The Winning Spirit

How competitive are you? What's the inner game of competition all about? What separates the winners from the losers? Consider these questions as you peruse our special double issue, which this year is all about competition. For the occasion we commissioned an exclusive poll on the state of competition in America. The results underscore just how driven managers in the U.S. really are. For example, 40% of our more than 2,500 respondents said they check their e-mail once a day or more while on vacation. Some 91% admit to going to the office on the weekend. And 22% even said they would fire a good friend to get ahead at work.

In the special report you will hear directly from great winners, among them Joe Torre, Steve Ballmer, Rupert Murdoch, and Anne Mulcahy. We take a look at business rivalries, such as that of satellite radio networks XM (XMSR ) and Sirius (SIRI ). And we go beyond the worlds of sports and business into competition in other spheres -- at a camp where budding musical geniuses train, for example, and on a military exercise. We offer you our picks of the world's most fiercely competitive people, organizations, and communities.

Dozens of reporters and editors collaborated on this issue, led by Senior Writer Rose Brady. Special thanks go to the editing team of Peter Coy, Tom Lowry, Harry Maurer, Elizabeth Weiner, and Suzanne Woolley. Steve Taylor, Vera Naughton, and crew designed the issue, and Larry Lippmann and his team managed the photography. The project was overseen by Executive Editor John A. Byrne and Assistant Managing Editors Frank J. Comes, Mary Kuntz, Christopher Power, and Ciro Scotti.

We hope these stories, and additional features on, will surprise, enlighten, and entertain you.

By Stephen J. Adler, Editor-in-Chief

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