Your Opponents Weaknesses or Your Strengths

Dec 20, 2007

No matter what you’re doing, you’ll always have competition. In games, in business, even in relationships. There’s always competition of sorts. How do you deal with this competition? There are 2 general ways people go about dealing with competition.

You could focus on your opponents weaknesses. Target where they are weak and adjust what you’re doing to hit them there. Or you could focus on your own strengths. Don’t think so much about what they do, but just do what you’re the best at. Of course, it’s best when your strengths align with your opponents weaknesses, but that’s not always the case.

A good example of that was the Sunday EPL matches. Liverpool vs Manchester United and Arsenal vs Chelsea. Liverpool and, to a lesser extent, Chelsea, typify the first approach. They change their system and the players they use based on their opponents. They try to identify weaknesses in the opponents play and plan according to those weaknesses.

Manchester United and Arsenal, on the other hand, play their own game. Yes, they study their opponents (who wouldn’t). But at the end of the day, they focus on what they do best. They stick to their game.

The results over the weekend? 1-0 wins for both Manchester United and Arsenal. Not much of a surprise there, to me. The best way to win is still to just do what you do best. Play to your strengths.

At least that’s what I believe. What do you think? How do you beat your competition?

Guinness World Record Seekers

Nov 17, 2007

I’m not really a fan of the Guinness book of records, in that I personally would never attempt to get into it. Plainly because, most of the time, the things seem really meaningless to me.

But I do have to give credit to these people who are pursuing the records. They’re putting their time and energy into something that they believe in. It’s something that others might think pointless (like getting in a bathtub full of snakes), but they’re pursuing it anyway, regardless of how crazy others might think they are. It’s something that others might think impossible (after all, for it to be a World Record, it must mean it hadn’t been done before), but they believed in themselves, and had faith that they could do it.

So while I don’t particularly see much of a point in the book itself, I have a lot of respect for the people in it. They’ve gone through great lengths and taken a lot of chances in order to pursue their dreams (as crazy as others might think they are), and being in the record books – having their name recorded for future generations – is just reward.

How far are you willing to go to pursue your dreams?

Michael Jordan

Nov 13, 2007

Michael Jordan is well known as arguably the best basketball player of all time. But something I just found out today, apparently he had an 18 month stint as a baseball player, in the Minor League with the Birmingham Barons.

SneakerFiles tells us that “[i]n his time spent as an outfielder, MJ had a .202 batting average in 127 games, 114 strikeouts in 436 at bats, 3 home runs, 51 RBI’s, 30 stolen bases, and led the Southern League outfielders with only 11 errors.” That’s not a bad set of statistics. But it’s nowhere near the top players. And the top was where he was with basketball.

I can’t read minds, so I can’t say for sure, but maybe that’s why he went back to basketball. Yes, he’s decent at baseball, but he would not have made a name for himself doing that. He was good, but not exceptional. He wasn’t remarkable. He was just above average. And being above average isn’t enough. So he quit, and chose to focus on something he knew he could be the best at. And we all know how that turned out.

This is kind of the point Seth Godin makes with The Dip. If you’re not going to be the best at it, quit. Sometimes it’s better to cut your losses, than try to pursue something you’ll only be “above average” at. To truly succeed, you need to play completely to your strengths, and really be the best.

Is there something that you should be quitting today?