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The Definition of WIN! By Waldo Waldman

When you look into the eyes of a winner, what do you see? Perhaps you notice a fire of passion, determination, resilience, and a sense of self confidence that screams, “I can do it! Nothing can stop me from winning!”

We’ve all seen winners in our personal and professional lives. They are the determined ones with a strong resolve and unwavering sense of purpose in everything they do. Always able to face challenge and adapt to change, they see adversity and defeat as minor and temporary setbacks, recovering with an even stronger, more steadfast desire to win. They never wallow on the path of self pity and consistently manage to stay focused on their ultimate objective. Winners are leaders with a mission, and they epitomize success in everything they do.

As I've worked with winners in the military and in business, I've noted an important similarity: whether the winners realize it or not, their success comes from their innate ability to "Work It Now!"

That’s right! That is how winners define Win. They have a ‘work it now’ attitude about life, and approach every challenge with a resolute commitment to excellence. Winners undoubtedly recognize that it takes work to win, and they don’t put it off until tomorrow. They do what is necessary to win today!

The foundation of a winner’s state of mind is the realization that nothing in life worth fighting for comes easy. Sacrifice, effort, and sweat are synonymous with success. If you look around your organization, see what the winners are doing, and observe how ‘easy’ they make it seem! It only appears easy because of all the time and energy they took developing their skills and sharpening the sword of success.

Winners are the ones who consistently:

1. Arrive early and stay late until the job gets done.

2. Volunteer for the tough projects when no-one else will.

3. Take pride in their work and enjoy the daily journey towards success.

4. Take advantage of training seminars, ask questions, and read books to expand their knowledge base and expertise.

The same holds true for the top salespersons that repeatedly practice their presentations, the best pro golfers who perfect their swing, and the experienced surgeons who study the latest surgical equipment, drugs, and procedures.

In addition, winners not only work hard in their personal development, but also on developing trusting and productive relationships with their co-workers, friends, and families. These relationships are based on a solid foundation of integrity and accountability. They appreciate that to truly be successful you often need the assistance of those trusted and reliable partners in your life to accomplish your objectives. Fighter pilots call these trusted and reliable partners wingmen, as they fly on each other’s wing in formation. Wingmen are used to back each other up, monitor safety, and successfully accomplish very dangerous and complicated missions. The wingmen mentality of mutual support also applies to business and life, as we all need each other to help us overcome our daily challenges. While winners may not necessarily possess the inherent ability to ‘do it all,’ their success often stems from the fact that they know who to go to for help in getting the job done. Moreover, they are easy to get along with and have an innate ability to connect with people. They possess what Daniel Goleman coined in the early 90’s - Emotional Intelligence.

As a former Air Force fighter pilot, my fellow wingmen and I lived by the credo – “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war!” In order to defeat the enemy and stay ahead of the threat, we needed to spend countless hours studying tactics, technology, and war fighting doctrine. We trained together relentlessly in various environments in order to maximize our ability to survive in hazardous and volatile conditions. There was no room for error. If we failed, our lives and the lives of our wingmen were at stake. Finally, we planned, briefed, and debriefed our missions as a unified, cohesive team, understanding that we could never fly a successful mission solo. We always had to fly with wingmen to achieve our objectives…and win!

In addition to a ‘work mindset,’ winners operate on a ‘now timeline.’ In essence, they never put off until tomorrow what should be done today! There is no room for procrastination in a winner’s daily regimen. Furthermore, they don’t make excuses. In the stress and challenges of everyday life, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed by the countless responsibilities we face. Quite often, we become strangled by these pressures and challenges. Rather than take the necessary action to face them head on, we may find ourselves immobilized and fearful. How ‘easy’ it is to give in to the pressure and wait until tomorrow to face today’s challenges! Unfortunately, many tomorrows pass us by and the issues never get resolved. We remain uninspired and stagnant, and fail to grow in our personal and professional lives.

Winners, on the other hand, take action now! They possess a ‘make it happen’ approach to life, and “sweat now” in order to prevent “bleeding tomorrow.” They tackle the toughest challenges first while maintaining their integrity, and while their sacrifice may, at times, be burdensome, their ultimate reward is personal growth and the inherent satisfaction of a job well done.

The path to victory doesn’t come easy. It is often strewn with defeat and frustration. Winning is a bi-product of relentless self discipline, consistent training, passionate leadership, and a positive attitude. This takes time, patience and perseverance to develop. In life, you often have to stumble or take a step back in order to make a great leap forward. For hidden in every failure is a victory waiting to emerge.

Never give up in your quest to be the best. Work it Now…and WIN!

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