Competition vs Collaboration

Courtney's Blog 1_Competition vs Collaboration

Is competition really good for business or is it simply a ‘traditional’ way of operating that requires some much needed attention and re-direction?

According to Wikipedia, “Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co- exist in the same environment. Competition, in biology, ecology, and sociology is a contest between organisms, animals, individuals and groups for territory, a niche, for resources and goods, mates, for prestige, recognition, awards, social status, and for leadership.

It’s a basic instinct and the primary belief that drives competition is that it helps the crème rise to the top, it drives excellence! We are taught from a very young age to compete with one another and to take pride in being the top of the class, and the only way to get there was to know it all. If we were caught sharing or collaborating with others, for example, say during an exam or an assignment, this was considered cheating.

The trouble is competition is the opposite of cooperation; the complete opposite to most of the aims of life of building communities, teams, organisations and families.

So while I can agree that competition can help promote curiosity and extraordinary innovations in the business, scientific, sport and academic worlds, if unchecked it can also drive a close minded, un-sharing mindset where the focus shifts to defensiveness and protecting what we have.

So what can we do?

We change our mindset, our habits and practice collaboration. It’s redefining the word cheating so that if someone asks about a particular question on the exam and we didn’t share then this is now labelled as cheating. Imagine what this belief would cultivate in our society….

Collaboration is working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals. At the conceptual level, it involves:

• Awareness
• Motivation
• Contribution • Negotiation • Exchange
• Reflection
• Commitment

The aim of collaboration is to produce synergy and coherence; cooperation and unity; outcomes that are only possible by working with others.

Effective collaboration can, however, be tough to achieve because we all have different aims, traditions and styles of working. Overcoming differences to forge productive collaboration is a key challenge and you can only do this by realising you don’t have all the answers and you don’t need to know it all. Instead, you recognise the gifts and talents each team player brings, you included, and respect that each person has an important part to play in achieving the task at hand. The sky is brighter at night when there are more stars shining their light, together.

So when it comes to business, and the type of people you want to work with, the world needs more collaboration and team work and less competition and conflict.

My tip is be mindful, be a team player – that’s what we were born to do!

Courtney Wilson


Lisa’s top tips on presenting

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Here are my top tips for nailing a presentation.

  • Preparation is key. You need to spend some time really thinking and working out what it is you are going to speak about. As soon as you know you have to give a presentation start making some notes, jotting down ideas, thoughts, they don’t have to be in order initially. You will find that you will be more attuned to pick up on relevant information, it may be something you hear on the radio, see online or some one is talking about, this is where you usually find the gems of your presentation.
  • Practice out loud. Rewrite your speech if you need too, so that it sounds just like you and the way you talk.
  • Trust Yourself. Once you have prepared and practiced and have your notes as back up then trust your instinct in the moment to take the presentation to where it needs to go.
  • Express yourself. Use your hands to help express what you are saying – and be aware of your body language when you are feeling most confident and replicate that.
  • Make eye contact and smile! Don’t just smile with your mouth smile with your eyes too! If you are speaking about something good, look happy about it!
  • Work in some humour early on. If you can make your audience laugh, they will keep listening in the hope you will do it again. It doesn’t have to be hilarious, mildly amusing will do. It shouldn’t seem to be added in but arise naturally from what you are saying – keep a lookout for it in your information in stories, look for things that are weird, or incongruous, or ironic or silly.
  • Connect with your audience. Allow yourself some time to do a bit of bonding with the people in your audience beforehand that way you will have some supporters already on side and willing to engage straight up.
  • Be yourself and be natural. But be a slightly heightened, slightly more confident, extroverted and enthusiastic version of yourself.

And finally – enjoy the experience!


Lisa McAskill – Creative Director at

What Is New Style Leadership?



New Style Leadership is not based on the old model of just seeing results; the old bottom line system address’ only one aspect of the whole process. While the New Style Leader focuses on staying in a unity-based context, which defines and gives structure to the role of the New Style Leader as a co-creator.

The first step in becoming a New Style Leader is saying YES to the call…

What does that mean?

A New Style Leader knows that social and spiritual awareness are one in the same and play a large part in being an effective leader. Saying yes to the call is actually saying yes to your conviction as a social and spiritual entrepreneur.

