I am a competitor. In order to collaborate you have to appease people and take the back seat. That isn't me, I strive to be the best at everything I do. That is the only way you can be your best; you have to look in the face of adversity and fight back. That shows heart, that shows determination, and that makes you your best.
I am definitely at my best while I'm competing, though I do like to collaborate many times. There is something about competition that brings out the concentration and fire in me--as long as it's something that I want or enjoy doing. If not, it's all sort of an exercise in futility.
I personally think that we are getting to the point where we have to figure out how to better collaborate and get along with others. Schools out, the bulling days are over, if one wants to thrive in the real world one better know how to play nice and help each other out... Even the 'charlatans' day are rather numbered in fact we may already be counting forward from when it died and was buried. The thing is that we are still adapting to the new ways of being (and doing away with some old obsolete ways that still want to use them obsolete rules and ways).
I think that I am at my best when I am competing. With competition, it is up to me to make all the decisions, plan accordingly, execute as needed. The victories are mine. If I fail, the blame lies solely with me. Collaboration just leads to individuals slacking and lots of glory grabbing or blame shifting.
While I think competition can be important I don't think it should be the basis for everything because it can lead to high tension. I believe the biggest and best projects are completed through collaboration where each team member has the right to infuse their ideas into the project. I believe this method is more effective.
I work my best on my own, which is neither competing nor collaborating. I have the freedom to work at home at my own pace and however I want to. I collaborate with my wife and kids to get things down throughout the day and during the week. Collaborating with my spouse and children is the only thing that matters.