Why Your Opponent Shouldn't Matter

About six months ago, my mentor gave me some advice, "When you're tempted to berate your opponent, don't.  Nip it in the bud and teach those around you to do the same.  Your energy is better spent focusing on you."

At the time, we had been frustrated by what was perceived as a competitive advantage on the part of a rival organization.  There we were, using up valuable time talking badly about "the other guy".

Nip it in the bud... I could hear my friend saying in my head.

Your opponent matters. He can put you out of business if you aren't careful.  His customers will always compare you to him.  "He" will bother you if you let him.

This is also why your opponent shouldn't matter, once you've met a baseline standard of proficiency.  You (myself included!) can make better use of your time by working on the slow, patient process of self improvement.  This can apply to your organization as well.  If all you're doing is looking up to someone else, you just might miss what's under your nose and that would be too bad.

Work on being you and a darn good one at that.