Being the Best Doesn’t Make You a Winner

I love watching sporting events with my kids, but as my kids have gotten older and more perceptive, I’ve become more and more disgusted by poor sportsmanship.  I want my three kids to see good role models that not only perform well on the field, but off the field as well.  Trophies and medals don’t make role models; character does.

As a business leader and father, I too want to be a good role model. Being successful in business is only half the equation.  I must work to develop good business sportsmanship.  An attitude of learning and encouraging is the only way to win.

5 Traits of Good Business Sportsmanship


Be a winner on and off the field

After witnessing and evaluating good and bad sportsmanship I’ve identified 5 traits I want to emulate.

  1. Appreciate what others do well
  2. Evaluate why someone else was chosen over me
  3. Consider what I could have done better
  4. Push myself to do better next time
  5. Realize that we all win when organizations get healthier

The best athletes realize that playing with people who are better, faster and stronger is an advantage. These athletes recognize the superiority in others and it pushes them to improve. You do not want to play with mediocrity, you want to play with excellence.

Likewise, in business, surround yourself with excellence and be a learner.  Take advantage of the talent around you and grow your own abilities. Our natural tendency is to feel threatened by those who are better. What if, instead, we recognized that rising tides raise all boats and we enthusiastically supported the success of others?

Pray for Your Competitors

A friend of mine, Chuck Proudfit, encouraged myself and a group of business owners at a At Work On Purpose Roundtable to pray for our competitors and for those they serve. Whether on the court, field or board room we need organizations to be their best. When organizations are successful, the economy, the community, and the workforce wins. It’s a win for everyone.

C.J. Mahaney, the author of several books including Humility: True GreatnessLiving the Cross-Centered Life, and Don’t Waste Your Sports has written a blog with his son, Chad, to discuss right thinking about sports. The Mahaney men provide a gospel-centered perspective on sports at the Mahaney Sports blog.

Zig Ziglar says it well “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

What can you learn from those you compete against?