“Every week, I have lunch with a competitor,” Scott shared. “We catch up, talk about the market, even share trade secrets.” As head of a leading architectural firm in a highly competitive market, what Scott does is far too rare. It is very much the practice of a love-powered Amare leader who sees competitors as people striving to bring their own unique gifts into the world.
Traditional business tells you to crush, destroy, and annihilate competitors – a warlike mindset that stems from fear and never having enough.
In contrast, Amare business greatly values healthy competition, and tells you to be fierce and fair, to respect competitors and learn from them, and to aim to make each other better. It’s a love-based mindset rooted in the idea that all you can really do is your best, and that there is such a thing as enough.
- What first comes to mind when you think of competitors?
- What feeling or sensation goes with that thought?
- What one word best describes your relationship with your competitors?
7 Amare Ways to Transform Your View of Competition
- Find the win-win. List five mutually beneficial reasons why you might want to have good relationships with your competitors, e.g. referring business to each other, sharing perspectives on market trends, staying human, etc. Now ask competitors which are important to them. Now you have shared goals!
- Do lunch. Schedule a lunch or Zoom coffee meeting with a competitor today. Tell them honestly why you want to know them better, per the “win-win” above. Repeat at least monthly. Notice how these meetings affect your leadership style.
- Keep your actions honest. Watch for slippage, like being dishonest in conversations with competitors in order to get a leg up. Remind yourself regularly why you’re cultivating these relationships.
- Choose your competitive attitude. Take the short quiz in The Amare Wave (pp 194-195) to get super-clear on how you and your business think about and treat competitors. Then decide to either maintain the status quo or to change it up.
- Choose your focus – you or them. Assess with your team how much of your group’s time and energy is on your competition and how much is on your organization doing its best. Then experiment with changing the ratio and seeing how both people and performance are affected.
- Reset the conversation. One dictionary provides six synonyms for “competitive” – ruthless, merciless, aggressive, fierce, dog-eat-dog, cutthroat. Try using these Amare terms in your company instead: Dedicated, fierce, focused, hard-working, fair, committed to winning, respectful.
- Do the “collabetition” reframe. Picture your main competitors right now. Think of times you directly compete, and put those images into a box in your mind. Now think of times you collaborate, like setting industry standards, advancing policies, etc. Add those images to the box. In your mind, give the box a shake to combine things. Come back to this integrated “collabetition” image whenever you’re dealing with competitive issues.
As a leader, you can treat competitors as enemies – or simply as resources. Choose a competitive attitude and approach that drives you to totally go for the win, and to also authentically leverage competitive relationships for mutual benefit. This is the practical nature of Amare love-powered leadership.