Culture Bites Podcast - 004 What's Wrong With Being Competitive?

Published on 10 May 2018

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In this episode of the podcast we talk about the pay off and the trade-off of thinking and behaving in highly competitive ways. We also give tips about how to shift from a Competitive mindset to Achievement and Self Actualising instead.

If you have a question you’d like us to answer, email – we’d love to help.

Microphone Key Takeaways and Ideas

The Difference Between Competitive and Achievement
We enjoy competition, we enjoy the triumph and the glory of coming first. It can be really seductive because you focus on winning rather than the result – but those are not the same thing. In Achievement, I don’t need to beat you – I’m motivated by performing at my very best and reaching my highest potential.

Being Competitive Compromises Trust
At high levels of the Competitive Style, in order to look good, it can lead to situations like putting someone down in a public forum. Actions like that destroy trust. People worry if you are going to throw them under the bus because it suits your ambition? Competitive people end up isolating themselves.

Competitive Self Esteem is Conditional
Competitive people’s self-esteem isn’t necessarily high or low, but it becomes conditional on winning. They feel like they have to constantly perform in order to be accepted and recognised.

 The Cost for Competitive Leaders
As a leader, being highly competitive means your decision making and problem solving – at some level – is influenced by the feedback and recognition you get from other people. That is a problem in leadership because sometimes you have to take a stand where either there will not be a positive reaction or you’re alone.

Name it to Tame it.
It’s not “I’m Competitive” because it’s not who you are… there is a part of you that does these competitive behaviours. It’s about understanding how much of that you want to keep and how much you want to change. Ultimately – who is it that you want to show up as in the world?

Other Resources on the Competitive Style:
Read our blog post: LSI1 Series: Competitive
Learn about the different Thinking and Behaviour Styles we measure in the Circumplex

Do you have a question you need some help with? Write into us at

Other Episodes:
001: Kick Starting a Passive Team
002: Dealing with Delegation
003: Telling Someone They have a Blind Spot

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