There’s a lot of talk these days about “winning.” Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen are good examples of people obsessed with winning. Yet every sports team wants to win. And every business wants to be successful.
The question is, to what extent will they go to win?
Charlie Sheen’s notorious antics and his 2011 video about winning reveals a very disturbing perspective, yet it’s not all that unfamiliar in 2016. Back then he described winning as:
“It takes zeal, passion and violent hatred to win.”
Wow. Somehow I don’t think he’s in the “winning” column after multiple arrests for violent behavior and now being diagnosed as HIV positive.
I can’t help but think about the political candidates and organizational leaders who are so intent on winning – at all costs, that those of us who are not obsessed with the same vision are not just losers, but are considered stupid, ignorant and spineless.
For these people, being a “winner” can translate to making decisions that bully others, decisions that satisfy their incessant need to be right or save face at any cost. To them, winning means having others bend to their way.
This is nothing new, though…
I recently watched a 20 minute video that provided a retro perspective of the Challenger Disaster 30 years ago. NASA and other organizational leaders were so obsessed with “winning” the space game and felt so invincible, that they didn’t expect anything to go wrong, despite massive evidence of the faulty O-ring and ignoring the urgent advice of the engineers to postpone the takeoff.
In the mid-2000’s leaders in the financial services, housing and mortgage industries knowingly created loans that led to the greatest recession in more than 7 decades. People who didn’t agree or questioned the integrity of the system were considered losers. Note: If you haven’t seen the movie The Big Short – GO! It explains how the crisis happened in a fun and informative – and scary -way.
More recently, the NFL had taken “winning” to a new level until their cover-up about the impact of concussions was revealed and how the lives of countless players were destroyed over many decades.
So what do these examples have in common? It’s not just the need to be a “winner” or appear strong, or appear like a leader – it’s about the need to be right, in control and dominating.
Somehow, being a winner doesn’t sound all that good to me.
I’m going to suggest that being a real the winner in 2016 and beyond will have a totally new definition. It will not be based on “violent hatred ” insulting the intelligence or contribution of people who get in the way, or allowing blind passion, narcissism and zealotry to rule. Being strong isn’t about strong-arming by pure force of will.
Instead, the real winners will be the collaborators. The people who are searching for truth; searching for solutions that contribute to the greater good. Real winners listen. Real winners empower people to use their skills and abilities and encourage them to find ways to make a difference. Real winners create a purpose and vision that aligns people, rather than divides.
So I ask you – how can you be a winner now? How can you stop the craziness that you experience in your everyday world? We’re all exposed to the zealots and haters – the question is: do you ignore it? or do you do your best to model a different way?
Be the Change.
Marty Stanley, CSP, is a catalyst for change. She speaks, writes and consults on how to create a collaborative vision for the future and put the action steps in place that are empowering, regenerating and sustainable. It’s time to Be the Change. Call Marty today: 816-695-5453 firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on being a Type T leader, watch this 1 minute video.
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