One of my favorite childhood memories is the centuries-old national tradition of color war at camp. I loved the intensity of this week of games, contests and events, as well as the life lessons it imparted. We celebrated when we won and cried when we lost, but we learned to compete and respect each other simultaneously.

We are now just emerging from a generation of parenting that gave competition a bad rap and ignored the psychological benefits that can be gained from learning how to win and lose. And that’s not just my own experience — it’s been said that competition effectively brings out people’s creativity, innovation and camaraderie.

Building a killer instinct among friends

At my company, we strive to infuse color war-style competition in the workplace and have found that not only does it improve our culture, but it also raises our performance as a team. From brain teaser scavenger hunts to “Amazing Race”-style challenges, our focus on healthy competition has paid off: Acceleration Partners was ranked No. 4 on Fortune’s 2016 list of the top 10 places to work within our industry.

To promote collaborative innovation and trust among teams, you need to appreciate the competitive process more than the end result. Competition exists in life and business; you can’t ignore it. Someone out there wants your employees, your clients, your marketing mindshare and more. If you’re content with being in second or third place, that’s where you’ll end up.

If you want to be a market leader, you have to understand these three truths about fostering competition:

  1. Competition can be a good thing. When team members work together towards a shared goal, they push one another to be more creative, productive and motivated. Even when a team loses, its members maintain that feeling of goodwill. At our Read More Here