Qatar vs Italy: Collaboration is the winner.
If you are like me, seeing Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi share their win and agree to accept a joint high jump gold medal is a moment of elation to see a management and a leadership concept I and others have advocated for finally manifests itself and shines.
This moment of collaboration between competitors proved that you can be a competitor, but to achieve a memorable victory, you have to collaborate.
In sport, in leadership or management, competition is a practiced fact of life. Some organizations compete and are successful in dominating certain market and may gain a competitive-edge for self-interest that benefits the organization, its shareholders, and few key staff leaders.
It was Qatar’s Mutaz Issa Brashim who initiated this remarkable teaching moment with us and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi who gracefully and playfully accepted with few dances and moves of his own.
What made Mutaz Issa Brashim shine as a leader in sport not only his sportsmanship, which was elegantly displayed. But his mindfulness of the environment he was in. He could easily have requested the competition to continue and the best competitor according to the standard of the Olympics game wins.
Yes, he could have, but he didn’t. Why? Simply, Mutaz was mindful of his present and the environment he was in. Mutaz’s self-awareness and mindfulness made him aware of his ability to win. Confidently, he declared, “For me, coming here, I know for a fact that for the performance I did, I deserve that gold”. At this moment, Mutaz exhibited a leadership quality and characteristics most leaders fail to understand: 1) acknowledge the ability and achievement of your competitor(s), and, 2) being humble and lead with humility.
During this moment, Mutaz’s and Gianmarco’s egos were on a vacation — And that is why through their humility, they shined. This moment proved that collaboration is better than competition. A competitor may win a gold medal, but with collaboration they shall prove in addition to winning the gold medal that they have wonderful hearts of gold.