Julian’s Business Tips: Your Starter For Ten…

Julian’s Business Tips: Your Starter For Ten…

Years ago, an old sales manager of mine laughed at me when I told him I wasn’t competitive. Cheek!
‘You,’ he continued, ‘are one of the most competitive people I know – you don’t even enter the competition unless you think you’re going to win it!’
On reflection I realised that he was right. I assumed that because I didn’t spend all day trying to ‘beat’ others (as my sales colleagues did) that I wasn’t competitive. Actually, I just hated to be a failure.

When I was a kid, our family used to watch all the quiz shows on telly – Ask the Family, University Challenge, Mastermind – and whoever scored lowest had to do the washing up!

This practice of punishing lack of success was, I guess, supposed to spur me on, but my Manager had hit the nail on the head: when I could expect to do well, I happily played along, but if my parents were always going to win (I mean, University Challenge!) then I ‘just couldn’t be bothered’.

It’s great to reward success – but be careful not to be seen to be punishing lack of success. If you’re not careful, those staff may end up ‘not being bothered’ to participate in your business!
Reward effort and you encourage all people who try, whereas if you only reward ‘the winner’, you risk relegating the rest of us to resentment.

The other key takeaway is that you should never confuse yourself with the result: if you have failed to win, it doesn’t make you a failure – it just means you haven’t won this time.
If it’s a competition worth winning, while the ‘winner’ is wasting time spraying their champagne, you should take time out to reflect on the result, learn from it and come back stronger.
Now, let’s see who wins next time!