Trigger Questions

Are You Aiming To Win or Trying Not To Lose?

Trigger Question #13

“Gentlemen, I ask again. How do we keep our position as number one?”

. . .

Once upon a time, long, long ago, did you play King of the Castle? Or maybe you played King of the Hill. If so, how did you approach the castle or the hill when you were the dirty rascal (the one attempting to take the castle)? And did your attitude change when you became the king or the queen?

Of course it did. Because there is a vast difference between wanting to win and trying not to lose.

Let’s assume you never played childish games, but went straight from onesies to tracksuits. You were only game for proper sports, ones where scores and track records mattered. Do you remember how, at the start of a game, your focus was on winning? And, once you were ahead on points with the clock running down, how your focus shifted from winning to not losing? Because you were already thinking of next week’s game.

Now that you are older, let’s consider your New Year’s resolutions. At the start of the year, you are determined to stick to your resolutions. But as the months roll by, you slip. Now you try to hang on to any gains you’ve made. And then, on the downward run to December, you catch yourself thinking of being more resolute next year.

It’s no wonder, then, that this mentality applies equally to executive teams. Look what happens to the management style of executives when a company finally makes it to the number one spot in its field. Suddenly, playing defense becomes the name of the game. The focus shifts to protect market share, enforce contracts, launch lawsuits, and so on.

But what about you? What should you do? Here’s what.

Every morning when you wake up, and every time you meet with your team, pick your mind-set. Decide whether you aim to win or whether you plan not to lose. It’s your call.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

. . .