Know Your Competition

Thankfully this sign was posted on the Wild Goose Trail! I never would have been prepared for a cowboy hat wearing farmer driving a mini tractor across the trail. Phew!


After resting up a bit I was able to complete my training schedule this past week including a seven mile run yesterday! Turns out I had taken all the right measures in my rest and recovery. I could tell I was ready to run.

 How well do you know your competition? I always try to stay on top of what my company’s competition is up to. In my role it is essential to understand the competition’s business as well as what positions they are currently hiring and how they are attracting talent. I want to know what their career website looks like, what their presence on LinkedIn is, what career fairs they are visiting, etc. If there were more hours in the day I would spend much more time exploring these details because it is extremely valuable to know what I am up against so I can navigate forward appropriately.

It’s easy to identify competitors for your business but in running it may not be so clear. I see competition in running defined one of two ways: your actual competition in a race or yourself. One of the main reasons I enjoy running is for the personal competitive drive it offers me. It forces me to listen to my body and to push myself further. Since I define my running competition as myself I must be aware of what my “competition” is up to. I have learned many things about my “competition” since I started running. I know that I do my best when I have the least desire to run. For some reason I push myself harder then. I know that I get IT Band syndrome if I run too far or too fast too soon. I know that I need lots of water. I know that it is next to impossible to get myself out of bed in the morning and even harder if I want to run. I take that knowledge and adjust my approach accordingly. I listen to my competition to plan for my success.

Isn’t it logical then to apply this same principle in everything we do? If one of the ways we strive for success in business is to monitor our competition, we should monitor our own “competition” daily as well. Certainly without failure there would be no success but our success could be so much greater if we take the time to be in touch with ourselves to understand what makes us successful. You can take that knowledge and adjust your approach accordingly.

If you aren’t paying attention to your competition, you will soon find that you are no longer in the race.

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2 Responses to Know Your Competition

  1. EhrenFleschner says:

    An excellent viewpoint on the factors stacked against our personal endeavors. I really liked the analogy.
    What was the first obstacle you had to overcome in your running career? In regards to your work, how do you convert this knowledge of competition into action and avoid choice paralysis?

    • Thanks Ehren! The first obstacle….hmmmm. Well if I really think back it was the first cross country meet I ever ran. I didn’t understand the concept of pacing myself and ran way too fast out of the gate. I was so excited and wanted so badly to win that I didn’t even think about the distance. Therefore, I would say my first challenge was to learn self restraint. I had to teach myself that it was ok to let other people pass me initially because I would likely catch up with them later down the road. I would have stored my energy and could use it later on to pass them. At work I try to always think about what everyone else may be doing. In recruting that is important because I need to try to always be one step ahead or at least in the same pack. Otherwise I am losing out on the best talent. In a way, I have to be psychic. Ha! Sometimes my hiring managers act like I should be. 🙂

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