The ‘W’ in Winning

Coaching, Lifestyle by

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. – John F. Kennedy

Just before 2am last Sunday morning my alarm sounded. I rolled out of bed, made a quick cuppa, turned on my laptop and logged on to Setanta to watch England play Samoa at rugby. Crazy? Maybe, but having only missed a handful of England games over the past 20 years, it’s nothing new and with the lads coming off the back of four straight defeats, it was time for a win!

Competing, whether in sport, business or some other part of life, is about winning. It’s about setting out to do your best and coming home with the trophy or promotion. Build that vision, develop the plan – execute! And if you hope to be successful, then make sure you’re a winner. If it’s not you, then someone else will be reaping the rewards.

Nurturing winners is also a trillion dollar business; self-help books, advertising, the Internet, media etc. There is so much that you can buy to help you get a head of the rest and be the first to ‘break the ribbon’. A 30-second advertising slot in the Super Bowl for just $4M, will ensure brand security and a guaranteed increase in sales – WINNER!

But is winning what it’s all really about?

If you are growing a small business or venture and sales is a focus, then winning is certainly going to be on the agenda, but so are a lot of other things. Solving the problem, defining the right solution, bringing together a team to collaborate is all part of the process. Then there’s the creative side, business modeling and the daily challenge of uncertainty that keeps life interesting.

So if W is not for winning, where’s the real ‘W’?

The real ‘W’ in winning is Why!

You can win every deal, every game, gain every promotion but without knowing the ‘why’, there will always be a gap.  No purpose, just a process.

The ‘why’ is the soul in all activity but incredibly many people do not spend time really contemplating it. It’s an internal assessment, whether on a personal level or behind closed doors within in a company. This means there is a level of vulnerability to being open about ‘why’ and often it’s much easier to focus on revenue and profitability; jumping straight to the ‘how‘ – strategy and tactics.

But profitability and revenue are simply the result of activity. The purpose for doing something lies deeper and when it’s congruent with the development of a business (or an individual), leadership is exposed and people notice. It incites inspiration and is a far more effective way of hiring, motivating and retaining staff than any corporate brand, vision or mission statement.

So what about the rugby? Well thankfully England got their much-needed win! But it’s what happened at the end of the game that helped to define why 30 massive blokes would run in to each other at full speed for 80 minutes.

They all huddled together to thank each other for the spirit in which the game had been played, the highs & lows, the big hits, the game of rugby.

Yes, the win was important but its moments like that which help to define the ‘WHY’.