Friday, September 13, 2013

HBR Principles for Developing Humilty - Points 3 & 4

The next two points in the HBR article are never underestimate the competition and embrace and promote a spirit of service.

Never underestimate the competition. Yesterday I was reading a book that said something like "success is the enemy of success". It basically meant that when a company is doing really well or when a person is doing really well he begins to believe he can't be beaten. This is the same idea as underestimating the competition. When we believe the competition is not as fast, smart, nimble or aggressive as we are - we are in for a hurt. The competition is working as hard as we are, is developing a strategic plan to beat us, and is willing to try new ideas to gain an edge. It's better to be a little paranoid which drives us to always improve.

Embrace and promote a spirit of service. This, again, is about a mindset and a perspective that allows humility in order to be better at what you do in life. Going out of your way to do something for others when there is no gain from the action is just the right way to live. We recently helped a competitor who had gone through a fire in their facility, because we believed it was the right thing to do. It would have been easy to ignore their pain and try to use their problem against them but it's just not the right way to live. Your employees, vendors, and co-workers figure out real fast what kind person you are when others are in need.

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