How To Win By Not Being The Best

tightropeIs this madness? “If you want to succeed, do NOT try to be the best at what you do.” No. It’s absolute magic. Here’s why.

Okay. It sure sounded like madness when I heard it. Then, in the next sentence, came the gem that can change careers and businesses- for the better.
This will make you think. It will challenge you. And if you can work out how to use it, will turbo-charged you to greater, faster success.

Here’s the story. The global advertising industry leader was live on satellite link from Europe, sharing with the 200 industry leaders in the room his counsel on how to thrive in fast changing times. His key message: Do not try to be the best at what you do. Instead:

Be the only one who does it.


Now there is a true insight.

We spend so much time worrying and wondering about how to be the best at what we do, yet so little time working on how to be the only one who does it.

Imagine if your offer- as an employee or company -was genuinely unique. That your colleagues, bosses or clients would say of you: “Now that Michelle, there is no-one who can do what she does. She is special. If you want XYZ result, then Michelle is the only one to call.”

Being the ‘only one’ does not mean you have to invent something not already in existence. It does mean creating an aspect of your offer that is different, and valuable to your clients or employers. It’s as simple as that.

Differentiation is the magic sauce of modern business and career success.

We have to be good, fast and great value. But what’s the one thing about us the stands out, and differentiates us in a crowded market?

Give it thought. Think hard about what you bring to the party. What is it about your ‘offer’ that you can develop, sharpen and expand that will begin to genuinely make you stand out from others? Brainstorm. Make a long list. Ask around. Narrow it down. Hone in on something. Make a plan. Get cracking.

And for your business? What is that one thing your business can do that will give it the same ‘stand out’ impact? Does not have to be hugely complex. Just something. To build fame around. To be seen as ‘the only one who delivers….x, y or z.”

It sounded crazy. “Don’t try to be the best at what you do.”

But then came the magic sauce.

“Be the only one who does it.”


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9 Responses to How To Win By Not Being The Best

  1. heather October 12, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    Ditto….yes, Wow !!

    • Chris Savage October 13, 2016 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks Heather! Chris

  2. Caroline Job October 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    Thanks Chris for another insightful post. I love your blog for these reasons of thought provoking issues/ comments you raise. Differentiation is key! Finding your USP is the way forwards. thank you x

    • Chris Savage October 13, 2016 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks Caroline! Appreciated. Chris

  3. Rachel Raphael October 12, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    great article and pertinent given how much agency work is being commoditised. Creating differentiation is essential but I have found it very tough. Any other tools or questions to help you / your business get there?

    • Chris Savage October 13, 2016 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks Rachel. Chris

  4. Jenet Depke October 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    Hi Chris

    Hope you are in fine spirits.

    As always, your profound pearls of wisdom is ever so timely. You have made my day, in more ways than one.

    Your advice is so inspiring and encouraging as to how all your friends and colleauges can become even more successful in their job or in their business or in life generally. Therefore, my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your continued insightful and excellent blogs.

    It’s 32 years this month since I established J.D’s Personnel specialising in the Advertising, Public Relations, Graphic Design and Digital industries, and your blog has highlighted some very valuable and timely information as to what our new value proposition will be moving forward and why J.D’s is one of the few holistic Executive Search and recruitment agencies who has such a unique point of difference.

    Wishing you an abundance of good fortunes and continued success in your business and life journey. May a thousand blessings be upon you and your family for all your generosity of spirit and valuable time you share with the world at large.
    Our life journey is enriched by your presence. Thanks for being a treasure of a friend to so many.

    Warmest Wishes:)


    • Chris Savage October 18, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

      Thanks Jenet. Well done on all you have achieved! And thanks as always for your support. Chris

  5. Jenet Depke October 13, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

    Hi Chris

    J.D’s Personnel is the ONLY Executive Search and Recruitment agency which has been operating for the past 32 years in the creative industry; stood the test of time, making a difference to peoples careers and life journey and to our clients bottom line:) yeah WW JD

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