Stewart B Johnson

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Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves … to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.

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Managers seeking to boost their company's image internally - or to boost their own egos - like making comparisons to weak competitors. Managers seeking to motivate staff - or those suffering from low confidence - tend to focus on their competitors' strengths. Both kinds of managers are missing the point. Yes, know your competition. But don't measure yourself against them. If you lag behind them, focus on how you can improve your earlier performance instead of trying to defeat Goliath in one go. If you are ahead of the competition, don't become complacent. Your competition isn't 'out there.' As any great athlete knows, the only thing you can really improve is your own personal best.

Michael Byrnes, StrategyPal founder

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