I love riding my Vespa in the city, where, in order to make it for my next meeting on time, I just jump on my scoter, zig-zag among the cars, bypass long lanes in the traffic jams and at the traffic signals, I usually secure my position in front of the first car – just like all scooter riders do.
When the signal turns green, the real fun comes, when I accelerate and the air caresses my face. What a joy of freedom! I overtake everyone! But then comes the next set of traffic light and the next queue of cars. So, I need to stop. From time to time, however, I decide not to zig-zag so aggressively. „I wait in line”, or “The place between the lanes of cars is too narrow to sneak through comfortably, so I wait. I could do it, but I’d rather wait” – I say to myself. But then one or two other scoter riders DO bypass me and get to the very front of the queue.
This is competition. This is its nature.
As a leader or as a sales or business development team member you may often find yourself in a situation, when you need to realize that if you are not pushing hard enough, the competitors overtake you. Where do they come from? From behind, from the side, from (almost) everywhere. You may see them approaching in your mirror, but from time to time you may think „ Oh, there is no room for them to bypass me. I am secure here and I am blocking the way, so no one can bypass me. Plus, there are the laws and regulations – everything favors me and I will be safe”. Or, you may simply think: “It is not elegant to cross the solid line in the middle of the road and bypass a queue of cars”. Well, the ugly truth is that there always room, there is always some space, there is always a niche, where your competitors (or a disruptor) can bypass you. Then, when the traffic light turns green, the ones right at the traffic light start off first, they accelerate fast (as the road ahead is clear), while you, waiting for your turn, still have to give time to the cars to clear first and only then you can accelerate. It may well happen that you can never catch or overtake those disruptive scooter riders (your competitors) again.
What can you do to avoid this to happen?
Be as agile possible and go to the limits! As a leader, a sales person, a business development manager, learn from the competitive scooter riders and always aim for the pole position!