Value your competition for making you better

When Duke and North Carolina faced each other in college basketball last week, it was the continuation of an intensely competitive rivalry. Consider that in their last 85 meetings, before last week, Carolina led Duke in the series with 43 wins to Duke’s 42. During these 85 games, the collective score was Duke, 6,566 and UNC, 6,564. A rivalry can’t get much closer than this one!

An amazing rivalry like this makes both the Duke and UNC basketball programs stronger. And the same is true for the competition we face in our organizations as well. Although some of us can be challenged and even frustrated by the competition our organizations are up against, for many reasons this competition is a good thing. Competition forces us to get better; it motivates us to be more efficient, to be more organized, to perform more effectively, and to achieve higher results.

Competition keeps us from getting complacent. It encourages us to stay creative and innovative and to keep our organizations energized and on the cutting-edge. So, appreciate the competitive environment in which your organization operates. Value the big rivalries that you have. Respect the competition but don’t fear them. Understand that these competitors help you and your team stay sharp. This approach to the competition takes the courage and strength of a great leader. So model this for your team. Make sure they see that you are energized and invigorated by the competition, not defeated by the challenges the competition brings.

Oh yeah, that Duke/UNC game last week…..UNC won to expand their lead to 44-42 in the past 86 games. The score of the rivalry now stands at UNC – 6,638 and Duke – 6,632 during those same 86 games. This is as close as a rivalry can get and these two competitors keep making each other better.

Thanks for reading,

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog –
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football,


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