The best-selling business book of all time is Good to Great by Jim Collins. Collins once said, “Comparison is the plague of our time. Once you start down that road you cannot win.” It’s true that to constantly compare ourselves to others is a losing proposition. There is always someone better (unless you are 1 in 7 billion) and there is always someone worse. Once you start comparing yourself then you either think less of yourself or too much of yourself and, neither one is good.
But some comparison is necessary, right? I once played football and was one of the best or the best on my high school team. How did I know? Because of comparison. The coaches compared me to the other players and chose me to start instead of them. They decided to give me the ball more than the other running backs because of comparison. When I went to college, I was not one of the best on the team. There were a few who went on to play professional football and they were clearly better than the rest of us. If they were not around, I might have falsely thought I could play professional football (which was my dream by the way). Without comparison, it is hard to know where to focus our efforts.
So am I wacked out here saying, “avoid comparison and also we need comparison”? Maybe, but how about looking at it this way:
1. Much of our world functions by comparing. Whether it’s choosing fruit, a car, a service, or a career; everyone compares. There is no getting around it and it is necessary.
2. What you cannot do, what will crush you or those you lead, is to draw your self-worth and confidence only from comparison. Comparison gives all of us confirmation and direction when we realize that we can do some things better than most other people. Realizing what we’re good at is part of deciding what career path to take and where to invest our time and energy. Some of that comes from comparison.
3. What you must do is accept the fact that there is no one exactly like you and no one who can do the exact way work you do the way you do it. You are truly a one-of-a-kind, so trying to copy someone else or feel worse about yourself because of them is truly self-defeating.
4. The emotional intelligence experts tell us the most important aspect of EI is self-awareness. When you are clear and confident about who you are, what you can do, how you do it, and also what you should stay away from it elevates your influence and leadership.
In two weeks I’m going to make available an 8 part video course about your Authentic Authority Zone. It will deal specifically with the issues I’ve addressed here and several more. When you find and live in your AAZ your leadership and achievement sky rocket, as well as your confidence and peace of mind.
I’ll tell you more about it next week, but on Friday September 27th it will be available.