What winning means

We’re doing a lot of work with sales teams right now as they seek to thrive rather than just survive – and as you’d expect with sales teams, the concept of winning is coming up a lot. I think a lot about what winning means and when it’s tough out there, when the attention is all on you, when the pressure is cranked up and when your competitors are just as hungry, the meaning of winning is put sharply into focus.

does winning mean beating your opponent – at one level I guess it does but so what? It’s not as simplistic as that – referencing your sense of winning to the performance of others puts them in control, not you. Perhaps the real competition lies inside. Perhaps that’s the real target, not the one with numbers on and upon which sales teams are often fixated.
If the real target was inside – was us, was about getting better at your job every day, about finding what we’re capable of achieving, about discovering how great we can be at dealing with challenging conditions, then we’re in control, the performance belongs to us and the journey never ends.
Focusing on the inside gives our opponents a different role too – we want them to be good so they can push us to new heights – we honour them and are grateful for their part in our journey. And how do we focus when the pressure’s on, the expectations are high and the fear of failure strong? In the words of Cathy Freeman on that iconic Monday at the Sydney games, just “do what you know.”