We grow up in a world where competition is everywhere. I realised how engrained it is when I found out that some schools tier Year 1 children’s maths. I can’t imagine what they are going to do next – tiering finger painting? If only they gave grades for stubborn behaviour my son might win an award!
The outcome of all of that is, as adults in the corporate world everyone is our competitor. Competitors exist and are valuable for making our business better by keeping us on our feet to deliver better, smarter, faster services and products. I value competition but competition in the right place.
Why compete with people in the same business? It would be much more effective to use that energy on the real competitors – those external to your business. Why waste that energy on people that actually want the same outcome.
There is where Collaborative Leadership is a far more effective business tool. It encourages people to utilise each other’s strengths, break down the silos and support the areas of weakness thus ensuring the business’s objectives for the year are met.
It is important to understand collaborative leadership is not consensus management; rather it is about creating transparency and debates that allow robust discussions that then enable clear outcomes and deliverables.
This is why I struggle to understand why teach competition when actually the skill we need is collaboration. It makes work more fun, more rewarding while still challenging ourselves to do better. It makes for a better company culture, which is the holy grail of business right now.