Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Too competetive?

Last week I was informed that I was the most competitive person at my company.  I was told this after a meeting with upper management (I'm SD manager) about why we did not sign a prospect, where I apparently made some comments that support this view.

I consider myself competitive, but the fact that my VP, or the VP of sales, or even the CEO is not considered more competitive than me kind of surprised me.

Shouldn't those higher up than me be more competitive?

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Only if they want to stay there ;)

Go get 'em.

Tom (a programmer)
Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Who are you competing with? Your co-workers, customers, or other businesses in your marketplace?

Maybe that's where Upper Management's concern lies.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

How the hell do you measure competitiveness? What's the metric? Do you come in in the morning with your Katana drawn and screaming "BANZAAAAAAIIIII" ?

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

==Who are you competing with? Your co-workers, customers, or other businesses in your marketplace?

On a corporate level, others in our market.
On a personal level, everyone, including myself.

==How the hell do you measure competitiveness?
I guess I'd have to ask them, but my definition has to do with market share - weather its my company's, or my own within the company.  I'm NOT the kind of person who wants to win at the expense of others at my company.  I try very hard to keep my staff focused on the team.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

>On a personal level, everyone, including myself.

What does that mean though?  Are you always "one-up-ing" everyone?  Do you always have to be right?  I guess what I'm asking is - are you just an @$$hole?  sorry to be blunt, but being told you're the most competitive person in the company must be the result of people around you perceiving the above...

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Beware.  "Too competitive" can have several meanings, especially at the executive level:

- Failing to see the big picture
- Wanting to win at any cost. (There are bad wins.)
- Obnoxious, annoying, and condescending ("Shouldn't my CEO be more competitive than me?")

If they really view you as "over" competitive you should consider what they see.  Over competitive people fail to recognize everything is _not_ a competition.  Working more hours, weekends, holidays, pushing unrealistic goals, can be viewed as competitive or out of control.

I am not saying you are any of those things, but you should be sure you understand if they are sending you a message and you are missing it.    If not, then pat yourself on the back, and shame on them. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Do think competetive is the same as successful?

son of parnas
Wednesday, May 5, 2004

How many people work at your company ?

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

The fact that your VP calls you competitive could mean two things... It might be a good thing, which should be followed up with a promotion or two.. or it could that he heard people calling you a pain in the butt, so he is telling you nicely to cool down a little.

Hopefully you are not going around and poking your nose into everyone's business.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

If you were told this in the context of discussing a failure, I don't think it was praise.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

It's possible that others view you as another "I always have to be right" type. You know the type. Nobody can tell them anything they don't already know. They have to "one-up" anyone else. Their self-proclaimed achievements always outpace anyone else,.etc. This problem affects many software development types.

After some serious introspection, if you think you fit this mold then I suggest making a conscience effort to try to listen to people more often and recognize when your ego is dragging your tongue out of your mouth and trying to make you say something stupid.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Maybe you where bullying the client, putting on the hard sell?
Maybe you were bathmouthing the competition in true zealot style, ruining your firms credibility?
Maybe you tried to snipe the sale from a collegue, ruining the professional image of your firm in the process?
Maybe you tried to sell too much options, and scared them out of the base package deal?

Could be any one of these and more.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, May 6, 2004

I was just wondering if "Whatever" had any advice for a self-aware "know-it-all".

I am exactly as you describe and I would like to change that.

Any advice would be welcome (although I have already heard it all before...kidding).


Monday, May 17, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home