I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends. – Abraham Lincoln

I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.

Abraham Lincoln

In a world where cut-throat competition reigns supreme, it is not unheard of for healthy competitors to become die-hard critics, and for die-hard critics to become sworn enemies. And once that line is crossed, all rules of decency and morality fly out out the window.

Do not get us wrong. There is nothing wrong with being competitive. In fact, the most successful and ambitious people around are thrilled by a good competition, for it brings out the best in them. It motivates and encourages them to constantly challenge themselves and push their limits. In a business scenario, this is obviously good for both the industry and the consumers, who get the best at the most reasonable prices. A competitive society is one with a healthy rivalry among people competing for the same goals, be it companies fighting it out for a major chunk of the market share or students trying to outsmart and out-study each other to get the best grade in class.

That said, as with everything good in life, a line needs to be drawn. Intense, unchecked rivalry has had a history of disfiguring into a bitterness that often transcends the field of competition and encroaches upon the erstwhile rivals’ personal lives. And that is where the importance of being on friendly terms with your competitors comes into picture. Even if two entrepreneurs are pulling out all the stops to beat each other to a coveted tender, there is no harm in having a friendly chat over dinner, is there? There is actually no reason why fierce adversaries cannot be good, if not best, friends. If anything, this only fuels and intensifies an already healthy rivalry.

The persona of Abraham Lincoln needs no introduction. The renowned American politician served as the 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln once said: “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”