October 20, 2011
Outrunning the Bear
Did you ever hear the joke about outrunning the bear? It goes something like this:
Two friends are in the woods, having a picnic. They spot a bear running at them. One friend gets up and starts running away from the bear. The other friend opens his backpack, takes out his running shoes, changes out of his hiking boots, and starts stretching.
“Are you crazy?” the first friend shouts, looking over his shoulder as the bear closes in on his friend. “You can’t outrun a bear!”
“I don’t have to outrun the bear,” said the second friend. “I only have to outrun you.”
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in doing something absolutely well as opposed to relatively well. We were in a situation once with a competitor where our mantra was to win all the available customers for a particular product. Then we realized one day — we didn’t have to win all of the customers that minute, or even that year. All we had to do was win every account that the competitor was going after to win the battle at hand. Once the battle at hand was won, it was then time to go back and figure out how to win the war.