To me "playing to Win" is a mindset or a choice we can make and with practice, strategies and perseverence - positive change and results can be experienced.
Creating a 'winning' culture versus a risk adverse or fear based culture can led to a more stimulating and satidfying environment for all.
Aiming to make every meeting, interaction, presentation or decision you are part of on a dailly basis one where you strech the boundaries of what is possible though not at the risk of destroying relationships on the way.
“20% of employees are playing to win ……the rest are just trying not to lose”
This quote really resonated with me the first time i encountered it and it is also something that has really helped develop my Leadership style and allowed me to understand and work with others much more successfully. To me it is all about as a leader creating the right environment in which your team feels safe enough to take risks to bring innovation into your business whilst at the same time streching each other and maintaining respect for each other as humans - striking a balance between task achievement and relationships.
Quite often i am pulled up and asked if this means “winning at all costs”. It is here that i am reminded of the great Australian Cricket test captain Steve Waugh and the wonderful culture and fighting spirit he instilled into the team during avery successful period of Australian cricket.
"As a captain I was always of the belief that we had to risk losing to try to win. Some people saw this as a risky strategy, but I knew I had talented players in my side.. I believed we could win each and every game if we believed we could win from any situation."
For Waugh it was all about his ability to instill into the team the self-belief that would embolden them to take risks.
"I tried to get across to the team that no matter what the status of the game or how your form was, if you believed you were good enough to win you were a big chance to do that – so we would always try to play for a win firstly."
Challenge: Are you and your team Playing to Win?
Which quadrant do you tend to go to when under stress or pressure?