How the God Fearing Enjoy a Sustained Competitive Advantage in Business
Had Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett never been a God fearing man, he might be hawking Dead Sea products instead of using his competitive advantage.
In the late 1990s, he opened a startup. Armed with an army career and a lot of Israeli chutzpa, he started a company in something he knew nothing about.
Things went well. He grew his dream to a small business employing 75 people.
Then things started to go wrong. He had to lay off two thirds of his staff.
He tried everything to make it work, but the business kept on collapsing.
Finally, his top executives had an intervention:
“Naf, this isn’t working out. If we don’t change our product. We are finished.”
As a CEO, it was his prerogative to tell his people what they could do with themselves. He was in New York at the time, and a common two-word reply was all he needed.
They were, after all, telling him that he was a failure who needed to start from scratch.
He kept his cool. He bit his lip He started over, remaking his product and rearranging his business model.
He rehired everyone he could, plus another 125 people. A few years later, he had a $400 million exit.
Then he went into government.
His path in politics wasn’t much different. In his first election, he won over 10% of the legislature. By his fourth election, he didn’t have the votes to even get into the Knesset.
He bit his lip, rebranded himself a “consensus maker,” and went from being cut to being Prime Minister.
The Key to Wisdom is Based on this One Truth
Naftali Bennett prays every day. He keeps the Shabbat every week. His actions imply that he is a God fearing man.
What does it mean to be God fearing?
One of the tell-tale signs is that you know when to admit He is right and you are wrong. This is the competitive advantage of life.
Most of us in Israel do things differently because our Creator tells us to.
Jews will not use electricity on Saturday. Muslims don’t work on Friday. Both of us do not eat the same meat as everyone else.
While everyone is drooling over the most recent picture of Brittney Spears sharing her anatomy, God fearing men stay away.
That includes Muslims. Christians. Jews.
Even though it feels good to see a young, fit, blond women. God tells us it’s wrong.
The competitive advantage in life kicks in the moment we accept that God is right.
It’s a process.
God creates the world. That’s trillions of galaxies. Quintillions of stars. Billions of people, each one with trillions of connectors in his or her brain, billions of blood vessels, and billions upon billions of cells, all to enable the most sophisticated apparatus in creation say “Good morning.”
I can make breakfast. Maybe coffee.
At my last job, my boss knew 10 programming languages. When I recommended we do an ad campaign about this particular function and he overruled me, I would argue. After a few minutes, I would relent: Always for the same reason.
He knows more about this than I do.
If we decide to let a person who knows a relatively little more about something to make the big decisions, for sure, we will let the Creator of heaven and earth call the shots in our life.
He creates us. He knows us better than we do.
The God Fearing Competitive Advantage of Being Wrong
When we want to eat bacon with our burger and God says no, we accept it because He knows better.
It rubs off on everything else.
When someone clearly knows more than you about a certain situation, a lifetime of trying to be humbler can enable you to defer.
That’s an advantage.
Allowing others to overrule you, as long as they have proven their case, puts more people in the room. You can have a company of 100 people, but if all the decisions are being made by a single person, the contributions of 99 others are severely stunted.
Even if it may appear that the “corrector” is the winner, it’s really the one who stands corrected who comes out ahead.
Naftali Bennett has a nine figure bank account. He is the Prime Minster of Israel.
Does anyone know who told Naftali Bennett to change his business?
From God allmighty to anyone on your team, deferring a solution is great for success in everything you want in life.
Now if we could just get Mr. Bennett to feel the same way about this year’s budget . . .