Winning IS Everything

To say that winning is in my blood is an understatement. From my 85-year-old mother who plays a mean game of ping pong to my 7 year-old daughter, Maci, who loves to win at everything, including who can get to the mail box first. The Cole name is spelled C O M P E T I T I O N (or G A M E ON).  

My family loves to win. In fact, my mom recently stopped playing ping pong.  She said, “It is time to retire and stop playing when my grandkids can beat me.” Maci decided not to play soccer anymore because the other kids on her team didn’t want to win badly enough. Team sports may not be the best option for her since she can’t single handedly control the passion with which the game is played.

Growing up I learned that sometimes you had to change the rules mid-competition if you really wanted to win and that has been passed on to Maci. I never knew there were so many ways to play Train Dominos. Maci’s creativity helps her win most of the time.

Lately, my “Cole” perspective of winning has been challenged. Maybe it was working with John on his recently released book, “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn” or by re-reading, “Winning with People”. I am sure I am influenced by having daughters who need to be protected from the taste of defeat by a father who knows how to “let them win”. 

Here is how I am beginning to redefine winning:

1. Winning is not always determined by the scoreboard.  The winning team is not always the team that has the best score.  Great teams know how to take the lessons won through defeat and make adjustments to beat the opponent in a future, and many times, more significant game.  The take-away can be greater than the win.

2. Winning is sometimes better when others experience victory.  The older I get the more excited I become when others win.  When our team hits a budget number or wins a sale, we all celebrate the victory.  Yet, I am truly excited to see the individuals closest to the victory enjoy the win.  Sometimes, other people’s wins mean that I am the defeated foe!  I love to see my girls discover new talents and new ways to defeat me. 

3. Winning with little effort is not as rewarding as defeat with best effort.  My parents always taught me to do your best.  I can control that.  Sometimes I can’t control the outcome.  Luck, excellent performance by the competition, and a better game plan is hard to beat, but I can always win when giving my best.

This month as we have focused on winning and I have enjoyed the articles and comments from many of you.  As we close out this month, I would love to hear your thoughts on winning.  Post a comment and finish this statement:  Winning is ……… EVERYTHING!

Trust me, my mom and my daughter will appreciate you giving me a broader perspective on winning so I can “let them win” a little more.

Winning is ……

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