Two quotes about competition

Here are a couple of great quotes from two separate articles, one regarding Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, the other about Kobe Bryant.

Jack Nicklaus

From Jack Nicklaus:

"I don't care if I'm playing against my wife, my competitive juices are flowing," Nicklaus said. "That's just me."

Here's another quote from this article:

"And while the 69-year-old Nicklaus struggled to reach some fairways, Woods expected him to be as competitive as ever. Nicklaus lived up to his reputation, grinding over shots, only taking himself out of three holes.

'Anyone who has ever played at the highest level always wants to play at the highest level,' Woods said. 'I hadn't seen it since 2000, but I remember in 2000 it was definitely like this.'"

Kobe Bryant

A quote regarding Kobe:

"Isn't competition great?" Kobe once beamed after he had won a playful shooting challenge against a ball boy and forced the youngster to run some punitive suicides. "It makes everything better."

Me, I'd like to see him share the ball more, but in Game 1 of this year's NBA Finals you can tell that most guys want to win, but it looks like Kobe will do anything to win.

My own feelings, and the business world

On a much smaller scale, I've always had similar competitive feelings. If I played you at ping pong, I had to beat you. If I shot free throws, I wanted to beat you. Even board games, I hated to lose.

As I studied Zen and practiced meditation for a while I got away from these feelings for a while, but they are back again these days.

Looking at this from a work perspective, I know that in many business environments "competition" is frowned upon, but if you're a competitor, you need to compete. I don't think you should compete to the point of hurting your company -- as I have seen some people do -- but healthy competition can be extremely good for a business.