Americans Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick — two of the world’s fastest skaters 10 years ago — were both scheduled for the 1500-meter speed skating event in the 2006 Winter Olympics.
For weeks before the match, they bickered in the media about each other’s behavior and who would win the Gold. The big day finally came — and neither of them won. The medal went to Italy’s Enrico Frabris.
We see this play out all of the time in business. Two hot agencies go up against each other for a potential client’s business, then get beat out by a third agency that was 100 percent for
the client’s success .
Two major event-planning firms slam each other until they’re bloody, then another event planner takes the lead by being for more personal touches.
Two top products in a market trash each other with their advertising, and a disruptive product rises up by being for exceptional customer service.
And don’t even get me started on politicians.
These are all good examples of the difference between power versus force. What we are for can empower us. What we’re again — and what we try to force — can weaken us.
Mother Teresa intuitively knew this when asked years ago if she would march against the Vietnam War. “I don’t participate in anti-war rallies,” she replied, “but if you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
Experiment with being for rather than against. Spend your energy focused on what you can do for your customers — and for your own growth and success.