I once asked my friend about his “greatest weakness”, if any. And he coyly mentioned “winning too much” and how it has ruined many relationships in the past. Of course, that got me curious, and I encouraged him to elaborate further.
He mentioned how competitive he’s been all his life and how that streak set him up for failure with the relationships he was supposed to nurture. The “winning at all costs” mindset pushed him to the verge of an imminent divorce and toward the exit door of his previous company.
Thankfully, he hires a coach to help him identify and navigate the challenges. As with most high-achieving leaders, my friend had a hard time accepting (well, it almost unbearable) that his competitive spirit was fucking things up for him.
He almost fired the coach for asking questions that were piercing through his ego. But then he realized his ego was the primary fuel for his competitive streak; else, he would’ve had the good sense to know when winning matters when it doesn’t and when it’s totally beside the point.
Knowing that is wisdom. Acknowledging that you aren’t able to differentiate is courageous. And being able to keep your ego and competitive spirit in check is true power.