I’m a fan of Edward Boches, who has suggested that all of the most brilliant creatives throughout history were pushed to greatness by rivals.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
The Beatles and the Beach Boys.
Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
In almost every case, the rivalry made both parties better. Each pushed the other to do better work, not out of a sense of bitterness and disdain, but out of a sense of respect and admiration for the others’ work.
This used to be the case with some special radio markets. Chicago had both WLS and Super CFL directly competing daypart for daypart and that made the whole city sound better.
It’s tough right now in Radio because most markets don’t have live talent in all dayparts, and it’s difficult to keep the comparative fires burning when the person you compete with is in a studio hundreds of miles away from your town.
Still, I encourage you to find an air talent and/or PD you can admire, with whom you can feel that sense of competition and comparison.
Set your sights high. Pick someone whose work you believe is consistently better than your own.
Spend time understanding why their work is better than yours. Is it better ideas or better execution?
Reach out and try to personalize the rivalry. Compliment their work. Open a dialogue.
It’ll help your ratings and our whole industry.