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Why Better Is Better Than Best

Source | | Simon Sinek

The fastest runners in the world run between 12-14mph (19-23kph). The average bear runs between 30-40mph (48-64kph). That means if a bear decides to give chase, even world record-breaking sprinter Usain Bolt, could not outrun it.

But there is an adage: to get away from a bear you don’t have to be the fastest runner in the world, you just have to be faster than the guy behind you.

The same is true in business.

It is amazing how many businesses, big and small, like to present themselves as “the best.” I once met an optometrist, for example, who bragged to me that her store had “the best service in the industry.” A claim that is simply untrue—or at least there is no way to actually measure if it even is true. At the end of the day, there is no way for any business to say they offer the best of anything—service, quality or features. There are no standard metrics and most companies have no idea who all their competitors are.

The good news is, you don’t need to be the best. You need to be better. “The best” is an impossible standard that lacks credibility. But “better” is a realistic claim and a much easier comparison to make. The optometrist I met should have told me that she was “driven to offer better service than any of the other stores in the area and, more importantly, to outdo her own great service every year.” To her, this seemingly lower claim is actually much more realistic, much more believable and much more appealing.

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