“How to be a Fierce Competitor: What Winning Companies and Great Managers do in Tough Times”
Sometimes, you feel like you’re on “Survivor.”
Everyday, it’s another contest: Who gets the prize after running the gauntlet—the “prize” being more business, and the ability to stay for another round.
You’d like to utilize teamwork, but you understand that you can only truly rely on yourself. You can make work-friends but you can’t fully trust them. Your boss could “vote” you off at any time. And business teams all over town ruthlessly aim to beat you at this game.
So how can you win? Take a page from the competition’s game plan by listening to “How to Be a Fierce Competitor” by Jeffrey J. Fox (c .2010, Brilliance Audio $19.99 / $24.99 Canada, three CDs, 3 hours.)
You know who they are by their reputation: Fierce competitors constantly, incessantly doing everything “legally possible” to sign up every possible, profitable client. They know more about your industry than you do. They offer their employees excellent workplaces and in exchange, their employees are willing to sacrifice. They’re philanthropists. They’re ethical, honest, and easy to do business with.
And if you’re not thinking like they are, you should be afraid of them.
Fierce competitors understand that “bad times are good times” that challenge them because they’re always looking for the next new chance. When the economy is bad, they know how easy it is to snatch unhappy customers, under-served clients, and under-used vendors from your company.
So how can you become fierce, too?
“Hustle, hustle, hustle” says Fox. Give your sales team whatever power or tools they need to keep customers happy. Ask them to call one more customer, send one more e-mail, visit one more client each day. Don’t “go dark” and don’t cut advertising.
Understand that leaders don’t push—they lead. Answer all phone calls if you can, and return all calls if you can’t. Be willing to be seen at work, help out where help is needed, and cross-train all employees.
Know that staff-wide meetings are a waste of time, as are monthly reports, so abolish both. Know when to make cuts and know what to cut. Get rid of deadwood, and fire anybody who doesn’t want to be part of a team. Do away with executive perks; your employees aren’t the important people in your workplace.
The customers are.
As you’re listening to “How to Be a Fierce Competitor,” one thing will be abundantly clear: You’ll have to listen to it a second time. Maybe even a third, because author Jeffrey J. Fox lobs phenomenal ideas and thoughts like water bombs at the company picnic—quick, relentless, and no way to catch them all without drowning.
I am pleased to say, though, that with just one go-around, I heard dozens of easy-to-implement tips that could make even the smallest business stronger, including some ideas that cost next-to-nothing. One thing to know, however: Fox is vehemently against unions, which may be controversial at some corporations.
Still, if you’re tired of the competition stomping all over your business, listening to “How to Be a Fierce Competitor” can only help. It may, in fact, make you a survivor.
Truthfully, the bad news came as no surprise.
Your Mom hadn’t been feeling well lately, and for weeks you’d heard your parents whispering. You knew she was having some tests done. Still, when they finally told you she had cancer, you couldn’t believe it. You cried for 20 minutes, ran out of the house, kicked the door, or just quietly went to your room to think.
The song always pops up when you least expect it.
There you are, minding your own business, you hear a few notes, and you’re pulled back to a wonderful-horrible time, starry dreams, laughter, bitterness, love lost. That old love song might be just a “precious melody,” but it almost brings you to your knees.
Six o’clock, right on the nose.
That’s when your family sat down for the evening meal when you were a kid, and nobody dared be late.
Back then, Dad sat on one end of the table, Mom on the other, and you ate what was put in front of you.
All for one, and one for all.
That could’ve been the motto for you and your two best friends. Growing up, you were the Three Musketeers, sharing gossip, secrets, crushes, families, and truths. Everybody knew that you three were close as paint on a wall, and where there was one the other two weren’t far away.
Your child has caught some bug that’s going around.
He has a terminal case of The Gimmes, and he’s not getting any better. It’s “Gimme that” and “Buy me this” all day long. It’s Gimme Gimme Gimme, usually accompanied by whining, pleading, and a maddening inability to understand the word “no.”