People may say “but I am not socially active and I am not particularly spiritual either”. Lets view the idea of social and spiritual – there are many definitions in the dictionary that describe spiritual, many of which are focused on religion. I suggest this is not the case for most people in society.

Here are three definitions, which I believe are how many people view the idea of being social and spiritual today.

Definition – Social

  • Pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations.
  • Living or inclined to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation.
  • Have or pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community.

Definition – Spiritual

  • Relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material.
  • Pertaining to having a spirit or soul, different from the physical nature.
  • Having a relationship based on a profound level of mental or emotional unity, pertaining to a refined and higher quality of emotions and actions.

What I am suggesting here is the idea of being dedicated to social and spiritual awareness, which are at the heart of every New Style Leader and one cant create long term effective change in the world without these two very powerful and necessary elements.

Social and Spiritual

We have turned to many metaphor duets over time and Social and Spiritual can indeed come under that category.

Here are a just a few popular examples – as above/so below, within/without and the micro/the macro. The connection between Social and Spiritual awareness plays an important part in our human experience, we are much more than our immediate world of material matter, we are also made up of our inner more sensitive world of emotions, which are connected to our thoughts, feelings, desires and visions for a promising future.

However, the moment one starts to talk in these terms, their audience often becomes dismissive, defensive and disagreeable. Perhaps that’s because people have thought you must keep social and spiritual concepts separate.

But what if keeping them separate has actually created many of the hardships we are facing today. I believe there is no separation between social and spiritual; unfortunately humanity is repeatedly creating this illusion of separation, which is supporting our unstable and disturbed reality.

The New Style Leaders role requires bringing these two worlds/realities; social and spiritual together. It doesn’t involve becoming a preacher or religious person. All it requires is the desire to cultivate a promising future for humanity, one where both social and spiritual needs are met and respected.

It is acknowledging, honoring and participating in the process of creation…

Every culture through out early civilization was centered on a creation myth of some kind. A creation myth (or creation story) is a cultural, traditional or religious myth, which describes the earliest beginnings of the present world. Creation myths are the most common form of myth, usually developing first in oral traditions, and are found throughout human culture. A creation myth is usually regarded as conveying profound truths, although not necessarily in a historical or literal sense.

They are cosmology myths, which describe the ordering of the cosmos from a state of chaos or nothingness. What I am suggesting is that all human culture was originally based on similar concepts, like the social and spiritual connection. This is not a new or unusual concept; perhaps we have just forgotten the nature of our origins. I’m not saying we need return to such ancient practices, but rather we can draw on these ideas that were unity-based.

Basic types of creation myths are:



Here are three simple definitions that I believe are aligned to the social and spiritual model of leadership. I see the concept and application of creation and co-creation as being a very valuable tool in our world today.

Definition – Creation

  • The act or process of creating.
  • Something that has been brought into existence or created.
  • The act of creating or engendering; give rise to.

These three neutral definitions of creation also provide a great platform from which to form a new and stronger style of leadership. The idea of creation is the combination of being in the continuous process of social and spiritual activity. Creation could in fact be the process and the result of how we grow as human beings.

We are creation its self, so through the process of becoming socially and spiritually creative, it enhances our ability to create even more. Creating a new, creating together, creating social systems and creating spiritually sound relationships. This is how we grow a vibrant and creative new humanity.

I don’t see an end to the process, but rather it requires a commitment to stay in the process until your time is up; your personal life cycle is complete. We need to stay in a continuous process of creation in order for the new humanity to remain just that; it must always remain in a state of new.

New Style Leaders collectively have the what, why, how and vision to respond to the call of creation.

So in conclusion I suggest that social and spiritual actually are one of the same and do need to co-exist. We require social structures that have a sound unity-based context, in order for the refined qualities of our human spirit to be creative and fully expressed. The New Style Leader is committed to maintaining and repairing the social and spiritual fabric of humanity. The New Style Leader is prepared to stay in the process of creation for as long as it takes to fulfill their life’s purpose.

If we are able to observe the perfected patterns of nature; Creation, desirable results form organically and the true nature of success takes up its rightful place in community/humanity.

Elizabeth Ellames