Thursday, January 22, 2009
Us vs. Them is a great strategy.
I entered an informal contest in our office to see who could get 25 listings first. I am having a great time. As I was researching this subject I read several papers and blogs that fall on both sides of the competition argument. Many say that competition is bad and demoralizes the losers. This is a very Marxist approach to the idea. Others say that competition is good. I believe that capitalism and competition are good things and Adam Smith, the economist, knew what he was talking about. The problem I have with the ‘competition is good’ crowd is that they are all talking about a specific company or software product or specific industry. I was much more interested in learning about why I felt so good about the idea of competing against fellow Realtors and friends in a listing competition. I am really enjoying the competition and I have jumped out to an early lead. However, I am afraid if someone in my office does not step up it will be real easy to lose enthusiasm for this endeavor.
What that says to me is that competing is fun as long as the competitors are evenly matched. As I was thinking about this idea, that the competitors should be evenly matched, I then realized that we all feel better in an ‘us versus them’ environment. Creating an ‘us vs. them’ environment makes it easy to unite a group against another. A united group of competitors in a highly competitive environment is what all leaders are working towards. All participants benefit from being evenly matched and highly competitive.
After reading Tribal Leadership I learned that initially we are all in the ‘I am good and you are not’ mentality but that does not keep us motivated and growing. If we can find a way to move into the ‘we are good and you are not’ mentality we grow together as a united group and we compete at higher levels than we could have individually. Increased satisfaction, rewards and growth are the outcomes for evenly matched competitors. Find a way to create an ‘us vs. them’ environment, choose the competition wisely and watch your sales take off.