Maximized Leadership: Are You Competing?

I love to compete. I don’t’ know that you can tell from my 56 year old body but I actually possess a pretty good sense of balance and coordination. Although I never excelled enough in athletics enough to play on the college level, I have always been able to pick up any game or sport and to become competitive pretty quickly.  I played baseball, basketball, and football growing up and in my adult life have golfed, bowled, played tennis, played softball, and some basketball just to name a few. We can play horseshoes, ping pong, corn hole, or about any other game and I won’t suggest that I will beat you but I will give you a run for your money. [“He who puts on his armor should not boast like he who takes it off” as the Bible says.] I like to compete. As a child my closet was filled with games. My neighborhood was the junior version of the NBA-NFL-MLB and I was the commissioner organizing games, leagues, and tournaments on weekends and throughout the summer beginning at about age six.


Competing can be an attribute or a detriment depending on your attitude. I like to win but I don’t consider myself a sore loser. There is always another opportunity to compete and I now possess the added advantage of complaining about some ailing body part that impeded my ability. A competitive spirit can help you excel in your work if it drives you to do your best and to maximize your potential. However, it can be a detriment if you find yourself competing against your fellow team members. I am not referring to a healthy competitive spirit where you seek to be your best. I am referring to an unhealthy competitive spirit that would lead you to “talk down other staff members” in order to make you look better (they lose and you win), or you choose not to support an idea that you did not create (they lose and you can claim it’s not your fault), or you choose not to communicate with another ministry area (you look good and they look bad). It is okay to be competitive, but beware of competing against your own team.


John G. Miller concludes chapter fourteen of his book, Outstanding: 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional with this thought: “Its stated in the Bible: ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ Nor can the leadership be maximized.”


*Adapted from chapter fourteen of John G. Miller’s book, Outstanding: 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional