Forget About Being the Best

one red strawberry

You’ll never be the best.

“Strategy is not about being the best, but about being unique.” Jerome De Flander, author of, The Execution Shortcut.

Unique value is the best.

Finding unique:

  1. Look for the one word that best describes your unique value.
  2. Ask new customers for the best word that describes their experience with your organization.
  3. Reject useless words like excellent. Find a unique word that describes your uniqueness.
  4. Explore provocative words that describe what you are and defines what you hope to be.
  5. Courageously choose a compelling word. The Zappos word is happiness.

In the process of searching for your word, tell everyone that one word will guide your business. You’ll be asking everyone, “What are we doing to produce ______?” (Insert your word.)

  1. Evaluations will center on, “How are you creating _____.”
  2. Planning meetings will be about producing _____.”
  3. Training will enable employees to generate _____.”

Executing your word:

If your word is happiness, ask every team, manager, leader, and employee, “What can we do that produces happiness.”

Maybe you’re word is inspiring. What is inspiration? How can you create inspiring experiences?


Unique value centers on environment and experience. Senge put it this way, “Your primary influence is the environment you create.”

Unique value is experience.

Tip: Deliver your unique value to customers and employees.

Assumption: This post assumes commitment to produce and deliver quality product.

Personal application:

You’ll never be the best. There’s always someone with more skill, talent, wisdom, or success.

The best is a matter of comparison and that’s the problem. Compared to what or who? What constitutes the best?

Striving to be the best creates winners and losers. “I’m better than you because I’m the best.” It’s oppressive.

Forget about the best.
Do your best to bring unique.

Facebook fans fill in: “The trouble with being the best is …”

What are the pros and cons of trying to be the best?

How can leaders and organizations find success through being unique?