The Randt

Find Your Way … The Type-A Approach to Success

The Goal

It’s time to leave for my daughter’s college graduation in Nashville. I open the Waze app, look at the mileage, and look at the estimated arrival time. I’ve done this drive many times over the past four years. I know the answers. It’s 210 miles, and Waze says it’s approximately 3 ½ hours.

Then I ask myself the same question I always do, “Why does Waze say 3 ½ hours when 210 miles / 80 mph = 2.6 hours?” Again, I know the answer to this question as well. It’s the traffic around Chattanooga and the mountain section on I-24.

I go through these same mental gymnastics anyway and get rolling.

And We’re Off…

The goal is set. I know I can do this drive in 3 hours, 3 hours and 15 minutes, max. Now the “fun” begins. Soon, my wife will start commenting on my driving, and we’ll certainly get behind folks driving 65mph in the left-hand lane.

Casual, calm, and moving at goal speed😉, it’s only 20 minutes before the first, “You’re making me sick.” Then, a couple of minutes later, there’s a car in the left lane doing 65 mph, maybe 70mph. Oh my, please move over, you’re going to make me miss my arrival goal.

We arrive safely but in 3 hours and 25 minutes. I missed my goal!

The Debate

Sitting with friends a couple of days later and laughing because they’ve all had the same experience. There’s always one “Mario Andretti” in the family. Then the group question, “Why do we make ourselves crazy with drive timing?”

The comments are mostly the same, including one that’s always amusing, “I’ll never get in a car with you again.” Then there’s an epiphany. It’s not the actual speed; it’s a personal, competitive spirit, and the desire to achieve a goal.

Competitive Spirit in Business

My younger daughter also graduated from high school this year. Her school is very close, so there was no stress related to distance or time needed to arrive!

Talking to my daughters about their final year of school, something struck me as they made similar comments about recent group projects. Both had experienced folks who were not as concerned about getting an A on projects. Their competitive spirit and their need for achievement made them frustrated.

Taking the opportunity as a teaching moment (ugh, I’ve got 30 seconds to make a point, or they’ll stop paying attention!). I quickly mentioned that they will have similar challenges in business. I also reminded them of the commencement speech and the speaker’s point about personal competitiveness.

He discussed a familiar, yet great definition of “good competitors”. Win with integrity, lose with integrity, and compete with ourselves. While this explanation is fantastic, it seems to have been lost by many. Everyone shouldn’t get a trophy. Everyone shouldn’t be an executive. And it’s ok, everyone doesn’t need to be super competitive if they choose not to be. In business, like in life, everyone’s not Type A. Whatever the choice folks, make a decision – Lead, Follow, or Get the Heck Out of the Way!

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