Winners–Losers: It’s All About Having Real Grit, Superior Passion vs. Just Let It Happen– Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better…

Winners–Losers: Passion and perseverance may be more important to success (i.e., winners), than mere talent. In a world of instant gratification, ‘grit’ may yield the biggest payoff of all. Grit is defined as ‘perseverance and passion for long-term goals’, and it may  be at least as good a gauge of future success as talent itself…

According to Angela Duckworth; individuals that are deemed winners (i.e., more successful), typically possess traits that are above normal ‘ability’ but more important, they also possess– ‘zeal and persistence’ of motive and effort; or, in other words, high in ‘grit’. Grit is conceptualized as a stable trait that does not require immediate positive feedback. Individuals high in ‘grit’ are able to maintain their determination and motivation over long periods despite experiences with failure and adversity. Their passion and commitment towards the long-term objective is the overriding factor that provides the stamina required to ‘stay the course’ amid challenges and set-backs.

Essentially, the ‘grittier’ person is focused on winning the marathon, not the sprint… Winning is important– that’s why we compete– When we play, we play to win… According to Ned Hardy; the difference between winners and losers are:

  • Winner is always part of the answer; Loser is always part of the problem.
  • Winner always has a program; Loser always has an excuse.
  • Winner says; Let me do it for you; Loser says; That is not my job.
  • Winner sees an answer for every problem; Loser sees a problem for every answer.
  • Winner says; It may be difficult but it is possible; Loser says, It may be possible but it is too difficult.
  • Winner makes commitments; A Loser makes promises.
  • Winners have dreams; Losers have schemes.
  • Winners say; I must do something; Losers say; Something must be done.
  • Winners are a part of the team; Losers are apart from the team.
  • Winners see the gain; Losers see the pain.
  • Winners see possibilities; Losers see problems.
  • Winners believe in win-win; Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.
  • Winners see the potential; Losers see the past.
  • Winners are like a thermostat; Losers are like thermometers.
  • Winners choose what they say; Losers say what they choose.
  • Winners use hard arguments but soft words; Losers use soft arguments but hard words.
  • Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things; Losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values.
  • Winners follow the philosophy of empathy: Don’t do to others what you would not want them to do to you; Losers follow the philosophy: Do it to others before they do it to you.
  • Winners make it happen; Losers let it happen.
  • Winners plan and prepare to win. The key word is preparation.

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In the article Winning Is a Losing Concept by Wim Rampen writes: Winning in sports is easy… that is, it’s an easy concept… Winning in business is not… The concept of winning requires someone else to lose… Not a problem in sports, it’s a game. Losing is not a concept that works well in business though. Even negotiation works best if the outcome is beneficial for both parties to the table…

Winning in business should be about creating nothing but winners, because even if both you and your competitors grow, this means that you are growing the total ‘pie’ (i.e., market)… And growth of the market means customers are winning as well… Winning in business is not about outperforming the competition. Winning in business is about co-creating superior value with stakeholders, and for all stakeholders. It’s about building an ecosystem that is so unique, it becomes a market, or category, in itself. Being a winner in business is all about finding your spot in the ecosystem, where you can best help others be winners too…

In the article Winning–Losing: Out-Played or Out-Talented by Wayne GoldSmith writes: In high performance sports you have a relatively simple equation to evaluate performance – you either win or lose. When you lose, it is natural to look for the reasons ‘why’.  A critical aspect in understanding the ‘losing process’ is to find the answer to the following question: Were you outplayed or out-talented? What does it mean to be out-played? Being outplayed means– your opponent planned and prepared better than you did. Being out-talented means– you were beaten by someone who possessed a superior talent… What’s the difference?

