How to Compete Like a Leader

Male cardinals attack reflections.

At first, I thought they were admiring themselves in the mirrors on my truck. As time passed, I realized they were attacking their reflection.

Focusing on the wrong competitor corrodes success.

Competing with team members.

The enemy isn’t out there.

Don’t compete with reflections. Someone outshines you on the team and you’re tempted to outshine them.

Your job is to help team members shine, not outshine them.

Jealousy undermines team performance.

Friendly competition only works when:

  1. Team success is more important than individual success.
  2. Players brings THEIR best without undermining teammates.

Competing with yourself.

If you’re competing with me, I’m not excited to help you. If you’re competing with yourself, I’m delighted to help.

Self-competition is about improvement – becoming your best self.

  1. Forget about making the other guy look bad.
  2. Focus on helping the other guy succeed.

“You can go after whatever you want. You just cannot deny anyone else to go after whatever they want.” Simon Sinek

Competition that strengthens a team builds sustained success, but trying to beat a team mate weakens teams.

Teams can’t succeed when team mates work to outshine each other.

How can you bring your best self to your colleagues today?

What prevents leaders from helping team members shine?

Further reading:

When Competition Between Coworkers Leads to Unethical Behavior (HBR)