Being Competitive

How would you define the idea of being competitive?   I’m not talking about from a business standpoint necessarily (at least not yet), but from an individual perspective?   Would you describe yourself as being competitive?

Tell me and I forget.   Teach me and I remember.   Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

Why or why not?   While part of your brain works on that question, I want to share a couple thoughts with the other part of your brain that is going to keep reading.   Those of us who consider ourselves to be very competitive know that we are in large part very self-motivated. If there is anything we want to accomplish, it often gets turned into a “game” of sorts.   This is so we can “compete” to achieve whatever goal we may be trying to attain.   It even goes back a step further, to setting the goal in the first place.   If you are setting a goal, it means there is something you want to achieve – losing weight, quitting smoking, running your fastest 5k - something that you want to do to make yourself better.   (Again, we’re still talking about things from a personal perspective.)  This underlying desire speaks of your competitive nature.

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While pursuing your goal, the more competitive you are, the more likely you are to achieve the goal.   You’ll do what you know you need to do to accomplish it.   Your desire to “win” by reaching your goal will get you through the difficult spots.   You may share your goal with someone to help keep you accountable.   (While writing the previous paragraph, I literally got a text message from someone sharing that they are finally trying to quit smoking!)   You keep yourself motivated as you strive to reach your goal.

OK… So, now for how this translates in to business and the workplace.   First of all, as an employee, you should always be looking to improve yourself personally.   Whether it’s more education, better health or anything that enhances you personally, you become a better employee, which translates into a positive for your employer.   Beyond that, whatever competitive nature you have should be channeled into doing the best you can in whatever role you may play.   Businesses really are like teams in that everyone has a position and role to play.   The only way the team can play its best is if each team member is playing to the best of their personal ability.

Now, back to those early questions, now that you’ve had a moment or two to think about it while you were reading, what do you think?   Are you competitive?   If you are, do you see how it has helped you, in ways maybe you hadn’t thought of before?   Or, if you don’t consider yourself to be competitive by nature, do you see where maybe upping your game in that area may be beneficial?   Give it some more thought if you need to…   Everyone benefits when each of us improves.

~ Bud Sanders

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