Why Great Leaders Are Never Afraid Of Internal Competition


By Jas Singh

Recruiting at a senior level can often be a funny thing.

You’d imagine that after a while, once you’ve built a strong network and reputation the job would be relatively simple – track the top performers, build relationships with them and then monitor them regularly to see when they are looking to move.

They should be snapped up quickly.

Yet in ten years as a hiring specialist I can say with confidence that there is always another factor that prevents this seemingly obvious approach.

The fear of internal competition.

You see what I have learned is that businesses can often be more political than you think. Sometimes, people working for the company that is hiring can often prevent new candidates being hired purely because they could be a threat to themselves.

Although this is obviously disguised with a clever explanation or “concern”.

And funnily enough, usually this trend seems to be more prevalent at the highest levels of management. When self-preservation and protecting one’s patch is a big priority.

But great leaders are different. They never fear internal competition – in fact they embrace it.

Here are some reasons why great leaders never fear internal competition.

They realize competition pushes performance

When things are going well, most of us don’t want things to change.

Especially those who are at the top. Why increase the competition and threaten our success? Our number one status?

The ironic thing is that this typical thinking is totally flawed. Competition rarely reduces our chances of success if we are truly masters of our profession. Competition always existed – even when we are working our ways to the top. What changes is our perception – once we have reached success we see competition as a threat to our hard work and position.

But this is simply not true. On the contrary, increased competition tends to increaseperformance.


Because it raises the bar. The knowledge that others are trying to out-do us forces us to learn and grow. Become more efficient. Learn new skills. Push for that extra 1% that makes all the difference.

Great sports coaches have known this for decades. That’s why even the worlds greatest sports teams consistently hire new top performers so that no-one relaxes and everyone is forced to improve just to make the cut.

Great leaders are great at what they do.

Competition just makes them even better.

They realize healthy competition increases respect for co-workers

There are two types of competition. Healthy and unhealthy.

Unhealthy competition are the stories of unfair tactics, secretive deals and immoral actions. It destroys an organization.

Healthy competition are the rare instances of mutual respect for co-workers, outstandingly fair rules for all and learning from defeat.

Business will always be competitive. We all want to win – to get that promotion, gain recognition or earn more money. But how we handle both winning and losing often effects how the rest of the company performs.

You see most of us don’t mind losing as long as we were given a fair shot. If we played on a level playing field. And in the rare cases that this does happen, this healthy competition can actually even increase respect for our fellow workers and increase co-operation in the long-run.

Great leader understand that if competition is healthy it actually builds respect for others.

They’re more focused on reaching the end goal than personal accolades

I have been lucky enough in my career to work with some truly outstanding achievers – some of who are billionaires.

Yet most of the time when I meet these rich people, I am always surprised by a common trait most of them have:

They’ve never been in it for the money.

The greatest leaders are those who take pride in leading others to the promised land. Who make their visions become reality. To them, the most important thing is reaching the end goal – ego, personal accolades and status is never important.

Great leaders never fear internal competition.

It’s never about them.

They’re too busy focused on their mission.


With technology and globalization rapidly developing, the business world will experience more change than ever.

Relying on past credentials and titles will no longer cut it.

Internal competition will be greater than ever.

Hiring managers can gain much from those who don’t fear internal competition but embrace it. Ironically it’s this group of people who will continue to be the greatest leaders anyway.

Whose your internal competition?

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