Your Career

Don’t Worry About the Competition

Freeman President and COO Bob Priest-Heck on what it means to stay in your own lane.

Some managers obsess about what the competition is doing. The thinking is, if you stay one step ahead of the other guys, you’ll stay in front, right?

Not so much. Formula 1 drivers don’t win championships by looking in the rear-view mirror. They choose their own line around the course and run their own best race.

That just makes sense to me. If Steve Jobs fixated on technology instead of the user experience, we might never have heard of Apple. If Blockbuster had focused on curating the watch-at-home movie experience, instead of on being the biggest video-rental distributor, they might still have a viable business model.

I don’t worry about what my competitors are doing; I worry about what we are not doing. Is there a customer need we haven’t anticipated? Is thePaint8[2][1]re a market trend we’re missing? Is there a unique advantage we have as an enterprise that we simply aren’t leveraging properly? That’s what keeps me up at night.

The enemy isn’t the competition. It’s complacency.

Follow Bob on Twitter @bpriestheck.

Bob Priest-Heck