I am not a great man. I run a blog that comparatively has lasted a while and received some attention. Some feel their blogs and writings define their lives. Fair enough. But, it has been my privilege to be a part of winning campaigns, championship sports teams, and moderately successful businesses. From that I learned the essentials of being a winner or a champion.
The first essential is commitment. That word is one that people run from today. Being committed to a team or a campaign seems in today's culture to be naive. But being committed causes you to make a difference. From political campaigns to youth sports teams, those who are committed and do the things others feel they are too good to do makes the difference.
I am talking a level of commitment that causes egos to be checked. In politics that means realizing, no matter how smart you think you are, that your role in a statewide campaign is just putting out a few signs or talking to neighbors about the candidate you support. In sports, it is accepting you or your kid will not play every down, but that by giving your all in practice and in support of the team, you help make champions and become a champion yourself. In sports or politics, if you are committed to do your role with enthusiasm, you leave the field every much of a champion or winner as the better known victors.
That brings up the second essential to winning : appreciation. In politics, a candidate and his inner circle have to appreciate and respect the volunteer who puts up signs or talks to his neighbors every bit as much as the guy who wrote the big check. Likewise, in sports, the coaches, players, parents, and supporters have to appreciate the kid who goes out there and makes the starters work hard every practice. In politics or sports, every person on the team that gives his or her all counts and ought to be appreciated. Be sure to never insult someone that given so much to your team. It might seem beneath self professed great strategic minds, but slights to those who give all they have, even if they give little in the eyes of some, destroys morale. Never, ever, think someone, including your kid, is a loser just because they are a role player. Role players make winning teams.
The third essential to success is simple: spend your time and energy on how to get things done, not on excuses on why they cannot be done. Victimization is a part of the American culture now. So many spend so much energy finding ways not be productive. Forget that. Find a way to get things done for your business, your campaign and your team. If you spend time trying to explain why you cannot do something, you are setting yourself up to be a loser.
That brings up the fourth essential to winning: be positive. Do not be a Pollyanna that ignores reality, but look for the positive, believe in yourself, your business, your campaign and your team. If you look around and you cannot believe in the organization that you are in, find a way to get out of it and go be a part of something that you believe in . If your find yourself part of a team or business that is not committed, not appreciative, and does not work to get things done, go elsewhere. Because without those first four essentials, the fifth essential will not work.
That fifth essential is having plans through preparation. Once a team or campaign has people that are committed, appreciate one another, work to find ways to get things done, are positive, plans through preparation carry them to victory. Plans created by preparation are essential. Life comes at you with all sorts of upheaval, in business, in campaigns, or on the football field. But, if you have a prepared plan, and calmly stick to it, with minor revisions, you are ahead of most people. Far to many people let events dictate their actions. People who have plans weather the storm and stick to their essential message or gameplan. Some call it being proactive. I simply call it making sense of chaos. It is being calm in the storm, and that, more often than not, leads to victory through the storm. Co-workers will challenge the plans, as will campaign supporters and sports supporters of sports teams. Everyone in the storm will think that they know better than you do. But, stick to your plans. You are the one that put in the hard work to make them.
There are no guarantees in life. Even if you follow the above five essentials, you are going to find defeat. That is life. But, if you decide to be committed, appreciate those who work for you, find a way to get things done, be positive and stick to your thought out plans, chances are that you will win in business, politics and sports. But, if you fail, there is the sixth essential, don't give up, try it all again with enthusiasm. Getting knocked down, and getting back up is how true champions are made.