A Fight To Be The Best!

best culture fight game infinite leadership leadershipdevelopment simon sinek teams Aug 19, 2020

I can vividly remember back a dozen or so years ago to a time where an absentee plant manager would send a late night email to one of his minions on the local management team demanding a to-the-minute update on the various metrics we were all required to track on a monthly basis. He always expected those numbers to be presented at the 8:45a production meeting; never mind the fact that he sent his diktat by email around 10p the night before, most of us didn’t arrive in the building to even access his emails until 7:30a, and those reports typically required several hours to complete each month even when we had the necessary data to put them together… That’s when one of the management team members taught me an interesting lesson, “the hard it is to prove something is correct, the harder it will be to disprove…” 

That was also the day I learned that the majority of my peers had learned to pay very little attention to our absentee boss’s unrealistic requests and provide him with something that looked possible without putting much effort into it… For the sake of time in this message, I fight the urge to elaborate on how this same plant manager only made 13 total appearances of any kind at the facility he was responsible for overseeing in an entire quarter just before being promoted to a director level role where he rarely visited any of the facilities that reported to him - but that may be a fun topic for another day!

What in the free world does any of that have to do with A Fight To Be The Best???

I’ll answer that relevant question with another question: The BEST, according to who?

In the opening chapter of The Infinite Game, Finite and Infinite Games, Simon Sinek shares a story of how Richard Branson’s airline actually took one of their British competitors to court over a claim of being “the world’s favourite airline.” When all was said and done, that competitor showed that they had based their statement on one certain metric that they were indeed leading the industry in. That being the case, I have no doubt that Virgin Atlantic could have just as easily made similar claims based on metrics of their own choosing…

So depending on who we listen to or what data we’re basing a statement on, A Fight To Be The Best could be very arbitrary! Again, the harder something is to prove, the harder it will be to disprove...

Along those same lines, I also learned how this can and should be used in an authentic marketing approach during a high dollar course I took a few years back with one of my mentors. Regardless of the topic Christian covered in that 12 week master class focused on direct response marketing for small businesses, he always hammered the idea that there’s very little value in being second-best. Notice I used the word authentic? Christian has always suggested positioning our offerings as best-in-class and doing everything in our power to ensure we’re delivering the goods!

Recently, I published an article on LinkedIn called A Race with No Finish Line that began to dig into the idea of approaching our businesses and our leadership development process as though there’s no stopping point. Over the next few messages, we’ll take a look at some things each of us can do to ensure we are always working to be the best at what we do, and that our best is always getting better!