How Deep is Your Competitive Spirit?

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There are two types of competitive spirits that drive teams. Which does your team have? And how deep does it run?

…on Sunday the women’s international soccer team broke records by beating the Dutch for our team’s fourth World Cup victory.

During the tournament they chanted, “We are the best!” Not to brag or to psych out the other teams, but rather to set a standard that only they could achieve.

They were competing against themselves, their record of world cup wins, and the spirit of the 1999 winning team. (Remember Mia Hamm?).

When a new player joined this year’s team, they had to take on the values of Grit, Will to run faster and Refusal to consider defeat.

Their culture of defiant winning runs deep: You can even see it also in how they negotiate with the FIFA soccer organization for equal pay for women.

It is inspiring for women and men alike!

The second type of competitive spirit is against a larger enemy.

This spirit is readily apparent when you read the history of Nike and its founder Phil Knight, in his book Shoe Dog.

His company was filled with athletes (runners) that were constantly trying to unseat Adidas. This small upstart had the audacious (some would call “ludicrous”) idea that they could become the biggest and best.

It was never about the money. it was always about teamwork, doing whatever it took, taking big risks, and winning the next race!

Your Challenge. Be honest with yourself as you answer these questions:

  • Do you and your team think of yourselves as ‘the best’?
  • Do your team members compete for something larger than the money?
  • Is your culture so strong that new employees are on-boarded by their peers to give 100%?

Having a deep competitive spirit starts with the owner/coach, and is radiated through the team captain(s).

What would you need to change on your team, in order to emulate the cohesive, competitive spirit of the US Women’s Soccer team?

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