Be a better version of yourself not a copycat | Sunday Observer

Be a better version of yourself not a copycat

30 August, 2020

We see many weak leaders trying to compare his or her performance with the predecessors. This happens in politics, sports and business more often than before. Unfortunately, this has become a dirty game in Sri Lanka.

Without trying to do their best in the given environment, some leaders simply waste time doing this which does not help the stakeholders. We see some people going public with such statements to earn false credibility rather than doing what it takes to perform in the current environment to satisfy the interest of their beneficiaries.

This is more relevant to the highest levels of leadership in the public sector. When a leader feels that  he or she is required to live up to another person’s standards, they may begin to doubt themselves and struggle with self-esteem issues.

It is natural to compare people to one another and it happens in every field and at every level. While that being the fact, competition in the workplace is a brain game that will only make your life more challenging.

It’s human nature to look around and see what others are doing. If you have ever made an example of someone, you have used comparison to try and achieve something.

But while the motives might be positive, the consequences are often negative. If you’re constantly making comparisons, you’ll run into issues that could’ve easily been prevented. You can’t compare an orange to an apple, like you can’t compare two completely different employees. Doing so will only discourage your workers and force them to wear hats that simply don’t fit.

Humans are motivated differently, have different strengths, and are led differently. Comparing them implies that what works for one should work for another.

It simply is not true in many cases. For instance, if you compare an introverted worker to an extroverted worker, two totally different types of employees, you will only take away from the good that each provides, and motivate them to be someone they are not. 

You can’t be someone else

No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot be someone else. Simply because someone else is successful by approaching situations in a certain way, doesn’t mean you will be too, especially if it’s a new approach that you are not comfortable with. Their way is not inherently better simply because it’s different from yours. Comparing yourself to others for any reason is energy that would be better served by improving yourself or focusing on your own work.

However, it’s useful to keep an eye on how others perform. It helps you to learn from them.

This is especially valuable when you are new to a company, team, or project; in fact, you’ll need to understand how things work and the typical processes before you consider a different approach or develop your own way of doing things. There’s also an important difference between comparison and seeking information. 


If you are a leader, it’s your responsibility to foster a healthy environment that encourages growth among many workers and personality types.

Your employees should feel confident embracing their strengths and acknowledging their faults without worrying about being overshadowed by a  team member.

Healthy competition is good in the workplace. It increases productivity and motivates workers to do their best. But if competitiveness interferes with your team’s dynamic, it can do more harm than good. When people are competing against each other, they often fail to work with each other. Because of this, innovation often halts or slows.

Collaboration goes away, teamwork drops, and everyone tries to score points all by themselves. In this type of environment, productivity might increase in the beginning, but after some time, the culture becomes toxic and unsustainable. Instead, employers and employees alike should celebrate strengths and pair up teammates who complement each other.

Instead, leaders should encourage high self-efficacy, which deals with a person’s confidence to meet goals, respond to demands and become a better version of themselves.

To achieve this attitude from your team, you must be a leader who celebrates the individual strengths of each employee. This will motivate them to be the best version of themselves. It’s a natural temptation to blame the past regime when entering organisations in disarray. Nobody knows better about the mess they are in than the people in it, much less about how it came to be. You are better off simply by making no references to the decisions or actions taken before your arrival.

Your best response when being baited to blame those who came before you, is to say, “We can’t change what happened then, but we can change what we do going forward.” People appreciate when you take the high road.

Unique gifts

Don’t compare your talent to someone else’s. We all have unique gifts. You can’t do what someone else was put on this earth to do — and they can’t do what you were put on this earth to do, either. No one has ever gotten a boost of confidence after comparing themselves to someone else. Even if you’re using comparison as a way to feel superior, that type of comparison is rooted in insecurity, so the superior feeling isn’t going to last long anyway.  At the end of the day, comparison will simply make you feel empty.

And when you’re running on E, you won’t have the strength, boldness or courage you need to keep working towards your target — or believe that you can actually accomplish them.

The only person you should compare yourself to, is the you of yesterday. Any time you start to feel yourself spiraling into comparison, take the focus off the other person and put it on yourself.

Are you more focused at work than you were last week? Are you a better performer than you were last year? Did you deliver better numbers this year than you did last year? If the answer is yes, you’re making progress — no matter what anyone around you is doing.