I have to admit; I’m not a true soccer fan so that I will pay attention at a very peripheral level to this year’s World Cup. I have been within 5 feet of the trophy; I was in the main CBC lobby in Toronto on my way for a media interview, when they were showcasing the world cup trophy.
This week, they announced that the 2026 World Cup would be held in Canada, Mexico and the United States. So seemingly with our inability to get a major trade deal settled, we have been able to work together and get the world’s largest sports event.
The 2026 World Cup is a wonderful example of “coopetition”.
Coopetition is defined as a collaboration between business competitors, in the hope of mutually beneficial results: where competing interests work together, for the betterment of all.
This is an important principle within organizations as well; you have different divisions competing for time, talent and budget. How do you as a leader work within this context? We saw this past week, the same principles apply within our political process. We had all of the major political parties cooperate to support the interests of Canada as we negotiate with our trading partners.
A key leadership principle is to consider how you negotiate with your peers, leaders and employees within an environment of seemingly competing interests. You do this successfully by understanding and respecting the needs of your trading partners while protecting and advocating for your team’s needs.
I was a proud Canadian this week, as we saw the leaders of our country come together not just on the soccer field, but on behalf of the future of all Canadians.
Leading, along the road with you!
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