Your Own Worst Enemy

Treating everyone like a competitor hurts your chances for establishing complementary partnerships.

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No name has left a more indelible mark on in the late 20th century than Michael Porter. Executives throughout and the world have studied his books, Competitive Advantage and Competitive . Porter's insights into gaining and sustaining competitive advantage are great, but critics contend there's one big problem with his body of work: the word "competitive." Isn't competition good? Yes, but not every company is your competitor. Advocates of the partnering school of thought have been quick to differentiate between companies with which you compete and those that are complementary. When a considers everyone to be its enemy (or competitor), then almost all end up as win-lose situations in which the key is to avoid being exploited by the other company. In contrast, an eye for complementary business activities results in creating mutually beneficial, win-win partnerships.

Excerpted from Ben Franklin's 12 Rules of Management

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