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How To Gain Competitive Advantage In An Hostile Business Environment
Stats: 3,953 words / Reading Time: 19.77 mins

Published: Tuesday 26th March 2019

How To Gain Competitive Advantage In An Hostile Business Environment is read 484 times on CentreNDL.org 484

How To Gain Competitive Advantage In An Hostile Business Environment

Good day everyone, my name is Gboyega Adedeji. I am so glad to welcome you to this week edition of Leaderview. I hope your week has been great? Thank God it is Wednesday, it is an opportunity to learn leadership, discuss and interrogate leadership, that we may become better leaders. My name is Gboyega, and it is a great privilege to connect with you this week.


We are considering something that is very precious to my heart and precious to the heart of God. It is about leadership and strategy, it is about getting ahead, about winning and providing an example for others coming behind you to see. It is about leadership! We will continue in the series that we began several months ago, the Leadership Trip To Genesis (LTTG™). We are looking at Genesis chapter twenty-six, and we we would something that is very profound from the life of Isaac as a leader. We want to find out how to gain competitive advantage in an hostile business or corporate environment? How can you and I gain competitive advantage in an hostile environment, be it business or corporate environment? How do you gain competitive advantage?




While you are not living to compete with others, the truth is there are many people competing for the time and for the resources everywhere around you. If you want people to follow you, then others also want people to follow them. It is difficult for people to follow you and follow others; so, how do you handle such a competitive environment; even in a society where the resources are hardly available for everybody? So, what goes around does not always come around for everybody, how do you handle resources in such a difficult situation, a difficult economy, a difficult society? How do you still stand for the truth, righteousness and justice? How do you speak for the unprivileged or the less privileged people in your society when there is a stiff competition for your time and own resources?


We would examine the story of Isaac and how he gained competitive advantage to the point that a whole nation started envying him. He didn't start like that, as a matter of fact, Isaac was just like many of us when he started, but he ended up becoming a man that the whole country was envying. He became a threat to the whole society. In fact, they came to him at a point to make an agreement and sign an MoU with him, telling themselves, if we don't reach an agreement with this man, based on the expansion of his corporation, he is going to actually take over us, take over our businesses and lands. They got to a point that the whole nation gathered to reach an agreement with him. Isaac didn't start like that, but he ended like that. How can we also end up, becoming such an entity that nations can reach agreement with us, that organizations can reach agreement with us towards our effectiveness on the earth in leadership?


So, we will go to the book of Genesis 26 and start the reading from verse 1 so that we can see the first decision, among many decisions that Isaac made that made him to have an edge over the hostile environment that he was operating in. Genesis 26:1, the Bible says:

"There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. 2 Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. 3 Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.

4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” 6 So Isaac dwelt in Gerar."

And that is very instructive. The Lord said "Dwell in this land, don't go to Egypt." Now, when there was famine in the days of his father Abraham, Abraham without consulting God, went straight to Egypt. Now, when he returned from Egypt, he came with resources no doubt, but he also came with problems. He came back with Hagar, who later got pregnant for him and gave birth to Ishmael. Now you understand that story. Instead for Isaac following the pattern of his father, he decided to consult God. He made a decision that many of us must learn from today, and it is that if you want to gain a competitive advantage in an hostile environment, the environment we operate in life, in ministry, in business, and what have you, may not always be friendly.


There are times the society is hostile, the economy is hostile. Money is not going around the way you expect it, people don't appreciate what you are doing. In such an hostile environment, how can you get ahead? The first decision that Isaac made was to consult God before making his decisions. What should I do? And God said, don't go down, stay in the land. And so, we must understand that the first decision that Isaac made was that he spoke with God on the decision of whether to go to Egypt or to remain. The second decision was that while he spoke to God, God said to him not to go. And so, he made a decision to stay. And so we saw it, and we can see it again in Genesis 26:6. The Bible says "So Isaac dwelt in Gerar." And Gerar is in Philistine. He was not expected to go to Egypt, he stayed in the land. Why? God has promised to bless him there.


The environmental condition was not better, but the word condition was promising. God said He would make him great and bless him. God gave him a condition via His word that was promising enough to make him stay back in Gerar. And so, in spite of the weather and the economy, he stayed because God said it. God spoke to him and he stayed!


The third decision that he made, we can find it if we continue reading that Genesis 26 from verse 12. From verse 12, we will notice that Isaac faced a lot of oppositions. But he did one thing that was very instructive. But before he did that, there is something I would want us to see. It is from verse 12. The Bible says:

12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. 13 The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; 14 for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.

Now, you saw that Isaac actually sowed, he didn't just stay. You see, what many of us do in hostile environment and conditions is to stay to complain. When we accept the will of God for our lives to stay in a particular place, in a country or to stay in a particular job or a business, we complain. But we refuse to make further decisions that will establish us in the places that the Lord has commanded us to stay. Now for Isaac, he made a decision to sow in the land, he did not just stay there. He committed and sacrificed in the land, he invested in the land. So, I don't know what you are doing in the places that you are staying now, are you complaining there or you are doing things or committing yourself in that land?


