Winning the Game

Winning the Game

Do you like to win? Come on, everyone does! So what will it take?

I think the first step toward winning is defining that win. I emphasize to many of my clients that the big win comes from a series of small wins along the way. Getting a meeting is a win. Getting a second meeting is a win. Being asked to build a proposal is a win. Closing a deal is a win. A promotion is a win. So, I tell the clients I mentor and advise to determine what the ultimate win is; what a small win to get there is and any milestone wins in between. There are three types of wins.

The big win for you may be doing a million dollar deal, running a sponsorship program that wins an award or exceeds your partner’s expectations, or perhaps heading up the department. Know what that goal and ultimate win is. That’s what you’re working toward.

Then identify if there are milestone wins. Perhaps it is a promotion or two. It might be doing your first $250,000 deal and then the $500,000 deal. Or maybe a couple of milestones are being nominated for an award and then winning it. The milestone wins are critical to mark success and lead you to the ultimate win.

Finally, identify the small wins between the milestones and celebrate them. They may be getting recognition for a promotional idea or kudos from your partner for a great event promotion. Or perhaps it is getting the meeting with an elusive prospect who has a large budget, or it is a great quarter or annual employee evaluation.

Similarly in sport, the ultimate win might be the Stanley Cup, but you need to make the playoffs first and then the finals. You have 84 nights of potential wins along the way. But as an individual player, you may need to control your temper, or improve your skating or shot. That first goal is a win. The increased accuracy of your shot is a win. These are all wins along that way that need to be identified so you can have a series of small wins between the milestones. At one point, my daughter played for a girl’s house team. They were in a U15 league, but over half their players were U13 because the group did not have enough girls to form two teams. The result was a pretty bad team. But the coaching was great. The wins being tracked and measured were not the numbers on the score clock—ever. It was the number of competed passes. One milestone win was to get a shot on the opposition’s net. That objective was met two-thirds of the way through the season. (You should have seen the celebration by the girls—and the dumbfounded looks on the opposition team members—why were these girls celebrating a shot on net?)

It comes down to knowing the basics—getting the small wins along the way, then the milestone wins. You must have a plan and follow it. You have to understand the process to get to the ultimate win. Or as Gordie Howe once said, “First you need to learn how to play the game, then you learn to win.”

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