Play Your Own Game

competition, best work, unique gift, leadership, executive coaching, team coaching, strategic facilitation, Yan Maschke,  cleveland ohio


Dancing is my hobby and sport. I am a passionate and dedicated student who enjoys developing her craft. I perform and don’t go to solo competitions.

Competition doesn’t do justice to my passion for learning and for life.

Too Much Focus on Competition Can Prevent One from Pursuing a Passion

I have perfectionist tendencies that can hold me back or even paralyze me when it comes to stepping out of comfort zones. 

I have been dancing salsa, which is a social dance. Recently, I started to venture into ballroom dancing for the first time, and it is very intimidating. 

My dance coach worked with me to focus on realistic goals that are meaningful to me. I did not focus on competition or worry about how can I ever look like the champions.  This allowed me to start a new journey of learning without submitting to my internal fear and resistance.

Ignoring competition allowed me to start to play a new game.

Too Much Focus on Competition Keeps One in the Box to Be “The Best of the Average”

I spend most of my time on my professional work. Just like any other profession, it's a space where it’s easy to be just like everyone else. 

There are many ways competition can drive us to be better and to continuously improve. That is great. 

Competition can also define a box for us to play in. A box with boundaries and limitations.

To “beat the competition” is limiting. To beat competition means to be the best player within that box.

What intrigues me much more is how to be so genuinely and uniquely different that there is no competition

What is far more exciting for me is the never-ending pursuit of excellence that makes me feel like a beginner every day. I can’t see what “best” looks like because it will always be in the making.

Looking back on my corporate career, I played in a box in most of my career. A well defined, lucrative, and ego-stroking box.

I now run my own practice and work with senior leadership teams to increase the effectiveness of their strategy and execution, and with individual executives to maximize their impact and fulfillment.

How I do it is different from most of my peers. 

I give myself permission to let my uniqueness shine and to serve my clients in creative ways beyond tradition

My clients find distinct power in my work. I don’t feel I am working. I had never imagined life can be this fulfilling.

I refuse to be another player in the box. 


Life is a precious journey to be curious, to experience and to connect with the world, to express self, to create the best self; and to inspire others to do the same.

This applies not only to individuals but also to the life of a team and an organization. 

While it’s important to understand our environment and context, a journey to beat competition can hold us back and prevent us from being the best we can be.

So, play your own game! Play where there is no competition!

Invitation to Reflections 

  • What passion do you have that you have not taken action to honor?

  • What are your most unique gifts?

  • Where can you play that you have no competition?

  • Whose game are you playing?