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Leadership Traits: Co-opetition Versus Competition

leadership traits

Womenlines takes pleasure to share a very insightful article related to leadership traits defining the difference between co-opetition versus competition by guest contributor Leadership Coach Sally Anderson!

The literal linear meaning of co-opetition:-

Co-opetition is the act of cooperation between competing companies; businesses that engage in both competition and cooperation are said to be in co-opetition. Certain businesses gain an advantage by using a judicious mixture of cooperation with suppliers, customers, and firms producing complementary or related products

Reframed non-linear meaning of co-opetition in the context of Co-Creative Leadership:-

Co-opetition in this context is operating from a connected state leveraging one’s co-creative ability to operate from an ‘abundance consciousness’. I do not believe in their being competitors in the marketplace for to believe this one is operating from a disconnected state in ‘scarcity consciousness’ from an insecure standpoint. In over 3 decades in the leadership space, for example, there are many leading service providers, and many leadership coaches but I NEVER focus on what they are doing, I ONLY focus on what I am doing for I know my point of difference. I celebrate anyone making a difference in the human condition and have for over 3 decades done nothing but supported my fellow leadership providers. I see them as my allies NOT my competitors. You could bring another 1000 coaches into the global marketplace and it would not touch the sides for the amount of dysfunction out there – why do I know this, I understand the human condition integrally!

Why do I raise this as a subject today?

I am often acknowledged for the degree to which I support and pay forward the services of others. Always fascinates me for I believe it’s my responsibility to share what I know can make a difference for others. (As a generalisation: Why do others I wonder not feel the same level of responsibility to do the same; (as in sending the elevator back down)).  Quite literally in 30+ years of operation, there is rarely a day where I am not connecting someone with someone. It’s like breathing for me. What saddens me is that this is not the norm! If more leaders, more business owners operated from a connected state, in abundance consciousness what could be possible in the business realm globally? Heaven helps us what could be possible if this concept was adopted by those in the political realm?

I recently posted Elon Musk’s post/jpeg which stated ‘Instead of baby showers (I would have preferred he said ‘As well as baby showers let’s host ‘business showers’. When a friend starts a business, we all come together, celebrate them and bring resources for their business start’. This post got 17,000 likes recently – it obviously resonated.  EVERYONE deserves to be supported PERIOD!

Co-opetition in my context also is about co-operating with others for mutual benefit. Apply this context to what I term ‘proactive networking’. Few know how to truly network for they are pre-occupied with what’s in it for them – I abide 1000% by Zig Ziglar’s ethos of ‘You Will Get All You Want In Life If You Help Enough Other People Get What They Want!”. 

I am a stand for conscious leaders embracing the concept of co-opetition in the non-linear context from which I speak. I outline below my top 12 recommendations to assist you with what could be possible for you and your business/organization.


  1. PROACTIVITY – Be proactive every day to introduce someone from your network to someone else in your network, it only takes a few minutes and the more you do this the more you are demonstrating to the universe that you are worthy of receiving
  2. GRATITUDE – Be grateful every day for what you have and get a conscience – give more and you will receive more. There is always someone worse off than you! Operate from a state of ‘gratitude’ and watch your world transform
  3. SIMPLICITY – Do something every day that hones your message – Make it easy for people to refer you – know your USP, know your WHY, know what your needs are, know your avatar, know the demographic you target – be BOLD! Be a demand!
  4. ACTIVITY – Take action every day to forward your game. The more activity you generate the higher the probability of return. If you do not plant seeds every day you cannot harvest!
  5. LISTEN – every day learn to listen more and talk less, you will be amazed at what you hear. When you connect with a referral or potential prospect STOP talking and START listening and you will hear ‘what’s NOT said. Focus MORE on what they need and the more you can assist them with what they need by osmosis they will want to help you get what you need
  6. SELFLESS – Come from nothing – EVERYDAY in EVERY meeting come from nothing – do not go in with a pre-conceived outcome – dance more, allow the magic in the unknown to play out – do not get me wrong, having clear intentions is critically important BUT not to the deficit of mutual exchange
  7. ABUNDANCE – every day do something to learn how to transition from ‘scarcity consciousness’ and operate more from an ‘abundance consciousness’. There is enough for everyone if you believe that. Beliefs run EVERYTHING
  8. STRETCH – EVERYDAY push the boundaries on what is perceived as ‘comfortable’. Stretch your current thinking. Explore what could be possible if you focused less on yourself and focused more on others. Go out of your way to make a difference for others in all areas of your life, with your respective intimate partners, with your kids, with your fellow work colleagues, with your executive team, with your staff, with complete strangers!
  9. CURIOSITY – every day becomes more curious about how you can help your fellow man. The direct benefit of this is that you STOP worrying about what is wrong in your world and find evidence for the power of making a difference in another’s life!
  10. RECEIVE – every day learn how to receive, I, for example, am a ‘vehement giver’ and in the past, if I did not monitor this behaviour it could have verged on ‘martyrdom’. If you do not demonstrate to the universe that you are worthy of receiving ‘Every day, I am here to tell you, you will not receive. If you are so self-obsessed about worrying about what the competitors are doing that energy is repellent energetically. Watch that the pendulum does not swing too far out of balance!
  11. HELP – EVERYDAY train yourself to ask for help, allow contribution and make requests of people. The more you allow people to support you the more you are teaching the universe that you are worthy of receiving and you will receive more. This at times can make the majority of people feel uncomfortable – GREAT I say for the more uncomfortable the action the more abundant the reward
  12. FAITH – EVERYDAY cultivate your co-creative ability in alignment with your faith – whatever that is for you – I am not interested in what you call it, higher power, universal force, collective consciousness, god, all I am interested in is people/leaders tapping into the limitless resource available to you every day and all you have to do is tap into it! If you are vacuuming and you have not plugged it in and turned it on it is a bit tricky!!!! To access the electricity you have to plug into the energy source!

I will continue every day to pay forward connections, resources, knowledge, wisdom for I believe it’s my responsibility to honour the gifts that I have been given. It’s important to ‘send the elevator back down’ daily! What could be possible for you in your life, personally and professionally if you chose to buy into the non-linear concept of ‘co-opetition’ I speak about today?

Leadership Coach to let go negative affirmations

Sally Anderson

Leadership Coach To The Influencers


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