A: I'm reminded of an observation from a great sportsman rugby player Jonny Wilkinson that there is no truer path to success than enjoying the process of getting there.
He's a wise man as well as a talented one and goes on to make the point that he concentrates on each step of the task in hand rather than the end product, concentrating on his ability.
For most of us, there is much that we enjoy about work including winning against the competition and, perhaps even more importantly, getting better against our own "personal best" each day.
"Always park on a downhill slope" and make it easier for yourself. So set yourself some private targets and then get into the enjoyable process of beating them. It's extraordinary how rewarding that rush of adrenaline of beating your own targets can be.
Q: I feel pain when I fail to reach a deal, particularly an important one. I hate the fact that the competitors have stolen a march on me. With all the talk about being balanced and pleasant with one's colleagues, do you think I'm wrong in being so competitive? Should I change my approach?
A: A well-known coach once made the comment: "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser."
In my work with chief executives, I find that they are hugely competitive people but they are also masters of how they express their competitive nature to others, particularly their own team.
If you are managing your competitive streak wisely and why not ask for a bit of feedback here from your boss and your colleagues then I suggest you also celebrate the fact that you have the best sort of DNA that finds complacency, whether personal or corporate, unacceptable.
My caveat is that if feedback suggests that you are like a bear with a sore head then you certainly are not the finished article. Work hard and consistently to channel your competitiveness so that it never becomes more important than team relationships.
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