Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Joy of Competition

It's Tournament time.....64 teams will battle it out for one spot. Countless hours in the gym, unlimited potential and an uncertain future all come down to one game at a time - win or go home!

In business, I always look to competitive people with admiration because they place higher standards upon themselves than any boss or company will. Anyone who has been a Champion knows the thrill of preparing, doubting, overcoming and achieving....this is what business is all about.

Through sports, I learned to give all out effort for roughly 60 minutes and walked from many-a-gym with a trophy in my hand. The discipline, drive and system for preparation I learned on the field carried over well into my sales career.

The Danger of Competition: A game lasts an hour, a season a quarter, but a professional career will span 30 years. When we are used to putting our head down and funneling pure effort for 60 minutes our time to shine is clearly defined. We also know that we want to hit our peak condition just before the playoffs. In business, however, the season is not as clearly defined. Challenges arise without announcement and the need to strategically direct our unapologetic motivation becomes paramount.

"You need to slow down man!"...advice of a poor leader who could not handle my manic energy. The intent was right, but when your competitive drive is fueled by proving to the naysayers wrong...challenging convention becomes a way of life.

The Answer: As Leaders, we need to understand how to take effort, direct it toward strategy and produce results. Essentially, we have a group of athletes for whom we are creating a season's schedule. They are ready to compete; we just need to help them take that drive to run 100 yards and help them get there 10 yards at a time.

Here are a few tips for channeling competitive effort to produce results:

1. Set short term goals

2. Create the goal line and use long term goals to get there

3. Recognize even the slightest achievements along the way

4. When accomplishments become measurable - reward them!

5. Establish a next step for organizational advancement - and help them get there!

The Final Score: Never tell a competitive person to slow down - help them understand that winning together is far more meaningful to their effort than crossing the finish line alone.

LEAD...let those with you know that they are part of a team that will not accept a loss.

Don't Forget to Remember!



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