“A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning” – Pat Riley
It is possible to turn winning, experiencing success, into a habit; unfortunately, the same is also true for losing. In today’s world the difference between winning and losing is the same difference between having a job and finding yourself unemployed.
If we want our teams to develop a habit of winning, as leaders we must consistently do these three things:
- Recognize wins – Wins come in all shapes and sizes, and we must allow our idea of what a win is to change with our circumstances. We can simplistically define a win as any action or result that moves us towards our goal. When we start to define wins this way, we will be able to recognize more of them.
- Celebrate wins – Recognizing a win is only the first part of making winning a habit. Our next step is celebrating the wins. When someone’s actions moves us closer to our goals, celebrate it. Celebrations can be as simple as publicly praising them in front of the team, writing them a thank you card, bragging on their work and effort.*NOTE: You get more of what you praise, be sure to celebrate moving closer to the goal rather than the specific action. If you praise the specific action you will get more of that action, not necessarily actions moving you towards the goal.
- Create wins – Sometimes we have team members that are struggling to win, or even worse, struggling to believe they can win. When we create wins for team members we help cultivate their habit of winning. Creating wins can be done a number of ways. Here are a couple of ideas: Allow that team member to take the final step that completes a project, and then brag about their finishing touches; Set them up with an easily achievable task. This isn’t cheating, this is helping them establish the momentous habit of winning.
Few people are motivated enough to reach their goals on their own, let alone someone else’s goals for them. If our teams are going to consists of winners we must help cultivate a winning mentality.