Play to Win

win-sign-vector-id492418970Play to win= To do something with the primary aim of attaining victory; to compete at the highest level one of capable of

Today’s Struming is not based solely on sports and the tendency teams have to be conservative when they have the lead in order to supposedly preserve victory.The concept of playing to win cuts across sports, politics, business and life. Too often I see when a person, business or team plays “not to lose”, then only to lose.

How could this be?

Ask Hillary Clinton

Ask last year’s Atlanta Falcons

And the list goes on…

The same holds true in business as well. I see it first hand when companies are supposedly “wired” to receive the key contract, only to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”.

What happens is that our instinct when we have a “lead” is to protect it, rather than to increase it. That’s when we change our behavior. We become:

1. Conservative

2. Risk adverse

3. Willing to allow our lead to be whittled while we play out the clock.

In short, we display the converse of the aggressive behavior that got us the lead in the first place. How foolish! You can’t line up in the “victory formation” unless there’s really less than a minute to play, you have the ball and there really is NO way you can lose. Because if you can lose and you play it “safe”, you likely will lose.

So my guidance to all of you who have been, are or will be “in the lead” is this:

1. Never let up, never let up, never let up—Never enough nevers.

2. Increase the score, build on your lead

3. Never assume the deal is yours–keep working to earn it.

What do you think Hillary Clinton would do if she had to do it all over again? If the Falcons had a do-over, how would they handle the 2nd half in last year’s Super Bowl? How did playing it safe work for them? Not so well.

Don’t let it happen to you.

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