Competition handled correctly can be a huge motivator and call to action in both your professional and personal life. Look at NASA who is seeing a massive resurgence and breakthroughs as it pushes further into space exploration. Break down all the science and it comes down to one strategy for them: competition. 

NASA has held competitions for everything from rocket delivery systems to space toilets. They win by getting the best solution to the challenges that they face in their mission, while individuals and teams grow in innovation, knowledge, and experience in new and exciting ways. 

Competiton can originate in many forms

Think about your life or your organization and you can probably find many different types of examples of how the competition helped to push you and others to be better. There are several places to start as you build competition for yourself. 

Performing against others – This is probably the area that most people think of when it comes to competition. All sporting events are about competing against an individual or team. In the business world, a great example is the space race happening between companies in the U.S. 

Time – Sometimes it’s not about how high you can run up the score, but how you can perform a set timeline or how quickly you can complete a task or project. Time is a great way to push you and your team to innovation, progress, and new growth. It’s also a competitor that never sleeps!

Efficiency – Again instead of a score, this competition is all about being the least wasteful, or most effective. What’s the best way to carry out the task or complete the project?

Quality – Sometimes the winner is not about who cranks out the most, but who delivers a better product or experience. You’ll see this type of competition in the business world when it relates to customer satisfaction scores, employee net promoter scores, and other sentiment grounded reports. 

Become a master at situational awareness

One of the lessons from COVID-19 was that those that were able to weather the proverbial storm did so because they were adaptable, but also because they could see what their competitors were doing and reacted accordingly. Just as you can learn from best practices in what your completion is doing, there are just as many lessons in what they are struggling in. 

Dig into the whys of both ends of the spectrum. What is making them successful and why are they struggling? Learn the lessons from both and look to your unique talents, perspective, and gifts to see how you can improve upon the ideas. 

Handle internal competition the right way

Internal competition has a bad reputation at times because it’s often not handled right. You can turn teammates into enemies and the mentality from a collective group to individual success if you don’t create the right environment here. 

Be mindful as you create scenarios that lead to internal competition to ensure that you are rewarding your best talent while keeping the team dynamic strong and healthy. 

Embrace competition as you make you and your team better leaders in your field while building teamwork towards a shared goal. 

Make a better tomorrow.