recently, i've been watching television when only infomercials are on. a few nights ago i caught a documentary on pbs (mostly because it was in HD at 3am) that was about a MIT sponsored high school robot building competition. the robots would go head to head trying to shift weight on a pendulum.
the finals pit two robots with similar designs against each other. with a little collaboration the two students positioned their robots so that the beam leveled out creating a tie... or as they called it a double win.
some people would rather open mouth kiss their sister than tie in a competition. i am one of these people. i love to win. but, the crowd cheered and the MIT professors thought it was the best thing since the 256 processor.
perhaps i am growing older and wiser but... i'm finding that i enjoy collaboration more gratifying than "lone ranger" wins. when i look back at the past year at work, the best times have been when everyone on our team brought their "A" game to a project and did what they each do well. and... the most frustrating portions of my past year have been when i try to get my way (or win) at the expense of someone else losing.
here are some questions that i have been thinking about since...
-do i put people in a position to do their best and use their expertise?
-do i secretly take pleasure in someone else failing?
-in a tense situation, is there a way to find the "win/win" scenario?
-am i wiling to share the success when it's due... or do i choose to stand alone on the gold metal stand?
i'm not willing to lose... but, perhaps there is something deep to thinking "double win".