Winning. Competition. Rivalry. For all of us who are Type A Leaders, jealousy in the form of competition is always a struggle. You may call it something else (competitive spirit, goal-oriented, fast pace), but at the end of the day, we all struggle with being jealous or envious of others successes, especially when it is in the same industry, or same town, or same circle, or same customer base.
In these cases, it feels like competition, and again for us Type A's, when there is a competition, we ALWAYS want to win. How do you view those you are "competing" against? Whether competing for attendees, or resources, or prestige, or members, or customers, understanding the proper posture towards your rivals is crucial to being a Collaborative Leader. Most leaders I know never get this right.
And in the faith community- whether a non profit ministry leader, pastor, church leader or, or parachurch organization director, this sense of competition and envy is rampant. Instead of jealousy and envy, collaboration and partnership should be the norm in the Church and faith-based community. We should be celebrating the pastor or leader across town, instead of finding ways to make them look bad or talking bad about them to others but making it look like we are bringing it up so as to "pray" for them.
Competition for customers, resources, time and money will always be a reality, but the question is how YOU deal with this. Jealousy is natural, but how you respond to it will prove your maturity as a leader. And as a follower of Christ, jealousy or envy is definitely not one of the fruits of the Spirit!
So, the best solution I've found to combating jealousy/envy and competition is Celebration. When you find yourself tempted to speak ill about a rival or you are secretly wrestling with envy/jealousy over someone else you are competing with, flip that emotion on its head.
Celebrate your competition. Your rivals. Whether the leader or the organization overall.
Speak positively about them. In public. and in private.
Encourage the leader or leaders of that "rival" organization. Send them cards or notes, call them, and even visit.
Look for the good in what they are doing and celebrate that.
Pray for them, both in public and in private.
Lean into them, and seek opportunities to partner together in your community or industry.
The question you should be asking is, "how can I help this person win?" Church leaders- we're all on the same team. We're fighting the same fight.
Let's act like it.