‘COMPETITION IS NOT ALWAYS HEALTHY’ By Mwangi Ndegwa

I know this may sound controversial because for most of our lives i.e. since when we are young to where we are now, we have...


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I know this may sound controversial because for most of our lives i.e. since when we are young to where we are now, we have been bombarded with the gospel of competition and how this makes us progressive in life. I have been thinking about this and I am coming to the  realization that this is not always true. This was reinforced further when I paid a visit to my parents back in the rural area. As I was moving about in the compound,I saw a scene that gave me a totally different perspective on this whole issue.

Passion fruits are a climbing vine. Their stem is not strong enough to allow for stand alone growth like that of a mango or orange tree. Their fruits when ripe are purple on the outside and a shade of orange inside and very sweet. There is another fruit tree called the tree tomato whose fruits are red in colour when ripe. This one is a stand alone meaning it supports itself on it own stem. These two plants are both fruit trees but in the scenario I outlined, the passion fruit had woven itself around the stem and branches of the tree tomato. Each was doing very well and producing its own “FRUITS.” The tree tomato didn’t sulk or feel bad or even attempt to throw off the passion vines but it graciously allowed the passion fruit to use its strong stem for support. This didn’t stop it from producing its own kind of fruit.

There is a great lesson for us as human beings here. Growth in our endeavours will not come only from being the best among our peers but sometimes we need to alight from the bus called competition and board another more effective one called collaboration. If we could learn to support and learn from those we are in the same businesses with, it would help us to gain more traction in the market and  it will be of more benefit because everything we will be doing will be for the good of all of us. We will all be in a “Win, Win” situation for all of us. Let’s keep in mind that, we are here to make a profit not to undercut others and if collaborating with one other will give better results, then why not adopt it? To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

Photo Credit: Mwangi Ndegwa

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