Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. ~ Vince Lombardi
University of Connecticut Women's Basketball Team Records 100th Straight Win – that was the headlines emblazoned across newspapers following the team's most recent win. It sounds surreal, but it has happened.
With all the checks and balances and random factors such as luck, a 100-game winning streak is not supposed to happen – at least on paper. As it was eloquently said by Nelson Mandela, "it always seems impossible until it's done."
So is there a recipe for winning? Arguably, yes. Few have mastered the art of winning and they all have these 5 things in common:
- Mindset: What you think about, you bring about. Regardless of one's field of endeavor, the chances of achieving uncommon success are high. Once you believe that there is always room for growth, you will find a way. Michael Jordan, certainly a contender for the best basketball player ever, believed this and although he missed thousands of shots and lost hundreds of games, he succeeded. A winning mindset is one in which the belief is that anything can be done better and there is no limit to potential.
- Persistence: Success don't just happen. One must put in persistent efforts in order to succeed. Larry Bird, another all-star basketball player, although being 6 foot 9 inches tall, wasn't blessed with the same athletic abilities of many of his peers. He knew that talent alone wasn't good enough, so practice, practice, practice was his way to ensure success. He shot 200 free throws every day before school, then while in college was the first in the gym and the last to leave. That set the foundation for his NBA career which saw an increase is his persistence.
- Focus on one particular thing: A Russian proverb says "if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one." Winners know how to focus on one thing, the thing that they have the greatest strength in. IBM founder, Tom Watson said it best, "I'm no genius, but I'm smart in spots, and I stay around those spots." Focusing on your core competency is certainly part of the recipe for success. When each member of a team focus on their individual strength, the collective unit can be an unstoppable force.
- Leadership: In order to win, one must inspire teammates to truly believe in their team goals. It takes a team to win and must be led by someone who is respected, exemplary in his own right, and always prepared. Charles M. Schwab, a business titan during the early 1900s, had a leadership style and ability to motivate people in a way that contributed to his enormous success. In his words: "The greatest asset I possess, and the way I develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement."
- Set high goals: If you aim at nothing, you will hit it. Winners know the importance of setting goals and working towards accomplishing them. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade. His goal was achieved on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon's surface.
Winning may sometimes result from a stroke of luck, but dedicated efforts which includes the foregoing factors can surely lead you to victory. In order to win, make it a habit. Little wins graduate into big wins.