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What Is Winning?

by Andre Taylor - As an author, speaker, and leadership development consultant I tell individuals and companies all the time: "You Can Still Win!" I have also authored a book by the same name and give talks to groups of all sizes on the subject. It's a given: If you ask most people whether they would like to win they'll say "yes," without hesitation, but how often do we truly examine what we mean by winning?

The current economic environment does not have many believing at their core that they can win. I believe the people who are marketing the recession are the ones winning. They have many individuals and companies retreating even though many of these people don't know why they are doing so.

I hear so many people talking about "the environment," but to me that's a code word for a world psychology they are afraid to go against. You see this is why it is hard for so many people and companies to win. They think "the environment" matters and are more concerned with the conclusions developed by others than the positive conclusions they can create through true leadership thinking.

Let's examine what winning is; winning is the process of reaching a goal -- usually while overcoming the impact of opposing forces or adversaries. It requires that you "play" within an established set of rules and aspire toward an expression of your best. Most important it requires that you know what your true obstacles are. This is where most miss the mark.

I don't think that most people or companies really know what their true obstacles are. They think it's the economy, or the Dow Jones Averages, or some other economic indicator. I believe that is nonsense. There are always people and companies winning. In reality, for those companies not winning, they are the enemy. The opposing force or adversary is actually the way they think.

The common notion of beating others to a pulp is not what I mean by winning -- though I must admit that winning in a particular situation will undoubtedly cause one side to conclude that they have lost. Nevertheless, winning is much more of an internal process rather than an external process. A true winner must overcome the internal adversary of fear and doubt. I'm talking about the little voice that repeatedly says, "Times are hard," "Companies are folding," and "The economy is bad."

By definition, winners have obstacles. To be a winner you must apply your best "in the game" while someone or something is trying to prevent you from winning. Many think of winning as a situation where a person, company, or group merely dominates over another, but it isn't how you stack up as compared to another person but rather how you stack up as compared to your potential that matters.

Winning is not something that happens by chance. Winning occurs when a person or company decides to win. It is not about the competition – it is about you, an individualistic and highly specific process. So the next time you are wondering if winning is possible in your life, career, or business, forget about the environment. Tackle the enemy within. You can still win!

About the Author:
André Taylor is the author of "You Can Still Win!: Break Through, Bounce Back, Come From Behind And Flourish." He's the chief executive of Taylor Insight a New York-based leadership development firm helping individuals, growing businesses and other organizations lead and win. He's held executive positions on Wall Street, led the marketing activities of multi-national organizations, and built successful entrepreneurial companies. Get "You Can Still Win!" and free newsletter at or download the You Can Still Win! audio at iTunes.

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