Within the world of sporting peak performance engaging people in success is about more than winning. To consistently achieve the highest levels of performance that will deliver ‘Gold Medal’ status in Rio this year requires a particular and sustained way of thinking and behaving – even in the face of losing. When the stress bar is raised, as it is when focusing on winning alone, mental and physical performance always suffers. Getting the stress balance right is therefore critical for sustained high level performance.

Engaging People in Success is not about ‘winning-at-all-costs’

So, is there such a thing as a ‘bad win’ or a ‘good loss’? In a highly competitive, win-at-all costs, mind-set no, clearly not!

However, most highly talented performers have come to realise the need for humility and respect for their broader team and fellow competitors, lest they should face the wrath of the media, their fans, their conscience, and their industry for ‘poor sportsmanship’. No-one likes petulance and blatant disrespect for others no matter how talented that person is… So, why should such behaviours be acceptable in the workplace?

Good Winner’s and Good Loser’s mind-sets for engaging people in Success

Bad Winner

·      Will do anything to win

·      Low memory for how they win

·      Erratic results

·      Inability to repeat success

Good Winner

·      Wins using repeatable strategies

·      Stable and consistent improvement

·      High memory for what creates success – the science of success

Bad Loser

·      No learning takes place

·      Blame’s others – low resilience

·      Lashes out and can be harmful to     others

Good Loser

·      Learning takes place

·      Learning is applied to future

·      High memory to problem solve when facing challenges

We have probably all been encouraged to win-at-all-costs at some point in our career, but in the modern world of work it is becoming less acceptable to do so. Underhanded, shafting, deceitful behaviours are considered ‘uncool’ and utilisation of them leads to disengagement quicker than you can shake a stick – or wave a carrot! Collaboration (even with the enemy!) is considered more beneficial for business and there are good reasons why this is the case.

Adopting a competitive approach that is about continuous improvement, as an individual and business, raises the bar for all. It is for the brave hearted for sure. It is easier to try to shoot the enemy than it is to develop oneself! It is the journey that higher thinking businesses naturally take when they are not threatened by extinction! The irony is of course that those threatened by extinction, who adopt the win-at-all-costs mentality in order to fight, will become extinct! In business, ‘just winning’ is never going to be good enough…