Winning is a common term in sports. Someone wins and someone loses. Teams learn how to win. An athlete has to learn how to win. But what about us, the non-athletes?
As a youngster, I was never any good at sports. The little I played on recreational teams was primarily on the bench. It felt good to be part of the team. But I never had the chance to practice learning how to win. Or to experience what it meant to win as a player.
As an adult, following my favorite professional sports teams is the closest that I come to experience both winning and losing.
By itself it doesn’t appear as a problem. All of us can be good team players to make our organizations work.
Michael Jordan is the greatest competitor that I have watched. He always wanted to win. Gary Vaynerchuk, a social media expert and builder of two large businesses. talks often at how he always wants to win.
Talent gives certain people a head start towards winning. No doubt about that. It’s a great advantage that isn’t easily beat.
But there also is a component of excellence that talent reveals and winning demands. Showing us things that are not seemingly possible. Pushing boundaries further out than we thought was possible. Not accepting average.
What isn’t easily seen is that talent alone without cultivating and developing that talent through practice and effort will yield little.
The talented ones may have tasted winning and learned the feeling of what being the best means at certain times. But their dominance over time is never guaranteed without a great deal of work to cultivate what they have.
We, who have less talent have tasted winning less. Most likely we have worked harder over our lives than those more talented. It’s just that not understanding how to win puts us at a distinct disadvantage that we need to be aware of to overcome.