For organizations to be successful they have to be better than the competition: deliver faster, have higher quality and superior service. Winning on a corporate level is really the cumulative achievement of individuals on a daily basis. In a recent Newsweek article, “The New Science of Triumph in Sports, Business, and Life,” author Nick Summers summarizes recent studies that illustrate the difference between winners and “also ran’s.” He quotes Timothy Gallwey, author of several books about the mental side of tennis, golf, and other pursuits: “There are more players that have the talent to be the best in the world than there are winners. One way of looking at it is that winners get in their own way less.
Organizations are short sighted when they focus simply on having the best product, or best system, or best idea. These efforts can be easily copied, and to paraphrase Gallwey, ‘there are more companies in the world with good ideas then there are good companies’. Organizations that succeed, and ultimately win, are made up of people who have the winning habits described by Gallwey.
Good managers play a huge role in helping their people, “get in their own way less.” They work with their team to identify individual insecurities such as: “I hate speaking in public;” “I’m not very good with details”; or “I don’t deal very well with conflict.” Once identified, managers can then help individuals stop buying into these limiting beliefs by improving their competence and confidence in these skills.
With time, managers can help each person replace detrimental habits of thought with more positive beliefs, resulting in better performance and a new path to winning more often. The best organizations orchestrate collective attitudes of confidence and competence throughout the organization. The cumulative success of all those individuals is the foundation of a winning team, work group, or company.