Rose Table Dialogues: Coaches and CEOs on Competition
March 21, 2023: The Rose Bowl Institute and the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program present Coaches and CEOs Rose Table Dialogue on Competition
Twenty-five coaches and managers from professional and college sports and current and former CEOs came together to discuss different concepts of competition. While the theory is that through hard-fought competition the best will win out, unfettered competition can be destructive and counterproductive.
In partnership with the Aspen Institute the Rose Table discussed how concepts of competition can impact sports, business and politics. While all three are based on competition, with the understanding that through hard-fought competition the best will win out, unfettered competition can be destructive and counterproductive. “Rollerball” showed the dark side of sports competition without rules, but examples arise in business (“Wall Street”, Enron) and politics (“The Candidate”, the January 6 Insurrection) as well.
Successful competition needs agreed-upon rules and boundaries, with fair referees and judges. What are other essential elements of competition? What elements from sports carry-over to business and/or politics? How does fair competition benefit the broader society? What is the role of the winner-take-all economy, the win-at-all-cost mentality, or the entrepreneurial spirit in each domain? In the end, what insights and lessons can emerge from addressing competition across these domains?
The moderated roundtable format encouraged exchanges among the participants.
Session I: Elements of Competition – exploring what competition means in each domain, its commonalities, and differences.
Session II: Lessons from Competition – from the first session, what lessons and insights from competition across domains can best help society at large?