Friendly Rivalry

Friendly Rivalry 150 150 Lou Diamond

On June 1st the Cleveland Cavaliers will face off against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year. This is the first time the same two opponents have met three straight times in the championship series in the over 70 year history of the league.


While the recent success of these two clubs has pitted each team against one another for the championship title, many sports fans, analysts and historians wouldn’t consider Cleveland-Golden State a heated rivalry — certainly not on the same tier as other sports rivalries like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, or even the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. In fact, a recent news article described the upcoming series as a ‘friendly rivalry’.


I was recently at a conference attended by many of my “competitors”. And while one could think that a conference filled with so many competitors could have created an environment that is hostile, guarded, secretive, and filled with an “unwillingness to share” attitude — it was exactly the opposite.


The whole event was overflowing with best practices, helpful and creative ideas and a focus of everyone wanting to help one another be EVEN better.


I’d argue that those I considered my closest competitors have become trusted advisors and, even, some of my closest confidants.


A little competition is healthy, and having friendly rivals can actually make you stronger and wiser.


As for the Cavs and Warriors, while they’ll be battling it out over the next few weeks and be fierce competitors, their underlying respect and appreciation of one another will raise their game to a higher level.


Lou Diamond is the Founder & CEO of Thrive – a leading consulting and coaching company helping the best people and companies become even more amazing. He is also the author of the newly released international best-selling book “Master the Art of Connecting“ and podcast host of “Thrive LOUD with Lou Diamond”