By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you leverage your competitive spirit.
You’re in a slump. You lost a major account this week. Your competition is bearing down on you. What do you do? Take a deep breath and celebrate your worthy opponents in the marketplace.
That’s what the most effective leaders do. They know their competition will eventually make them more successful. Consider this poem I ran across from that prolific author Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous that celebrates the power of competition.
A Scrubby Thing
The tree that never had to fight,
For sun and sky and air and light;
That stood out in the open plain and,
Always got its share of rain.
Never became a forest king,
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
Applaud your competition. Take it from, America’s Cup Yacht racing winner and the author of the book The Art of Winning: “Keep an eye on the competition. Be glad they’re tough to beat. Your toughest competitors are your biggest allies in the art of winning. They’re the ones who make you work harder, move faster, and think smarter.” And become a forest king.
Babe Ruth became a forest king in fighting for his sun, sky and air and light swinging his way into the baseball record books. Ruth hit a record 60 homers in 1927 after a season-long duel with teammate Lou Gehrig. In fact three weeks before the end of the season, the competition was so fierce they each had hit 45 home runs. As competitors, Ruth and Gehrig showcased the significance of competition: to spark heightened performance, together stride for stride, step for step. In fact, the word “competition” stems from Latin “con petere” which means “to seek together.”
Without healthy competition we can get too complacent. We can be lulled into thinking we are better than we actually are. “In the country of the blind, the one-eye man is king,” noted philosopher Desiderius Erasmus.
With competition, America focused its energy and resources to become the first to land a man on the moon. The Soviet Union beat America into space, launching the first satellite on Friday October 4 1957 and the first man into space on Wednesday April 12, 1961.
America, with its competitive juices flowing, responded just 23 days afterbecame the first man in space. On Friday May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard became America’s first man in space. Nine months later America again responded on Tuesday February 20,1962 when John Glenn hurled into space at 17,544 miles an hour and orbited the Earth three times. Then seven years later America asserted its leadership role in space when Neil Armstrong took one small step for man, one giant step for mankind– on the moon.
Celebrate your competition to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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