You may think, what does competition have to do with leadership? You will be surprised to find out that with each opportunity you take to enter into a competition, there’s the side effect of you developing leadership skills you will undoubtedly be able to use in the future.
Boldness: Being bold and daring to get out of your comfort zone and be a little uncomfortable. Leaders need to learn to be uncomfortable in order to take their teams in new directions and challenges. Challenging and putting yourself out there is a very bold and courageous move;
Resilience: Not everyone who competes will win. And when you are not the winner of the night, but you are able to look back and recognize how you’ve grown through the process and recognize the areas that still need improving, you’re very much a winner. A leader needs to be resilient and bounces back quickly from mistakes and recognize their weakness in order not to be left behind by challenges;
Excellence: The fact of the matter is that competition breed’s excellence. On the road to winning, you become a better you. When getting ready for competition, you pay attention to details, you improve your skills, and you seek a mentor or coach to help you recognize the areas you still need to work on. Win or lose, you’ll be a better you at the end of the road;
Celebrate Failures: Successful leaders understand the importance of celebrating failures with their team. If employees are afraid to make a mistake, they won’t innovate; try new ways of doing business. And in this fast paced world, the competition is not standing still. In order to keep up, you need to dare to take risks and try new things even though the end result is not guaranteed. That counts for you too. If necessary, reframe your definition of failure. What does failure mean to you? Does it mean, “I lost”? What it should mean is, “I tried”. When you try and the results aren’t what you hoped for, take some time to figure out what teaching you got from the experience, and say “Thank you! Now I know what not to do the next time”.
Results Oriented: As a leader an important skill is to be focused on the end result. What is it that you are trying to achieve and what skills and tasks are required? In competition, you need to know what you’re being judged on, and based on that you focus on those qualities. Always start with the end in mind, and work your way forward.
Confidence: By improving your skills, and putting yourself in uncomfortable positions and learning from your “mistakes” you can’t help but feel more self-confident. Confident in your skills, your abilities and in the knowledge that whatever the circumstance, you know you have what it takes to overcome and grow from it. Team players don’t trust or follow leaders who don’t show self-confidence.
Competitions provide participants the opportunity to develop communication and team building skills; it helps them to treat other competitors with respect and dignity; to identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to better understand their own.
With competition comes the fear of failure. One person is going to win and the others loose? But will anyone really be loosing? Regardless if at the end of the competition you’re holding the crown, the medal, the grand prize, or are the one standing to one side watching the winner enjoy the glory; remember that you are undoubtedly not the same person you were before the journey began. You are smarter, better prepared, better skilled and ready to take on the next challenge.
Always, always, always remind yourself of your strength and you will automatically stand taller; take a deep breath and smile. You are able. You are strong. You have what it takes.