22 August 2014
There are certain sayings in life that I can’t help but disagree with; the ones that, in my experience, turn out to be perilous in practice. “All is fair in love and war” is an old adage, but one I think is sensible to question. What do we mean when we say this? Is it actually applicable to certain situations or is it simply an excuse for disrespecting our opponents and treating people in ways we would take umbrage to if we experienced them ourselves?
When it comes to business, there will always be people willing to “drag you into the mud”, as Richard Branson put it in a recent blog post. However, you don’t have to sink to other people’s levels in order to interact with them, and this doesn’t just apply to business. In all walks of life, there are people who don’t like to play anything fairly. There are plenty of reasons why, from simply wanting a quick win to acting that way because that’s the kind of behaviour they were exposed to growing up.
Either way, you shouldn’t ever have to compromise your values. Instead, try to focus on yourself and the people you can learn from. Healthy competition between opponents keeps you buoyant; malicious rivalries only serve to drag you down. Sink or swim; we always have a choice.