Growing up, my sister and I used to argue a lot. In almost every case, we were arguing about ownership and control.
Who owned the toy....
Who got to go first...
And the list goes on...
In many ways, traditional mindsets only see binary outcomes: winners and losers.
But in fact, that's not the way the world works at all. In most cases, when someone succeeds, it's GOOD for many other people.
Someone who "wins" by starting a successful business creates helpful products and lots of jobs.
Someone who "goes first" by trying or inventing an innovation provides insight and research to the entire community.
And, most importantly, someone who collaborates effectively on a team tends to feel greater personal satisfaction and overall success regarding their work. Tom Rath's new book, Are You Fully Charged? addresses this issue head on.
Almost anything you do in your work creates more value than you are likely to extract from competitors or rivals. As a result, work teams and organizations that focus the most attention on catching up or beating the competition are the least likely to succeed.
The world doesn't have to be filled with winners and losers. It can certainly be filled with all different types of winners. We just have to look for the opportunities to find solutions that lie beyond the most obvious outcomes or choices.
Our schools are often structured as "zero sum" games. Some win, others lose. Let's change that - the world doesn't work that way.