I will never forget where I was when Joe Carter hit the gaming winning homerun for the Blue Jays in 1993 to win the World Series. Since then, my beloved city hasn’t been able to celebrate much around baseball…until last night when the Jays clenched the American League Division Series. The energy, enthusiasm, passion and drive to win were amazing to witness and the sweet taste of victory was the best part. As I cheered for the Jays win last night, it made me think about how we can tap into the a winning attitude within our teams and organizations and enjoy the euphoria of winning at work.
What It Takes To Win
Much has been written about the characteristics required to win – what you need to do to be successful and achieve your goals. Some these include:
- A clear definition of what success looks like
- A plan to get there
- A positive attitude
- Hard work
The same is true for organizations. Our companies and our teams need to embrace a winning attitude. We need to have leaders that cultivate an environment that promotes healthy competition, focus, drive and provides rewards for those that achieve their goals. We need to tap into the incredible power and momentum that is created when a group of people come together with the common goal of winning. This could include:
- winning a new client
- beating a competitor in their market
- achieving sales targets
- finishing a project on time and on budget
- winning an industry award
- raising the most money for a charity
- exceeding stakeholder expectations
When we focus on what ‘the win’ will look like and rally people around that vision we can inspire people to stretch their skills, push themselves further and achieve more than ever before.
Employees and teams who want to win are in constant competition with themselves.They are intrinsically motivated. While external rewards will be a strong motivator, ultimately their desire is to improve upon their personal best.
Leaders need to coach and motivate teams to set goals that are higher by asking the right questions: ‘How can we do better than we did last time?’ Tapping into a desire to win, improve and beat our personal best will rally people together. Spend time with team evaluating their past wins and others in the organization. What are the common themes? What actions did the team take that made them successful? How did they overcome obstacles? What is it about ‘the win’ that is so great? What will we do to celebrate when we achieve our goal?
Evaluation, preparation, training, direction, motivation, support and rewards are all required in order to win. Your organization must create the conditions that allow those who want to win, to succeed.
I participated in an incredible staff training day this week with a client. They hosted a fantastic event that had cross-functional teams participate in a series of games to win a grand prize. The tag line was “outwit, outlast and outplay your peers”. What a great slogan for encouraging friendly competition. The games were fun, active, informative, incorporated a generational theme and were very creative. The team members laughed together, worked together, and encouraged each other to win together. The day served as a strong team building activity. The enthusiasm and energy in the room was palatable. Everyone had fun…but the cheer that occurred from the winning team was more passionate than I expected. They were thrilled to be crowned the winners and the rest of the teams cheered for their win. When victory comes, no matter how big or small, we need to soak it in, enjoy the moments and use the energy to inspire us to go for a bigger goal.
Let’s bask in the glory of winning for just a little bit longer before it’s time to get back to work and push for the next win. This victory makes me smile and inspires me achieve my own wins.