Human nature dictates that we will have allies, competitors, and enemies.
Allies agree with us. They’re willing to work with us toward a common goal.
Competitors don’t agree with our goals, and work against them. Competitors are a fact of life. The challenges of a strong competitor drive us to perform at levels we didn’t realize we had. Competition makes us stronger. There are winners and losers in every competition. If we lose, the lessons of that loss can make us stronger for the next competition.
Enemies are an entirely different matter. They aren’t just against our goals. They’re against us, personally. Winning the competition, whether it’s a battle of dollars, a battle for territory, or a battle for the hearts and minds of others, isn’t enough for an enemy. They want us to lose the competition, and be eliminated from future opportunities to compete.
These roles are often in flux. Allies can become competitors. Competitors can become enemies.
The transitions are usually a result of our actions. If we operate with life-giving values like honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, mutual respect, empathy, fairness, and a pursuit of mutual benefit, great things will happen.
Our allies will remain allies. Competitors are much less likely to become our enemies. They may even become new allies in the future.
Operating without life-giving values unleashes a torrent of negativity. You’ll have trouble keeping allies. Competitors will become enemies. Long-term success will slip from your grasp.
What about the people who don’t know you (yet)? The people you’d like to meet. The new customers you’d like to have. The new talent you hope to recruit to your company.
Will you create allies, competitors, or enemies? That all depends on you, and the values you live.
“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.” –Aristotle