Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Defines A Winner?

In my last posting, I wrote about the concept of winners and losers and the idea that some people believe there can be only one winner. To me, having only one winner negates so many good things that happen in life and in business.

I looked up the word “winner” on and found this definition:

“a person or thing that wins; victor.”

Looking further down the page I came across this definition:

“a person or thing that seems sure to win or succeed”

The difference in wording is subtle but, I believe, very important. The first definition implies a single winner, while the second implies that a winner is a winner because they “succeed.”

I continued reviewing definitions and came across this definition of winner:

“an excellent person or thing. : This one is a real winner.”

Now, that’s more like it. This definition seems to leave some wiggle room for there being more than one winner without demeaning the importance of competition or excellence. Being a winner is about being “excellent” or even “excelling” and is not limited to only the “last man standing.” I would say that my favorite basketball team which ended up with 30 wins and only 3 losses is a group of winners. They were focused on excellence and achieved it.

It’s pretty clear as you read through these definitions that there is some consistency in terms of excellence but some inconsistency in whether or not there can be only one winner.

Years ago I came across a “demotivational” poster that stated:

“Since there can only be one winner, there’s an excellent chance that you are a loser.”

How’s that for a message. Inspirational, isn’t it. Makes you want to give up before you ever get started.

I believe that the concept of winners and losers is an important one for all of us in both our personal and professional lives. And focusing on the idea of a single winner is a great way to make sure that you’re never bothered by the pressure of being that winner. To me, being a winner is more about attitude than it is about competition. And, since we control our attitudes, we also control whether or not we want to be, and WILL be, winners or losers.

I’ll have more about this next week.

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• Your Company Culture
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• The Expectations of your Employees

When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post Dave and for reminding us of the subtle change that I sense is taking place. While some still sign their email, "second Place is the First Loser"; I see others reflecting your sentiment. That winning is not about crushing everyone else. As I believe Coach Wooden said something like you Win against yourself.

    Did you do your best? Could you have done better? What did you learn? What will you do different?

    Companies and leaders that continue to pursue a win at all costs will find themselves paying a price. In today's age of transparency and hyper communication you can't afford to be seen as selfish winning only for yourself.