In some areas of life, particular sports, the results are zero-sum; for one team to win, another has to lose. Every year, some team makes it to the Super Bowl and loses, but that’s the only way to make winning possible for the other team.
Beyond sports, though, most of life and business isn’t zero-sum. You can win and the other guy can win too. You can both be happy, successful, or anything else that you want. There are cases where it’s head to head, such as for a specific job opening, but most of the time things are more open than we want to realize.
It’s like I shared a while back about The WordPress Community. Most of us in these gatherings are technically competition to one another, but we all realize that we’re not in a zero-sum game; one of us “winning” doesn’t mean that another last to lose.
As Adam Grant discussed in a recent interview with former NFL player Emmanuel Acho, the ability to determine when a situation is zero-sum and when it’s not is a valuable skill to have. If you look closely, I think you’ll find that most situations in life are not, and it’s a great world to be in when we can all win together. I encourage you to listen to that episode of his show, as their thoughts on this are really quite fascinating.