Monday, 14 May 2012

Storemen Talk Volume 3: Winning


We all like to be the one that all others look up to - to be the best of the best in our field or on the field. We all want to be the hero at the end of the day don't we?

Sure, I'd like to think so - we all strive for success and most of us like to achieve our goals regularly. It's what makes us feel good, that motivation we need to wake up every morning and strive to do better and be that little bit more successful every day.

But is winning everything? what about those of us that constantly fail? what gets us out of bed everyday?

A friend and work colleague of mine and I are at polar opposites when it comes to our ideas of teams and leadership and our stances on measuring success.

He is the "Failure is not an option" type, he is appalled by those who are the weakest link on his team and is very blunt and open about how he feels when it comes to their contribution to the teams failure.
He is strongly against giving praise purely on participation  (which is common these days in youth sporting teams, everyone is awarded for playing, there is no longer an individual award for player of the day). He believes that this trend in political correctness is killing the drive (in our next generation) for perfection and success, he believes in a certain type of way that it's almost marking a change in human evolution with "Survival of the fittest"  no longer being an issue as we are all treated the same.
He tells me that he's been playing on team sports (Rugby) almost since the time he could stand on both feet and kick a Rugby ball. If it wasn't for serious injury (he tells me) he'd be playing World Cup grade games and he would have earn't an All Blacks jersey by now.

And while I don't entirely disagree with his views ( he has some valid points ) I like to take a different approach. Simply put: " you catch more flies with honey than you would with vinegar". And by that I mean that in a team situation we are only as strong as our weakest member therefore it is best to take the time to bring them up to a standard that meets our expectations. Mocking and shaming will get the team no where fast.

For example: the above mentioned work colleague became the coach of our "social" work touch rugby team after about a months worth of twice weekly vigorous after work trainings and a weekly Thursday evening game against other social teams - he found that what was once a large team of staff members and plenty of substitute players became a team of 3 (myself included) and a last minute panic to fill the empty positions with ring-ins. 
And all because his expectations were too high and pre game groans became the norm - even after a win. The best was never the best and eventually most players pulled out and made excuses not to play.

I believe that there should be no shame in failure. To quote Motivational speaker Tony Robbins "There is no such thing as failure - only results".  So in a manner of speaking every action has either an equal or opposite reaction. We don't always get the outcome we were hoping for right? But we can still learn from the experience in the hope that we can get better results next time. None of us are born perfect, we all have to better ourselves through experience - trial and error.

For example: Merely 5 minutes ago my 4 year old daughter burst into tears because she was colouring in a page in her colouring book and made a mistake. She acted as if it was the end of the world and believed that the picture was now ruined. I had to explain to her that she'd tried something and it didn't work ( she was colouring in a fairy picture and coloured black around the fairies eyes to resemble eye liner ) and that she now knows for next time that colouring around the eyes doesn't get the desired effect that she was looking for. She calmed down and carried on after that.

So in short I don't believe either of us are right or wrong (even if my examples are biased), we both agree to disagree and regularly refer to the DiSC personality test which work provided for us all:

I would highly recommend this for any work place and believe this is possibly the most accurate test I've ever done.

For the record I am equal part I.S while my work friend is a very strong C.

We are what we are after all

Take Care of yourselves and remember: It's probably more afraid of you than you are of It


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