Extra Points: Competition

Dan_Weedin_022I’m watching a new Netflix original documentary series titled, “Dogs.” It’s a poignant look at how dogs relate, partner with, and impact humans so being dubbed man’s best friend. I highly recommend it, especially if you like dogs.

That being said, I have to make revisions to my viewing of it based on my BFF. I’m forced to watch it on my phone with head phones. You see Captain Jack hates dogs on television. They can be real dogs or cartoon dogs; it doesn’t matter. He watches TV intently and when spying a dog, he becomes enraged at the competition. He races to the TV with hopes of jumping through the screen to get these celluloid canines. He even knows the theme song for the classic television comedy Frasier, as he particularly doesn’t like his fellow breed brother, Eddie. Ironically, he has no issues with the real dogs he encounters in the world. He wants to be friends and to play with them (they on the other hand are pretty wary of him). His competitive bent is relegated to television.

Bella is the opposite. She doesn’t watch TV; thus doesn’t even know that other dogs exist in that medium. She’s busy with other important tasks, like sleeping. However, she loses her mind when she sees real dogs on her walk, to the point that I have to take the dogs separately as she will attack Captain Jack at the sight of a “competitor.” She is keenly aware of every rival for her position as Queen of the Neighborhood.

While outside competition brings out the inner beast in my dogs, it should bring out the inner beast in you in a different direction.

Many business owners chafe at competition; they fear it leading to anxiety, stress, and often rash decisions on how to avoid losing business. On the contrary, competition is a good thing. Why? Because it forces one to stay sharp; to remain focused; to improve skills; and to constantly innovate. In fact, outside competition should actually fuel an inward competition with one’s self. Here’s how…

Compete every day with yourself to improve. These might involve skill sets, mindset, leadership, communications, creativity, patience, empathy, knowledge, brand, and personal health. Every day we can focus on one or two things to be better at. Over time we become better because of that competition. Ask yourself daily, “how will I grow and improve today?”

Dogs look at competition as a negative as their place in the pack is being challenged. As humans, we should be looking at how competing with ourselves will ultimately bring out our best selves both professionally and personally. And that is something to bark for.

Quote of the Day:

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.”

~ Carol Burnett

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Extra Points: Competing For Life

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last Friday, I attended the annual meeting of the local economic development council. The keynote speaker was Congressman Derek Kilmer. He gave an inspiring speech, yet one thing resonated with me. He proclaimed his belief that both public and private businesses must compete with everyone, every day, everywhere, forever.

Compete with everyone, every day, everywhere, forever. Let that sink in.

I immediately recalled coaching my high school basketball players that we had to have the mentality that we’d play anyone, any time, and anywhere. Just needed a ball and an opponent. Congressman Kilmer’s language speaks to the same principle of readiness and preparedness.

If you’re going to do more than merely survive in business – as a CEO or a business professional that cares about your career – then “competing” is more than an aphorism. You’d better be prepared to do more than scream some rallying cry, or your bound to get thumped by someone that is prepared.

Let me put it to you in business terms: If a sales professional isn’t prepared to respond to either interest or objection to them or their company, they’re negligent and unprepared. If the CEO isn’t ready to deal with a crisis that could damage his or her business and the livelihood of the employees, he or she is not competing. If the leader of an organization doesn’t take the time to invest in themselves personally to grow and become better in their craft; then the consequences of this lack of motivation will soon mean the loss of respect and business from those that surround themselves with him or her.

On Saturday night, the Oregon men’s basketball team had the inside position to rebound missed free throws twice and got out-hustled by North Carolina players that competed just a hair harder. The result of North Carolina’s efforts catapulted them into tonight’s championship game as they won by one point. Championship opportunities are there in both basketball and business to those who don’t always get the inside position, but compete harder.

Can your “team” win the close games because they are ready to compete with everyone, every day, every where forever? How can you tell?

Do you or your company need help competing better every day? If so, let’s talk. I can help you move forward to better performance and resilience individually and organizationally.

Quote of the Week:

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”

~ William Shakespeare

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