From an operations perspective: You can focus on operating the details of your own car (business) or anticipate the actions of other drivers (your competitors). You can look out the front. Or look out both sides. You can practice defensive or aggressive driving (or business strategies).

One important point: You have as little control over the whole system (the freeway. the cars on it, the weather conditions…) as you do over life itself. The other drivers have free will to do whatever they wish, whenever they wish.

Road rules are the agreed rules of engagement. We all assume everyone else will comply with road rules – otherwise the system will not function.

Likewise in business – we assume that all other businesses will comply with the established rules (laws) of trade and commerce, and also with the unwritten social rules of business conduct.

Thing is, the unexpected WILL happen. It happens when someone chooses not to play by the rules. This does not necessarily mean doing anything illegal either. It could be someone questioning an assumed truth. When someone moves into a new industry without going through the usual means.

You can’t control what other people do. Even when their actions impact your business.

But you CAN control what your business does. You can mind it well. And choose deliberately to steer its heading. You can anticipate what others are doing. And also what conditions are like ahead.