Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Balancing competition and cooperation (2)

During most of my career, I have put group interests above my personal interests. This is a main reason why I suffered a severe burn-out in 2013. I knew I was walking a tightrope and assumed that I would be able to stay within my safety zone. My calculation was wrong and I’ve never worked a single day since mid 2013. 

There’s another way of looking at this.

Pursuing group interests equals cooperation, while chasing personal interests equals competition (eg, me vs company).

Latter may need some elaboration. 

People either bring something (eg, talents) within a cooperation, or they join for taking (ie, benefitting, greed). 

Takers prioritise personal interests over group interests.

During my time as a contractor, I met several contractors who acknowledged that they were busy trying to maximise the duration of their contracts. I learned fast and did the exact opposite by aiming for shorter term contracts that would allow for a renegotiation (eg, exit, tariff, terms, topics). Obviously, that approach requires confidence and/but it pays off. 

Symbiosis has four different types following its main two dimensions, being benefits and hurt: (1) amensalism (neither benefit, one is hurt), (2) commensalism (one benefits, neither is hurt), (3) mutualism (both benefit, neither is hurt), and (4) parasitism (one benefits, other is hurt). Sometimes, parasitism is by the group, like a 95 hour workweek.

Hence, balancing competition and cooperation is far from easy. Ultimately, I’ve always chosen for my independence in order not to become dependent. This requires confident humility (my blogs). 

Givers and Takers (1988) by Schuyler, Knobloch & Bickhardt
artist, artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2, Wiki-3

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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