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Cooperation > Competition

We are all responsible for contributions to the well-being of others. ~Doug Lennick & Fred Kiel

The mantra of my generation has become I, Me, Mine a far cry from the flower power, free love we espoused during the 1960s & 1970s. We like to pretend we care about others, some of us claim to embrace altruism. The reality of this past election shows we are, deep down, self-centered bastards willing to sacrifice the well-being of humanity to satiate our own needs at the altar of Me, willing to oppress a brethren so we can emerge victorious.

How much better the world if our 1st instinct was to focus on the well-being of our fellow man in conjunction with the well-being or our self? How much better to cooperate with others for mutual gain than to measure success in our victory over others for unilateral gain? Cooperation is much, much greater than competition,

Cooperation > Competition

I coach business teams for a living. When the teams focus on outperforming other business teams on the same project or in the same company, the sharing of ideas decreases and the projects suffer from inferior quality and lack of customer focus. I have seen teams rewarded by competition refuse to help each other because they were afraid their team numbers would dip. They lacked the understanding that both teams had to complete the work for the project to ship successfully. It took me half a year to replace this mindset with one of cooperation, one that focused on the entirety of the puzzle instead of just their own pieces.

When people focus on cooperating across teams, new ideas surface, people are happier in their jobs, projects win because they are developed more quickly with unique features and higher quality, customers win because they get superior products, the company wins when demand for their products increases which feeds back into the people in the form of security in their jobs and opportunity for advancement. In the example of the competing teams changed to cooperating teams, they were able, on their next project to achieve all the benefits of cooperating teams when they delivered on time, under budget, with more features than originally planned resulting in much happier individuals with improved bonuses and opportunities for advancement. Win – win – win all around.

It’s sad that societies, countries, races are too focused on personal victory to reach across those lines of affiliation, of hate, of us versus them, to cooperate which would enable all to succeed in the long run.

It’s not really that difficult to build a culture of cooperation. It starts when we focus on the greater good instead of just at WIIFM, what’s in it for me. It starts by looking at all humans as brothers and sisters and reaching across our hate and offering our love. It starts when we understand that cooperation yields much better overall results than competing against our fellow man. It starts when we understand that cooperation yields much better overall results than competing against our fellow man.

It starts with you and me when we offer our hands in friendship to a perceived enemy and make them our friend and cooperate for the benefit of both.


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