We live in a world where competition, being competitive is admired. I argue that it’s not always healthy. Life is not just about me, organisations do not operate in isolation from their environment and society.
Competition becomes unhealthy
- When I benchmark myself against you and take pleasure in your loss, I get better to get better than you, not to stretch myself.
- When I run faster only to be quicker than you
- When I pay high premiums to bring sales people in from other companies so I can best the competition, and discount how much that pisses off existing staff
- When I need to be noticed in order to be OK
- When I get upset when I can’t beat you at bowling
- When “winning” makes me feel superior to you
- When I take pleasure in having more than you
- When I want more than anyone can possibly need, and then some more on top
- When I, am stressed, need to win more than I need to be my own best, and when I take a short term view to feed my hunger.
- When I shout at my child’s football coach, the referee and other parents.
Competition is healthy
- When I benchmark myself against you and I get better
- When run faster because you are running faster and I want to get fitter
- When I work out what other companies are doing that gets them more sales and I work to raise my own sales
- When it gives me a focus and energy to improve
- When I beat you at bowling
- When I win and offer you respect as I pass you
- When there is room for more than one ego than mine in the space around me
- When I am not seeking validation for myself through winning – being better than you is not the only way I can feel good
- When I am prepared to share my winnings, emotional, intellectual, financial
- When I don’t get greedy
- When I am in flow, calm, steady, fast, slow, energised, paced.
- When I know there is more to this world than me and what I need
- When I can feel good about myself when no-one is looking or seeing or knowing what I am achieving
- When I feel pleasure in someone else’s achievement
Competition is overrated.