“It’s time we stop worrying, and get angry you know?
But not angry and pick up a gun, but angry and open our minds.”
This is hardly worth fighting for
But it’s the little petty shit that I can’t ignore
When my fist hits your face and your face hits the floor
It’ll be a long time coming
But you got the message now
‘Cause I was never going
You’re the one that’s going down
One of us is going down
I’m not running,
It’s a little different now
‘Cause one of us is going
One of us is going down
Every time I watch the Olympics I am reminded of a topic which is not discussed often enough in business … angry competition. I call it angry strategizing.
Yeah. The Olympics has reminded me about competing angry.
While the Olympics are supposed to be about the love of competition and a better world through sports competition it is actually about determining the best in the world. And that, my friends, is not about love it is about the rage of competition.
While I will surely give a nod to respect shown to other great competitors and the aftermath camaraderie that can only be had among the best in the world who have competed the hardest and recognize greatness around them at the Olympics, and how they do so even in loss, I must point out that the Olympic best carry a certain rage into their competitiveness. It may not be the traditional version of anger but it is most certainly a version of anger.
It drives them to compete with the intent to beat the shit out of whomever they are competing against and be the best they can be so they can actually be the best.
I say all that because I don’t believe enough business people strategize with some anger. Anger that … well … there are some stupid ideas out there …
some stupid opinions
some stupid attitudes
competitors say and do stupid things
and certainly there is a stupid acceptance of mediocrity.
I know that I have sat in a meeting room with some business partners and looked around at the competition and what they were doing and saying and, well, got angry. Angry enough to want and do something about it.
By being angry in business <no, I am not talking about being some anger management candidate> I mean planning angry, developing a strategy thinking with some anger about the status quo, maybe even having some anger toward conventional thinking and certainly some anger against whomever you are competing <but you can still respect the ones who deserve the respect while doing so> is effective and leads to effective business strategy to create real distinction in the marketplace.
To be clear.
Anger, to me, is much more useful than disdain. Disdain breeds some arrogance and certainly diminishes the capabilities of the competition as you think about competing against them. In your scoffing at them it suggests that it is … is … well … just not worth even thinking about. Anger, on the other hand, suggests you are facing what is straight on, in its face, and taking it head on. Anger guides you not toward some flimsy white space but directly into the fray — directly toward the space you want in a market <whether it is already occupied or not> and take it. Or, as Admiral Nelson once said, “you can do no wrong by putting yourself as close to the enemy as possible.”
And you know what?
In business strategy that is smart. So that is why I call this the angry business strategy.
To be clear, there is only one real way to win and that is without cheating. I say that because anger almost forces you to not only recognize that there is no virtue to be found in taking a shortcut <although shortcuts never really exist anyway> but that there is no long cut or shortcut but rather simply getting up and going — and competing to win.
I am sure someone will point out that it may simply be you look around and get aggravated by what you see and decide to do something about it. But I think if you have the team, and you have the product or service and you actually have the means to make your mark in the business world … then … well … it is okay if you look around at the competition and the competitive business world and get a little pissed not just aggravated.
You get a little angry …
This is stupid … there is a better way.
This is crazy … I have a better product.
This is nuts … I can’t believe people believe that shit.
Your anger puts an edge on what you decide to say and do.
Far too often we sit around and have pot after pot of strong coffee and have intellectual discussions on how to smartly effectively compete. We worry through some fairly random details, talk about being the best and then go ahead and be anything but the best.
So … you know what?
If you are better, and have a better offering and are truly worth a shit and want people to know you are worth a shit … well then … there is no real intellectual challenge. You get on with getting on. You just get competitively angry and stand in the middle of the field and say “here I am, and I am not going down.”
I am not suggesting being stupid about competing. Nor am I suggesting bludgeoning the industry and competitors with some dull edged hammer.
But I am suggesting the anger puts some attitude into your strategy and tactics. It puts a sharper edge into your sense of competitive purpose.
And here is what I know.
If it isn’t blind anger but rather competitive anger you won’t tiptoe into your messaging and go to market strategy. You will stride in with some swagger, some confidence and clearly some strong purposeful messaging.
Get a little pissed about perceptions, attitudes and mediocrity.
Get pissed that people are accepting less than the best and less than real truth.
Get pissed at yourself if you are in a position where you don’t believe enough in yourself and your offering to be able to get pissed.
I do believe more businesses should strategize with some anger. As Tupac said … not angry and pick up a gun, but angry and open our minds.