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The Cheetah And The Crocodile


It was my first day at the new workplace yesterday, and my boss invited me to lunch with some other members of the management at a nearby Peranakan place.

Over lunch, there was a very intense discussion about how underdogs like us can challenge far more powerful competitors in the marketplace. A senior colleague likened these incumbents as strong, powerful cheetahs, and asked, “So how do we beat them at their own game?”

My boss answered, “Let the cheetahs run against each other and fight it out.  We just do what we do best.”  It’s true.  There’s no use fighting against those who have deeper pockets and better resilience.

A cheetah uses its incredible speed and power to overcome its victims. Instead of trying to outrun one, why not be a crocodile instead?  A crocodile lies in wait along rivers and streams until its prey approaches the water for a drink, and then pounces on it.  It’s a totally different approach.

My first lesson on the job?  Do what you do best.  Don’t try and do what your stronger competitors are doing and hope to do it better.