The phrase, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” found it’s origin during the War of 1812 in which Commodore Perry reported, “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” to William Henry Harrison after the Battle of Lake Erie.
Cartoonist Walt Kelly, modified Commodore Perry’s quote to, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” in a cartoon he created in 1970 celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970. The message being that man – from his treatment of the earth – is the planet’s enemy.
In business, many spend a great deal of time focusing on, and even obsessing over, what their competition – their perceived “enemy” – may be doing to steal customers and market share. They fear that the competition will enter their space, and provide service and products equal to or better than what they are providing. This fear consumes them and their every waking moment. Yet, there is very little, if anything, one can do to influence or control what the competition will or will not do.
If you’re a business owner or leader , you must tune out the competition and focus on what you have the most control over.
Namely, your destiny and success in the form of how you structure and run your business and not what is going on around you in the outside world. Yes, market research and knowledge are important and should be factored into your strategy and planning. But, the outside world should not be the sole focus of your attention and energies.