Did you grow up playing sports? Growing up, I was always very competitive. My goal was to win, whether it was basketball, football, marbles, whatever we were playing. I always felt like I’d do whatever it takes to be the best.
I think that the people that are the most successful in today’s world have a competitive streak in them. You can’t be the best you can be if you aren’t competitive. Your company especially can’t be the best it can beif your leader isn’t competitive or if you don’t have some people that are competitive within your company.
In today’s environment, we’re teaching kids not to compete but rather to just participate. No matter which team wins, everybody gets a trophy. Even if they don’t score, they are winners. What we’ve created is an environment of younger people that are not competitive and when they go out into the real world, they’re going to be in for a shock.
Everything in the real world is competitive, and you can only be sheltered so long before you find out the real truth.
Now that doesn’t mean that I think that you should necessarily always be competitive with everybody else. I see competitiveness as being competitive with myself. I look at where I’ve come and where I’ve been, and figure out how to do better than I’ve done in the past. I am always bettering myself regardless of those around me.
Sam Walton created this acronym that I try to live by:
HEATKTE – High Expectations Are The Key To Everything
If you don’t have your expectations and competitiveness set, you’re not going to be the lead dog. You want to set your expectations high, but you don’t want to set them so high that your team gives up hope and feels hopeless. Unrealistic expectations can make people lose motivation quickly.
I’ve always said that if you’re going to be a leader, you’ll let your competition and your customer know that you’re the lead dog because the lead dog is the only one who gets a change of scenery. Every other dog is looking at another dog’s behind.
Everything in every environment has to have competition, no matter what it is. I think the desire of any company is to be the best, to provide products and services more effectively and efficiently than anybody else, but many companies don’t take time to analyze their competitors, and that’s detrimental to their company. I’m not saying for you to copy your competitor’s company, but you have to highlight your own value and why people should do business with you. You should always be aware of what your competitors are doing and offering.
Competitive tendencies within a company are even more important now that we live in a global economy. We are even in trade wars between entire countries, not just companies. I’m here to tell you that for your company to be truly competitive in the marketplace, you must be competitive in these areas: business operations, talent, ideas, creativity, innovation, and adding value.
So, here’s a hard truth to close today’s blog. In business, you either become competitive or become extinct. Competitiveness either makes you better and stronger, or it eliminates you completely.
You can’t simply show up and participate and become a winner.