If Simon Sinek had one goal every day, it would be to beat fellow author Adam Grant. Sinek had an insatiable appetite to outrank Grant on every bestseller list by his own admission.
As fate would have it, Grant and Sinek ended up on the same stage together. Not knowing how Sinek felt, the MC of the event thought it would be a nice gesture for each author to say something nice about one another.
Sinek went first. He looked out of the crowd, back at Grant, and confessed, “You make me unbelievably insecure because all of your strengths are my weaknesses. What comes easy for you is a struggle for me.”
Grant responded, “I feel the same way about you.”
At that moment, Sinek no longer saw Grant as a competitor, but he chose him as a worthy rival instead. In his book “The Infinite Game,“ Sinek pens,
“How do you win a race with no finish line?” There will always be more months, quarters, and years. More books, rankings, and lists, and if all you’re trying to do is beat the other person you’ll miss the forest for the trees.
Choosing a worthy rival is an evolution because it pushes you to work on your weaknesses and insecurities while innovating.
This is where “He brought out the best of me" comes from.
Remember, this is an infinite game that you are playing. A game with no finish line, and if you’re only competing, what will you strive for once you beat the other? You’ll end up losing your hunger and cease innovating because you "won"… for now but you will ultimately lose over time.
Just ask Sears, Myspace, Blockbuster, and the traditional taxi service. All of them saw Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and Uber as competitors and had the false sense of security that winning was eternal. Amazon and the like chose the behemoths as worthy rivals and continued to innovate- adapting, adjusting, and advancing along the way. By the time they realized the gap had drastically narrowed, it was too late for the legacy companies.
Choosing a worthy rival is an infinite mindset. For instance, Apple chose IBM as a worthy rival, but once they surpassed IBM, they then chose Microsoft as their next worthy rival.
Who is a worthy rival for you?
They don’t even have to be in the same industry as you. They’re just the next higher point that pushes you to adapt, adjust, and advance.
Get there but never arrive.
I'm pulling for you. Remember, the greatest sale you'll ever make is to sell you on you.
Hear this full episode on The Sales Life Podcast.