The heart of our economy is competition. By competing with one another, businesses are forced to find greater efficiencies and deliver results that better match what the market demands. This is the great strength of capitalism, and the results speak for themselves.
However, it is also a weakness. Competition can become so great that businesses (and people) can begin to take it to heart. It doesn’t take long before some people get so caught up in the head to head battle that they start taking joy from the failures of others. That makes it personal.
When you make it personal and start cheering on others to fail, simply because they’re competing with you, you leave a bad taste in the mouth of your customers and you poison business relationships before their start, which can cripple your network. It’s not healthy, either; you don’t control the success of others, and making their failure critical to your happiness is putting your happiness in the hands of others.
It is better to think of your business like a sports team. You go about your day competing to the best of your ability, and you give your all on the field. You do everything you can to ensure your team wins – but at the end of the day, the people on the other team are still your colleagues with whom you can head to the pub and share a pint. When others succeed, it can inspire you and drive you to do even better. A victory earned by playing better is the most satisfying victory of all.