The Leaders Challenge
Apparently competition and collaboration are two completely distinct concepts. While the first involves an evident division between the one who wins and the other who loses, the concept of collaboration requires everyone to work together. Stimulate healthy competition and collaboration in the workplace simultaneously must be one of the biggest challenges for every single leader.
The highly competitive people exist in most organizations — the go-getters who always strive to be number one. Everything is a competition; taking the stairs, turning in reports, sales. Although sometimes that competitive spirit can foster deep wounds among the team, the most successful businesses are the ones where coworkers strive to achieve their individual objectives — and at the same time, they recognise each other’s value. In fact, people cheer one another on in their efforts to win knowing that they’ll have to step up to the plate and deliver an even more impressive effort.
When competition is encouraged, failure will be inevitable. There will be winners and losers, and the losers need to trust that although they didn’t succeed this time around, there will be another opportunity. Creating an environment where failure is an opportunity to learn in a positive way is critical. Understanding the personal and professional goals of each individual employee makes a huge difference in supporting these efforts.
Invest in your team members. Learn about their strengths, weaknesses, and overall aspirations. It’s often helpful to know the personal goals of the individuals as well as their professional goals. This can help you support them in their development as citizens outside of the office, forging the bonds of loyalty to you and the organization. Having this trust between leaders and team members is vital to creating a successful environment.