Competition in the word of work and in business, cannot be ignored. Most of us have to compete for market share, air time, clients, work, etc. It is also a very ego-centred activity. Competing to win, ultimately means someone else loses.
When I look at the gamification industry and the competition that is happening, it is dominated by young guys with very strong personalities. A lot of the masters I learned from have pivoted into other areas and only a handful of ladies are consistently in the mix with some of them echoing my thoughts on wanting a more fulfilled life all around. That perspective is also aligned with data from some small research samples where age and gender have an influence on our willingness to compete.
The thing is though we can’t avoid some element of competition just by the mere fact that we work in a similar field. In my personal opinion it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive of collaboration, however this is not echoed by all in actions but agreed to in words. Sometimes I really despise the fact I have to compete. I would rather just do my thing and be appreciated for it, instead of being compared to others.
At the same time it hurts a little when a mentor you work with chose another person he didn’t know to talk about gamification for his people. What does that say about his opinion of my work or me as a person. Perception is a funny thing. Part of me wonders what I should do about it and another side of me is disappointed in the mentor to have chosen someone else for whatever reason. I do however think there are horses for courses, some people will resonate well with me others won’t.
My own perception is often the piece I need to manage in the mix, especially with competition. For some time I was the one underestimating my abilities and the amount of wins and delivery of projects. In fact it turns out there are more talkers and evangelisers in our field than people actively working projects. Those with several projects on the go have less time to evangelise, create frameworks and theories, yet we apply our knowledge and the theories & frameworks of others to our work. Personally I prefer doing the work rather than coming up with theories, and in the end of the day its client results I want to be focused on.
Competition creates an interesting mix of emotions. Some of us feel intrinsically driven to compete and others feel like they have to in order to survive and make a living. The more feminine your approach to life, the higher the chances that you only compete when you feel you have a great chance of winning and the older you get the more cynical you are about the game and the more you would rather just collaborate or do your thing instead of fight a never ending battle.
For me competition is a rollercoaster of toward and away from motivation and in good female style a bunch of emotions thrown in based on perception, hormones and whatever other reason people will blame things on.
I would love to know from others in business, how you feel about competition? Do you feel compelled to compete no matter what or are you a reluctant participant because you have to? What emotions do you go through when competing?