We all do it. We watch a soccer match, a baseball game, a basketball championship, and run the gamut of emotions during the course of the game. Your favorite team scores! Elation! The other team scores. Disappointment. A game is full of bends, speed-bumps, set-backs and successes. Those who persevere, the ones who can maneuver and adjust….they are the ones who meet with success at the end. The winners.
So, how do we move ourselves into the mind-set that we will be the ones who are standing at the end? What makes the winners different?
Never take a third strike! In baseball, when you have two strikes against you, you can either swing at the next pitch or hope the pitcher doesn’t throw a strike. You put your future into your own hands by swinging. You put your results in someone else’s hands by not swinging. Swing! Why leave your results up to someone else? Swing for the fence! It’s better to be in control of your own future than hope for the best. “Hope” is not a strategy.
Act like you’ve been there before. We’ve all seen it. Someone scores and dances around like it’s their first score ever. Sure, celebrate success; but, hey, the game is still going. Be happy about the score and get back into playing position. When the game is over, feel good that the game plan worked and you remained focused. The time to celebrate is when the game is won. Always, always, win with class. A classy winner shakes hands at the end of the game, and wins with humility.
Adjust and improve. An unexpected scorer is having the game of his or her life against you in the first half? You adjust, you guard this person differently, you change your plays. Same in business. You are not always going to have all the answers when you start, but you can monitor your business, you can measure results as you go, and you can make adjustments. Pick your head up, see the entire court, and move in the direction that will bring you success.
Play with winners. Life is way too short to have people on your team that drag your energy, or do not have the team’s success as their primary goal. You are here to win. You need a team where the collective talents synergize to a better result than if each person tried it on his or her own. Winners pick up their teammates and understand that the entire team’s strength comes from a unified sense of purpose and all players doing their part. Winners are the consummate team players.
Play with passion and enthusiasm. No, high fives are not a strategy; but, when the chips are down, when sales don’t come in as expected, when you hit that little bump in the road….who’s team would you rather be on: the one with the leader encouraging with passion and enthusiasm? Easy answer. Sometimes that extra jolt of energy is exactly what the team needs. Energy is contagious!
Play your game. If you sell vehicles, then you are in the transportation business. That is your bailiwick, that is the arena you have chosen. Your expertise is built around transportation as your game. Don’t try and sell food. Your game is cars, buses, trucks, moving people….someone else is playing the “feeding people” game. Know your game and play it better than anyone else. All activities should be built around winning in the chosen arena. Avoid distractions and remain focused.
We are all winners. Just choosing to compete means you have something special in your make-up that is moving you forward, motivating you to be a participant. So, why stop there? Build a game plan, have the right attitude, hone your skills, drive for success, energize. Mostly, though, never take a third strike! Life is about swinging.
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