Legend has it that the motel chain Ramada Inn built its business plan base upon what its competitor Holiday Inn was doing. Wherever Holiday Inn built a motel Ramada would build one across the highway or next door. I don’t know for sure if the legend is valid or not, but if there is an ounce of truth in it, it was a brilliant plan. What I do know is that the founders of both companies recognized the great need for higher quality motel accommodations along America’s highways, thus a business opportunity. Ramada simply let their competitor go first, identify the strategic locations, and then they would buy the property next door. Ramada Inn, in other words, was not capitalizing on what their competitor was doing wrong, but on what they were doing right.
What is it that if you had the opportunity to do it all over again you would do exactly the same? Ever think about that? Most of us can think of lots of things we wish we had done differently, the mistakes we have made, but what about those choices and decisions that turned out right? Those are the things we can capitalize on, providing insights as to how we can be successful in other endeavors.
In my experience of coaching leaders and business executives a common oversight occurs when in our zeal to fix something that is broken or correct a dysfunction we often neglect to consider the things that are actually working quite well – either directly within the operation, in another area of the organization, or outside the organization such as a competitor. The result is that we often overlook an idea or solution that is right under our noses.
The things we do right are not accidents. They are the result of our diligence and hard work for sure. But more than that the things we do right – however many or few they may be – provide insights about ourselves, our strengths and abilities, our passions, and our potential for being successful in other endeavors.
So what has come to mind for you these past few seconds as you’ve read this? What would you do exactly the same if you had it to do over again? How might you capitalize on the things you have done right that could make you successful in other endeavors?