Connect with us

Success Advice

Competing At The Next Level And How To Get There

Avatar

Published

on

Competing At The Next Level To Be Successful

Ask me who I view as the most entertaining entrepreneur around and I don’t have to think twice about it.

Mark Cuban.

I love watching this guy surveil and engage at Maverick games, on Shark Tank, at celebrity events and motivational seminars—wherever. Even with that “made for the Mafia” scowl of his, he’s all passion and charisma. A cheetah-quick mind; wit as dry as breakfast cereal before the milk. And the transparency of a junkyard dog about what he thinks. He’ll tell anybody who’ll listen that they can replace him as “the world’s luckiest man” and then warn you that he’ll fight to keep the title because he loves the competition.

So what if this Mark Cuban came to me and said, “I’m ready to take competing to a new level. What comes next?”

I would tell him this:

The idea of competing is in big, big trouble. And people who think like a shark are mainly the reason why. Cheating is all too commonplace and too seldom punished. And the playing field available to everyone else is getting smaller and more uneven.  Today’s avaricious, power-hungry sharks are getting bigger and bigger. Anyone who gets in their way is seen as bait fish. And each of them wants to be the last shark swimming—to at last have everything for themselves.

But, you ask, isn’t this the way the great Scottish economist Adam Smith and the other framers of free enterprise intended competition to be?

 Absolutely not.

And isn’t this the best way to get the creative “churn” that fuels innovation and keeps the system, the organization and the individual dynamic and questing and fresh—at the top of their game?

Unfortunately, it isn’t.

If you want to take competition to the next level, Mark, my advice is this: I think you ought to give up thinking like a shark altogether and start thinking like a dolphin. Why? So you can see and understand competition in a much different light.

You will begin to realize that competition’s role in free societies is much greater than simply helping to keep the pots of commerce and technological innovation fresh and bubbling.

In its most important sense, competition is what We, the People, use to compensate for the fact that much of the time this brain of ours is wildly inadequate for determining the most suitable actions we can take to assure ourselves a viable future.

That’s because our brain is constantly cherry-picking the evidence and dismissing anything that doesn’t fit our preferred personal story line. The experts have given the name “brain biases” to these subjective processes in our heads. Wikipedia describes several hundred of them. Without us even realizing it, our brain is ceaselessly distorting reality, trying to make it to fit our beliefs and prejudices and automatic (sub-conscious) cognitive processes.

But even before psychologists and neuroscientists began to realize just how big this problem is, some very bright people had already sensed the danger.

That’s why we’ve set up one institution after another in the past three centuries where you and I can argue about what is true and right, what is smart and needed. Can argue tooth and toenail, with fur flying. We call these “arenas of competition” marketplaces and democratic governments and law-based judicial systems and scientific laboratories.

So don’t think of human competition just as a sporting business, Mark. (I know you’ve even used that idea as a book title.) Instead, think of it as the greatest incubator of human improvement ever devised. Viewed this way, competing becomes a sacred trust. The idea and the ideal must be protected at all costs. And the means to compete must be kept vibrant, accountable and as fair as possible.

Some years ago, I began to sense that protecting the ability to compete in rapid-change times was going to require at least some human brains to rise to the occasion—to, indeed, move on to the next level. Their brains were literally going to have to experience a “rapture of the neurons” and wire themselves differently.

You can imagine my delight at discovering research like that of the late American psychologist Dr. Clare W. Graves indicating just such a phenomenon was already under way. Vibrant new world-views—systems of beliefs—were a’borning in inquisitive, changing brains. They were the product of a vigorous competition within the brain itself that our best researchers into the mind are still struggling to understand.

Dolphins and Marines Find Mines UnderwaterFor years now, I’ve called the new brain-view I like best “the dolphin mind.” (Why? Because I’ve always liked aquatic metaphors—and what’s not to like about the ocean’s innovative, big-brained, sleeps-with-one-eye-open dolphin?)

When the human “dolphin” competes, it’s for the purpose of determining whose ideas are right and whose aren’t, not seeing who can destroy the other the quickest or capture the biggest slice of the pie.

Dolphins are mobilized and motivated by a fiercely pragmatic, diamond-bit-ended search for what works, what’s possible, what makes sense. And this, in itself, can make them formidable competitors.

Even when competing, dolphins tend to tell the truth as they understand it. This is because they believe truth-telling is the most effective way to avoid wasting time, energy and resources on useless, unproductive drama. Also, they believe that this is the straightest route to, and the quickest mechanism for, being trusted and being able to trust.

Dolphins like to win. But they don’t need for you to lose unless you insist on it. If there is little at stake or if they can learn something significant in doing so or if it can make important things happen, they aren’t opposed to losing either.

If dolphins have a trademark rule it is “First things now.” Relentlessly pragmatic, dolphins almost always act on “the big picture” and do it quickly. But if it helps to find the next right, smart, good thing or move, they are also capable of focusing on the smallest details.

Dolphins don’t care where good ideas come from. And they are always open to alliances and collaborations that work and make good things happen.

Dolphins are willing to retaliate to get their point across, counteract unfairness or sweep aside the obstinate, the ridiculous or the superfluous. But they don’t do so recklessly. They understand—as psychologist Jonathan Haidt has observed—“order is really hard to achieve. It’s really precious, and it’s really easy to lose.”

So, Mark, that’s what I see ahead for competition’s next generation of leaders.

It’s going to take lots and lots of Enlightenment-loving dolphins. They are going to need to do everything they can think of to protect our ability to compete. To test our best ideas and efforts vigorously but accountably. And to make sure that everyone who wants to participate gets to play on a level field using rules that are fairly enforced and methods that flag and contain the cheats.

Your leadership is vitally needed to protect the sacred trust that we’ve used to build the most productive societies in the history of civilization. So, first things now! It’s time to make the leap to the next level of competing!

 

Dudley Lynch is the author of LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell or High Water. LEAP! is available in print or eBook at www.braintechnologies.com or most major online book services. Dudley is the president of Brain Technologies Corporation of Gainesville, Florida, and writes the blog, LEAP!psych. His books on changing world-views and belief systems have been translated into eight languages and he has consulted on six continents.

Success Advice

5 Secret Codes to Making The New Year a Winning Year

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

We just had a new year come to pass. And you are probably looking ahead wondering how to make this a winning year. And I am here to unlock with you the 5 evergreen secrets that I have learned that helped me to win year after year. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Here’s Why People Get Mad When You Achieve Success

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

There’s no denying that success comes in different “shapes and sizes”. You could be successful financially, romantically, or health-wise. And if you’ve always found yourself to be advantaged in some way, then you must already know that some people feel a little envy towards you, (and may want to take what you have), but you can understand where they are coming from. However, what is perplexing is when the people you’ve always known suddenly become jealous when you begin to win or shine more. And when you think about it, the logical conclusion would be “they should be happy for me now that I’ve achieved success”, but this is not the case at all times and that’s the harsh reality of life. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Hacks to Beat Fear and Become More Successful and Abundant

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Fear and success don’t usually go together. When we look at who we believe to be successful, they look so confident and sometimes less like ourselves. When we begin this comparison, we tend to go inward and feel self-doubt. This is often when the fear sets in. We do this in so many areas of our lives on an everyday basis. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

5 Ways to Change Your Habits and Reach Your Goals

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

American philosopher Will Durant once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Therefore, being excellent is not a single act, but a habit. Have you ever questioned how you choose to spend those precious 24 hours we receive every day? I bet you have. Most of us flirt with the idea of becoming more productive, satisfied, and successful in our daily activities. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending