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Simon Sinek: Here’s Why Everyone Should Have a Work Rival

In his new book, Sinek reveals his biggest rivalry and how he learned to transform envy into self-improvement

Source | | Jessica Stillman

Simon Sinek has written five books, delivered a popular TED Talk, and is one of the world’s top speakers on motivation and leadership. In short, the guy meets just about anyone’s definition of super successful. 

But that hasn’t inoculated him against envy. Even those at the very top of their game torture themselves with jealousy of other’s success, he reveals in a excerpt from his new book The Infinite Gamewhich was recently published on the TED Ideas blog

Sick with envy for the star Wharton professor 

“Whenever I heard the name Adam Grant, it made me uncomfortable. If I heard someone sing his praises, a wave of envy washed over me,” Sinek writes. 

“Although there are many others who do similar work, for some reason I was obsessed with him. I wanted to outdo him. I’d regularly check the online rankings to see how my books were selling and compare them with his. Not anyone else’s rankings — just his. If mine were ranked higher, I would smile a gloaty smile and feel superior. If his were higher, I would scowl and feel annoyed,” he goes on.  

We might be ashamed to admit it, but these feelings are something most professionals can relate to. But if Sinek’s envy is completely common, his response to it wasn’t. In the book he goes on to explain how a chance encounter with Grant helped him rethink his relationship to his nemesis and turn his rivalry with Grant into one of the greatest drivers of his success.

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