Market leaders understand the importance of working their plan, and they do not focus on “crushing” the competition, but they do passionately serve their markets. (Doves) Market losers focus their energies on “beating”and “crushing” the completion and have little understanding of the problems of their buyers as their entire focus is on their competitor(s). (Hawks)
Doves strategically and passionately set out to solve their buyer’s problems. Hawks try to swoop in and destroy competitors who may or may not be perched with an understanding of buyers, their problems and buying criteria. (they are only as good as their competitors…who chances are do not understand their market) Ironically, Hawks actually believe their competitors must know the market or they would not be trying to “beat” them.
The trouble occurs when you chase the quest to destroy competitors you fly even closer to your competitor and farther away from understanding your market.
One of the benefits of working with a variety of business leaders is listening to their stories. Recently I met with an entrepreneur who shared how he learned one of the most valuable lessons in business strategy long ago when he served the Marriott Corporation. He described their training and one of their sessions was called “Hawks and Doves”. In this exercise they broke off into small groups and were presented a business challenge. Predictably, everyone fell into the trap of wanting to attack and crush the competition as a Hawks. Admittedly there is a sense of machismo ego in being a Hawk after all. However the problem with being a Hawk is there are always Eagles who can swoop down ( out of seemly no where) and destroy you. Doves however are singularly focused; serving the needs of their market.
As Hawks, you rely ( focus) on your prey,… in a way you are counting on their smarts, their understanding of the market….a follower strategy.
This entrepreneur went on to share how when Marriott would have a location oversold they would have a network of other hotels they would send customers to. On the surface this may seem odd, right? However Marriott is and has been consistently one of the top hotel chains in the world. Their quality and service are consistently recognized as market leaders.
Market leaders serve their market.
Market losers focus on killing competitors.
When I wrote “are you a Pit Bull or a Poodle?” I shared the tenacity entrepreneurs must have . They have a sence of ownership and not a victim out look. However I do not want to leave you with the impression that means attacking and chewing up your competition. Pit bulls have a fierce tenacity and jaw strength that insures when they clamp down on unresolved market problems and they do not let go.
As Pit Bull entrepreneurs you clamp down on your commitment to solve your buyers’ problems with your product or solution, but do so with the market serving strategy of a Dove.