Yesterday I pinged you about the change in corporate values at Uber. They have always had a Viking culture, and that works when you're trying to conquer new land/metro areas vs. groups that don't want to be conquered. Hell, that might even be necessary.
Uber is making the right pivot and is probably two years late. Once the majority of the conquering is done, the Viking culture doesn't work so well.
But don't mistake having a positive set of corporate values with the assumption you don't want people to compete hard vs. the competition, and yes, at times each other (teammates).
You want people in your company who want to compete, and at times, stick it to the other guy/gal. You just need them to do it with the cloak of professionalism. With that in mind, I give you this picture of Mark Dantonio, who in this picture had just been informed that his team, Michigan State, is a 16-point underdog on the road at Ohio State. If you can't see the picture below, enable photos or click through to the site for this gem (analysis below the picture):
This picture says everything you need to know about competition in the workplace and why you have to nurture it as a Talent Leader.
Mark Dantonio is a positive leader in the sports world. He's soft spoken and generally has teams that overachieve.
But look at the face. For all the professionalism, the look says it all. Underneath the talking points, the corporate haircut and the conservative Nike attire, MARK DANTONIO WANTS TO ROLL INTO OHIO STATE AND MAKE KIDS WEARING BUCKEYE GEAR CRY. HE WANTS TO HURT URBAN MEYER'S CAREER. IF HE COULD GET AWAY WITH IT, HE WOULD HAVE HIS TEAM TRASH THEIR HOTEL ROOMS AND KNOCK OFF A COUPLE OF LIQUOR STORES IN COLUMBUS JUST TO GET READY FOR THE GAME.
But Mark Dantonio is too smart to give you more than this look. This is all you'll get. You'll quickly become bored by listening to him. He's not going to give you reason to think that he's anything but a fine, upstanding citizen.
Underneath, he's a lot like the Viking version of Uber. He's rolling into a city that doesn't want him or respect him, and he's just been told he's a huge underdog. He's got a history of rolling into big games as an underdog and making people pay.
He's a Viking. But he's a smart Viking. You'll never get him on record with anything that can be used against him.
But the look says it all. HE'S COMING TO TAKE YOUR MOTHER ####### LIVELIHOOD FOR DISRESPECTING HIM.
This is what you need in your workforce. You need to see the look every once in awhile from your best people. You need them on that edge.
The best ones never show you more than this look.