Our society has always been a competitive one — however, the personal development of individuals competing in competitive environments. Compared to individuals competing in competitive athletics may have more in common than we recognized. More importantly, the personal development methods used in athletics to combat personal issues could be useful in assisting the everyday competitive employee.
We often see athletes as competitors and while this is true many in the tech industry, as well as other parts of the corporate world, are struggling to thrive in these competitive areas. Having the right resources accessible is essential for these individuals to make sound decisions, understand the power they hold, and the status that comes with that power. The common denominator between the weekday competitive employee and the competitive athlete is how they function and manage to achieve desired outcomes in the workplace or the athletic arena.
A few years ago, I volunteered to be a mentor for a matchmaking mentor company for corporate professionals. My intended purpose was to use my method of working with athletes and apply them to a competitive fast pace environment. I wanted to determine if my theories and practical application for personal player development was useful.
The Competitive Tech Industry
Throughout the course of six months, I met with my mentee from twitter at convenient locations close to the Twitters downtown San Francisco office. Our specific topic centered around how he could become more competitive in pitching his concept to Twitter Executives. He explained to me that the competition in tech is fierce, relentless, and high turnover. On one occasion, we had a session at Twitter. As he gave me a tour, I noticed people on Macs everywhere. Diligently working, while centered around coffee bars, al la carte meals, and flat-screen televisions. He was correct the competition was fierce and relentless, which mirrored the competition on a football team at a power five conference for a starting spot.
During our sessions, I delivered the techniques I use with athletes, and the results were extremely positive. He pitched his idea, they loved it, and he ended up receiving a new position as well as an increase in pay. Ultimately he left Twitter and took a higher paying position with another tech company in months of his initial pitch to Twitter.
My encounter with my mentee from Twitter allowed me to validate that people working in competitive environments can not only benefit but thrive from the personal player development pillars of success. As a result of this experience, I slowly began to include this population in my practice and continue to see the vast similarities in helping the competitive employee and the competitive athlete.
Dr. Mark Robinson is a personal development expert who helps highly competitive individuals excel in a highly competitive environment.