A month ago my son participated in a cross-country race. He came second. He led for almost the whole race, but in the last 10 metres the boy behind him put on a sprint and passed my son in the last second. My son hadn’t seen it coming – he’d assumed that because he was ahead for most of the race, he didn’t need to make any extra effort to win.
When we got home we talked about what had happened. He was upset and frustrated because he ‘d been so close to winning. I told him to be grateful to the boy who’d won the race – he was his teacher.
That day he was not racing against this boy or the other hundred participating in the race. He was racing against himself. The race was an opportunity for him to give it everything, to run as fast as he could.
His mistake was that he ran to win, and not to give his best.
Many businesses look for the quick win, the easy sale, the shortcut. In the short term they might get what they want, but in the long term it undermines their leadership skills, resilience and motivation. Winning by giving the best you have, your uniqueness, your talent, and your ability, improves your chances of not only enjoying the journey but also of consistently repeating your success time after time.
You win not when you’re the fastest, but when you’re at your best.