The late Steve Jobs said something really powerful in some interviews I saw on YouTube. On different occasions he was asked how he felt about competing against Microsoft, or competing with Google. He looked down rather superciliously over his glasses, his face and nose crinkling into an owl-like posture.
His response was rather startling. He stated that he and Apple weren't competing against their competitors. Instead, they were trying to make the best computers possible for their consumers.
Wow! What a concept! This is so deep, you could almost call it a universal law! In fact, in a famous statement, Mother Theresa said she would never attend an "anti-war" rally. But she would attend a peace rally.
Fighting against something (a la your competitors) can never produce the powerful results that working towards something can. This goes to the heart of why Apple produces such excellence, and why many of us at times fail in our efforts to make progress in our businesses.
The simple question is, are we trying to best our competitors, or give our customers our best?
This small but powerful shift in focus towards creating the best products or services for your customers that you can, instead of thinking about your competors breathing down your neck, can help you rise above the pack, naturally. It boils down to whose interests you are serving. Your ego, or fear, in trying to stay ahead of the pack, or your customers' needs.
Think about it.