Winners and Losers
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Have you ever thought about the differences between winners and losers? Not the obvious difference that one person won, and one person lost, but what was different between them that caused one person to win and the other to lose. Is the determining factor something out of our control? Is it determined by luck, or might it be something else altogether? Could it be an inside job?

Selfless vs. Selfish – I remember having a conversation with someone intent on winning control of an organization. He had the upper hand, and with some lobbying and working the phones, he would be able to win. I shared with him that he might win, but in winning, he might actually lose. Winning doesn’t always turn out the way we think. Let me explain. In the case I just mentioned, a young man with drive wanted control of an organization. Blinded by ambition, he achieved his goal and won. Only time will tell if the organization is fractured beyond repair. To be a true winner, you need to want what is best for others. You need to value the organization more than winning the prize. If you’re going to be a winner, others need to win as well.

Action vs. Dreams – Winners have a bias for action. They dislike inaction. Each morning winners wake up ready to get into the game. They act their way into feeling like it, instead of waiting to feel like acting. The key to being a winner is realizing you won’t always feel like it. All of us have down days where we wish we could go and hide. Winners resist the urge, get out of bed, and get moving.

Preparing vs. Repairing – People who are winners prepare to win. They carefully create a plan, determine resources, and then execute the plan. They make their plans public, so they have accountability partners at every turn. Losers have an idea, start down the path, and when faced with challenges, quit and make excuses. Winners have the same challenges and sometimes fail, but they convert the failure into a learning experience and re-enter the contest smarter and better prepared.

As I thought about this topic, I realized that the differentiator between winning and losing is based on a mindset. Some people think like winners, and others don’t. Those who don’t, always see problems and not opportunities. They lack the focus and desire to keep moving when things get tough. The old adage is correct, “The dream is free, but the journey isn’t.” The good news is that winning (or losing) is an inside job, and we get to decide.

If you would like to hear more about mindset, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 178 of The Next Page podcast. Who knows, your next challenge may depend on it.

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