And the Bible says the Philistines envied him, and that led to many things. From that moment, he began to dig wells, establish wells and the Philistines were covering up his wells with earth. So, as he made effort, they were frustrating his effort. We will see, very soon now, as we continue from verse 15 downwards that Isaac endured criticisms, he endured oppositions and attacks. So, his men were attacked, but he endured, and he continued to sow in the land. Let us see what happened later on as we read from verse 24.

And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

Now, one the things that I noted is that beyond sowing in the land and enduring attacks, another thing that he did was that he remained at the centre of God's will. He built an altar to God, offered sacrifices, he was godly in the midst of opposition and attacks and threats to his life, he remained committed to God. So, the first thing he did was speak to God, consulted Him before making his decisions; and when God spoke to him, he decided to stay where God told him to stay. So, he stayed in the right place, and sowed in the right place. He invested in the right place, by committing his time, and resources on the right things in the right place. And then he endured opposition, and again he remained at the centre of God's will for his life. He did not because of opposition get out of the plan of God. He stayed with God and then he worshipped God.


The last thing that I want us to note is documented in verse 26 downwards. The Bible noted that Abimelech, the king of Philistines came to him, with his team to discuss. They said to him we are now so cleared that God is with you, and we don't even want to joke with our own destiny by denying the fact that God is with you. You are becoming or have become a great man, lest you take over our nation, and you become a threat to us, let us reach an agreement with you. And so from verse 26 downwards, Isaac had a discussion with them, and made a covenant with them. Let us read that portion of the Bible.

28 But they said, “We have certainly seen that the Lord is with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an oath between us, between you and us; and

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let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, since we have not touched you, and since we have done nothing to you but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.’ ” 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.

Now, one other thing that Isaac did that we must do, in an hostile environment, be it business, ministry or any kind of environment that we find ourselves; if we want to get ahead, if you don't want to be struggling but lead in such a situation, we must remain hospitable, friendly and peaceful in an hostile environment. Now, let me put it in another form. Do not return hostility with hostility. If you want to get ahead, they are fighting you, you don't fight them. They are frustrating you, don't frustrate them. Stay with the things that God has giving to you. Don't forget, God told Isaac to stay in the land, and then he stayed and sowed.


So, what was his business in those days? Isaac was the one who sows and not the one who fights. And so, he decided to make peace with those people, living them with their conscience, he made peace with them and he continued to do what he was doing before they came. He continued to sow; no wonder he continued to prosper. See what happened in verse 32, after that incident. The Bible says:

It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 So he called it Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.

"We have found water." So, that is what happens. Assuming he got entangled and involved in the hostility, and got to the point of him returning hostility with hostility, he might not have gotten the water that came after the incidence that he had with the king of the Philistines. You see, in peace, there is prosperity. When you return fight for fight, it does not produce righteousness, productivity or even your own increase. The word that has been laid in my heart is what I have shared with you, how you and I can gain competitive advantage in an hostile business or corporate environment.


The first I must note is that in every decision, I must speak to God first and whatever God tells me to do, I must do it. In the case of Isaac, God told him to stay and he stayed. He didn't just stay, he sowed in the land. If you must get ahead in this hostile environment, people are complaining business is not booming, you must never stop investing. Invest in the same land. If you believe in the land, invest in it. Don't invest in the United States of America when you believe in Nigeria. If you believe in Kenya, don't take all your investment to Dubai. If you believe in Kenya, stay there and invest there. I hope you understand that?


And then, you must endure opposition. You see, the only person who has no opposition is a person who is going nowhere. If you are doing nothing, no one would oppose you. If you are taking no stand, no one can take any stand against you. So, for you to ever have an opposition, you must have a position. It is because your life is counting for something, that is why people can fight you. And so, when people are fighting against you, you don't take it personally, just continue to do what you are doing. You must remain committed to your works and then, you must not forget that God must continue to take the pre-eminence in all your decisions, your judgments and the things you do.


You must remain at the centre of God's will for your life, and lastly, you must never return hostility for hostility. I pray that God's grace will be multiplied to you and we will be established, in spite of the difficulties of our environment, be it in business, politics, and economic environment we found ourselves, we will continue to flourish. Why? Because we are at the centre of the will of God and we are with God, and we are listening to Him. We are committed to the will of God, and we depend on Him. We do not repay evil for evil, we stand for God and stand for the truth.


I pray that God will continue to establish us, and take us from one level of glory to another level of glory. Till next week, that I will come your way with another edition of Leaderview, stay blessed, stay flourishing, stay fruitful, stay engrafted in the word of the Lord. God bless you.

Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!

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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.


Leading Your Corporate Environment How To Gain Competitive Advantage Hostile Business Environment

If you cannot find the right REASON for your existence or better still - LIVING; you will never know FULFILLMENT! In actual sense, FULFILLMENT is rooted in UNDERSTANDING of accomplishment of some purpose or INTENT. If PURPOSE isn't known, the accomplishment will also be vague and SATISFACTION will be merely accidental!

Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Thursday 27th February 2020

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