You’re Never Going to Be the Last Man Standing. Here’s How You Need to Understand Competition

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This article originally appeared in Inc. on July 21, 2017

Most think of competition as a zero-sum game, where there is winning and misery as Bill Parcells said. Maybe you think of competitors like the New England Patriot controversy “spy gate”, where the goal is to learn as much as you can from competitors. Perhaps your goal is to ensure you are different from the competition. Or maybe you think of it like a source of talent like free agency, where you can poach your top adversaries to come join your team.

I recently gave a keynote speech at the International Dairy Deli and Bakery Association (IDDBA) in Anaheim. In attendance were ten thousand executives from big and small companies were all showing off their best products to retailers to win valuable and limited shelf space. You would think that there would be a lot of bad blood in the air given how important the stakes were to everyone. But it was an entirely different experience.

 

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