

So, let’s stop talking about war and competition, let’s get to work on excellence. That’s the game changer. And by excellence I don’t mean some point where you will be a shining star, no, by excellence I mean the continual pursuit of better. You see, perfection is an illusion because just when you think you have it where no one can do better, someone comes along and does just that. If you want to succeed in business, you have to keep working at better, every day, every sale, every interaction.

So, where is your business? Are you stuck in a rut trying to fight some “competitor” or are you working at excellence? The competitors are a fiction while excellence is something that is measurable and will keep your business on its toes and constantly growing and innovating. Forget the others in your space, focus on your business and how it can get better for your customers and your employees. Forget war and get to work on something that matters, be better.

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