As I reflect on my career - athletic, executive and coaching - the times that I have achieved the most have been when I had a worthy competitor or collaborator that drove me to be my best.
Roc Murray (a business partner and mentor) unlocked the secret to this when he explained the true meaning of "compete". The latin root for compete is petere, which means to strive, and the prefix com means together. So when you put that together, compete means to strive together.
When I think about it, as I strove in athletics and academics, my first collaborators were my parents. Things really took off when I met my lifelong friend Bill Brelsford. From the ages of 6 to 18, Bill and I practiced together and competed against each other in anything we did - baseball, racquetball, running, 1:1 tackle football games and school. You name it, we competed. This drove both of us to accomplish big things.