The difference between being ‘out-talented and out-played’ is that being out-played is totally your own fault and you had complete control and responsibility over your own preparation. The most important principle in any competition is that you must out-prepare… excuses do not count… blame does not improve performance. It’s pointless blaming losing on having ‘less talent’ than your opposition, unless you know with absolute certainty that you have prepared better in every other aspect than the competition…

In the book ‘Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing’ by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman write: We examined the science of winning and losing, and why a lucky few are top dogs and the rest of us aren’t. When the stakes are high, when it’s all on the line, some people rise to the occasion, others don’t…

Forget about the power of positive thinking. When it comes to competing you need focus, intensity, and readiness to face expected obstacles and adversity. A bit of insecurity and self-doubt motivates you to try harder. Instead, positive thinking makes you mellow and takes success for granted without being aware of the needed effort to actually succeed…

Many studies have confirmed that positive thinking is not associated with superior performance: What matters is not ‘positive vs. negative thinking’, its ‘additive vs. subtractive thinking’… Additive thinking is reviewing your performance and uncovering opportunities for improvement. Subtractive thinking is regretting you did not do this or that without thinking of the necessary skill improvement needed to move forward…

Teamwork is way overrated, and people underestimate how much time is wasted in teamwork… A conflict free team means no one is bringing anything to the table that might engender controversy; and from a performance standpoint, that’s bad… How one interprets stress is a key… Stress can also be interpreted as a challenge associated with a gain-oriented mode (i.e., seeking opportunities, risk taking, maximizing gains…); playing not to lose vs. playing to win…

In the article Winners and Losers by Gary Lockwood writes:  We frequently hear people being labeled as winners or losers. We seem to instinctively know the difference. In this article, we explore the essence of character that distinguishes the winners from the losers. She’s a winner! He’s a real loser. We frequently hear people labeled as winners or losers. We seem to instinctively know the difference.

Many years ago, I read a poem that discusses the difference between winners and losers. I don’t know who wrote it, but I tip my hat to her/him, because the poem captures the essence of character that distinguishes winners from losers. I’ll share it with you now– with my thoughts:

  BE A WINNER! Right here in the title is an acknowledgment of what most people want: To be a winner, and to feel like a winner. With all the talk of win-win thinking, we still want to be a winner and to enjoy the positive emotions that accompany being a winner.

Winners make commitments. Losers make promises: While some people do treat their promises as commitments, many make empty promises knowing that they may not actually perform. The meaning of this stanza is clear: When winners make a commitment, they see it through to completion. You can count on a winner to come through.

Winners go through a problem. Losers go around it, never get past it: This little-known secret of winners is powerful. When encountering a problem, don’t just work around it this one time. Solve the problem then keep going to solve the source of the problem. Fix it for good, not just for now.

Winners say: Let’s find out. Losers say: Nobody knows: An insatiable curiosity allows winners to explore the source of opportunities as well as the source of problems. This makes it more likely that the winner will develop even more opportunities while solving the source of recurring problems. It also turns out that genuine curiosity about other people is one of the secrets to increasing sales, improving customer service and strengthening relationships.

Winners always have a plan. Losers always have an excuse: Have you noticed that successful people seem to know where they’re going and what they want? It’s no coincidence that winners have a plan. The process of thinking through the issue of what’s important, allows the winners to keep a clear vision of the future and outline a path to get there. They routinely examine their mission by asking: Where am I going with this? How will I accomplish my goals?

Winners say: There’s a better way. Losers say: It’s the way it’s always been done: Continuous  improvement is one of the hallmarks of successful people. Their motto is: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing better. Losers just keep on doing the same old things yet they expect different results.

Winners are always involved in the answer. Losers are always part of the problem: Winners are not whiners. Instead of complaining about a problem (or just sitting there being part of the problem), winners jump in looking for a solution. No blame, no pointing fingers, no belly-aching. Just fix it and move on.

Winners know there is still much to learn. Losers want to be considered an expert before knowing how little is known: We’ve all encountered people who want to be ‘the expert’, even though their expertise is out-of-date, incomplete, or overestimated. Winners understand that knowledge has a short shelf-life. Winners also appreciate that, to be valuable to clients, they must constantly explore the limits of their knowledge.

Winners learn from their mistakes. Losers learn only not to make mistakes by not trying anything different:
 Winners are opportunistic about learning from daily experiences. All of us have hundreds of experiences each day that could be valuable learning opportunities. Losers ignore them and surf the shallow surface of their knowledge. Winners understand that learning in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment can’t be left to chance. Successful people make a conscious effort to actively seek new ideas, innovation and growth.

There you have it. To me, the poem addresses the fundamental qualities of being a winner. It captures the spirit of open-mindedness, strength, and compassion that makes winners and winning attractive… Be a winner!