Winning at the Expense of Others?

I love to win. But winning means someone has to lose. Right? That’s just life. But what if you win due to the failure of another?

Here’s what I mean:

  • A football team winning in the last seconds because the other team’s kicker missed a field goal.
  • A basketball team winning because the other team missed a last second free throw.
  • A golfer winning a tournament due to his opponent’s putt missing the hole by inches.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a competitor, a former athlete who was blessed to have my college paid for with a basketball scholarship. I understand that a game isn’t won or lost on the last free throw, but competing for the win is always more fulfilling if it’s my team who made the free throw or putt to win versus the opponent missing. It’s a fulfillment factor.

Let’s take this topic into the corporate world…

Do you feel it’s a win for you if one of your peers fails? Does it make you look better when others don’t perform well? What if the boss scolds one of your teammates for a mistake? Are you glad it’s not you? It’s an easy temptation to fall in and over time it can damage the trust within your team and company culture.

Here are a few mishaps that sprout from this type of environment along with some suggested ways to overcome them. (more…)