Winning is Everything

My wife was turning 40. I planned an elaborate, surprise party complete with candle lit dinner, gorgeous decorations, a band comprised of friends (I’m a musician, too), old friends from her distant past, and forty pages filled with photos of her and her childhood friends. People signed it like a yearbook. It was the best birthday party ever.

My son and I performed a song about growing older – that I would always be there for her no matter what. The evening was breathtaking. Everyone had a good win, and she had a great win.

It’s tough growing older and some of the major birthdays make you really think about life. I wanted my wife to have that win. She is the most beautiful and wonderful woman I know. I wanted her to feel as strong going into the next decade as leaving behind the past four. I planned, purposed, and proceeded to help her win.

What I didn’t realize was, because it was such a huge success, everyone who was a part of my wife’s success got the win, too.

The younger kids served us out of their kindness. They got the win. They chatted about it for weeks as though the part they played made the whole evening. And you know what? It did. They prepared the delicious meal, decorated, performed the background music and even cleaned up afterwards—everyone got the win and enjoyed the win as if it were their very own.

It was greater than the win I’d hoped for.

When your team wins—everyone wins. How do you feel when your hometown football team wins? Or your school wins? Even if you’re not a part of it, you are a part of it. You still revel in “your” team winning.

It’s The Law Of Victory—Leaders find a way for their team to win.

The Challenge

Do you just celebrate wins as they happen, or do you go out of your way to ensure that the team wins? If you answered “Yes” or “both” you win—or I should say, your team wins. If you’re not actively finding ways for your team to win, you have room to grow.

I was so out of touch with reality as a young manager and leader. I couldn’t get out of my own way to help my team win. It’s been all about me for most of my life. Selfishness runs deep in our blood. Kindness and giving is a learned habit—especially for me. But, when I get it, I get it.

The Win

  • Take Responsibility.

It’s totally up to you if your team is going to win or lose. Make it personal. Your dedication to winning for your team sets the stage for success.

  • Do What’s Right

Look at your team and the methodologies and procedures it will take to win. If you have the wrong players, consider replacing or swapping members of the team. Do your homework. Map it out. Write it down. If you have the wrong procedures in place, change the rules. Create the success you need.

  • Burn the Ships

Like Cortés, burn the ships—there is no turning back, no Plan B. It’s victory only. Like the resolve of Churchill and England in WWII, without victory, there is no survival.

  • Never Give In

You must remain dedicated to the cause and fight on until you get to victory. To be your best, you must get on target, stay on target, and hit the target.

  • Facilitate a shared vision.

Know your team individually. Compare each person’s vision with that of the whole team. If there is little or no unity, work towards a shared unity. Do what it takes to build a consensus. Negotiate with the players. Communicate the goal and vision better. When the team is unified, they work as a great team and success is just around the corner.

The Takeaway

The best way to get ahead personally, is to help your team win. It’s also a lot more rewarding for everyone. Back to Zig Ziglar’s “You can have everything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” If you just work on making yourself the winner, you lose. You’ll never be able to grow higher than what you can achieve alone, because that’s what you’ll be—alone. But if you make your team win, everyone, regardless of their involvement, wins.