I’m sitting outside on my patio on a beautiful Easter Sunday sipping coffee with my dog Chauncey by my side. Not 20 yards from me I observe a pair of golfers attempting to make it to hole 14 one swing at a time.
As an observer who is in the brand business, instead of seeing Frank and Al, I see Mizuno and Titleist. Next I see Oakley, Ping and Nike. And so forth. From hats to clubs to clothing, I watched possibly twenty-five brands pass by Chauncey & me before I felt the importance of today’s message:
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” ~ Proverbs 27:17
Being Passover/Easter, perhaps I felt more Biblical today than most blog sessions but this theme is equally true on the golf course as it is in business. I don’t know if Frank & Al are business associates or father and son but they seem to be having a great time. More than the anxiety of whether they will achieve par or better, I saw men enjoying time with one another. ‘Sharpening’ each other. Not one of these pair of folks wore matching brands that I was able to see.
I work in an industry that is filled with companies of all sizes competing for market share. This applies not only to the brand owners that we represent, but the lawyers, and consultants like myself. In this down economy the temptation to dismiss or ignore the humanity your fellow man, whether client vendor or competition, may be great. It is obvious to me that the nature of most any sport is to achieve a better score than your opponent. But Frank & Al, decked out in their competing brands, appear as non-competitive and as happy as Chauncey & me.
As INTA’s Annual Spring Meeting approaches, I am sure that we will each personally see more than a hundred competitors during those four days. All brands, lawyers and consultants show up for two reasons. It is true that we show up to vie for market share to feed our families. The greater purpose is to become better. Better at our jobs but, more importantly, better people. I look forward to ‘sharpening’ one another in May.
Have a wonderful Holiday!
Now I am going to finish my coffee.