This is a pic of Grandpa Virgil. Virgil Kane to be precise.
Virgil is my wife’s grandfather. He was born in 1922. Most of his childhood and teen years were spent enduring the Great Depression while living in company housing at a copper mine in Jerome, AZ.
As a young adult, he played semi-pro for the Brooklyn Dodgers. When he grew up, he worked for Shell Oil. But he kept up with sports, becoming a competitive bowler, softball player, and avid golfer.
In other words, he was a man’s man. Tough as nails.
Grandpa Virgil passed away in 2003, but he left a big impact on all of us. One of the things I most remember about him was an expression he used a lot:
“Show me a good loser, and I will show you a loser.”
It’s a funny saying, and kind of harsh, but there’s a lot of truth to it.
Think about it. How many people do you know who are willing to settle, rather than push and hit their goals? Or even worse, who feel that trying is just as good as actual accomplishment. When things don’t go as planned, they excuse failure as “just part of the journey.”
According to Grandpa Virgil, they are losers. And I agree with him. Because in both business and the game of life, the people who refuse to lose are the ones who have the most impact and reap the greatest rewards. To paraphrase Thoreau, the rest lead lives of quiet desperation, mostly. But unlike Thoreau, the solution is not to shun all ambition, but to start winning.
Develop the hunger to win
Our society at the moment tolerates just about any stupid idea or behavior so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. This focus on feelings rather than RESULTS is turning things to shit.
People of Grandpa Virgil’s generation knew that getting things DONE is what counts, and that feelings had to take a back seat in order to work hard and get the W – whether that was on the battlefield or the boardroom. Yes, it’s a very masculine point of view, but remember that this whole “beta male” thing is pretty new in America (and weird if you ask me).
My son hates losing so much he has walked off the soccer field in frustration a couple of times. This was in an environment where the refs hardly kept score and even 9th place got ribbons, so of course the soccer moms were like “who’s this psycho kid?” But unlike the other parents, rather than tell him it’s his effort that counts or to “just have fun,” I would repeat an old Arnold Palmer quote which goes something like “The most important thing is nine inches. The nine inches between your ears.”
To handle his meltdowns, I wouldn’t coddle. I would acknowledge his frustration and tell him he needs to try harder, but mostly on his attitude. It is an attitude of winning. Of giving 100%. Of working hard. Improving. Making it HAPPEN! I also let him know it was okay to feel pissed off when he loses, but to channel that into a burning desire to win. It worked and it started spreading to his teammates, who all started working harder.
And I see the same thing with customers. When I coach a sales team and help them develop a desire to win big, revenue starts to pour in. Not only that, but selling becomes a whole lot more fun. More money equals company getaways, happy hours, golf, better quality time with family, charitable giving, and security. It trickles down everywhere.
The moral of the story is that success is an attitude. It’s a desire to never lose; to strive towards maximum achievement and success; to have a burning desire to be first, the champion, the gold medalist.
Do you have the hunger to win, or are you a good loser?
If you are a good loser, its understandable, because we are constantly being told that everyone must be equal and there cannot be winners and losers in life. Sorry, but that’s just not the way it works, in any way shape or form, anywhere.
This could be a major factor holding you back from achieving your goals. I know, because I see people change dramatically when they address this and develop a winner mindset.
So listen to Grandpa Virgil. Stop being a good loser and kidding yourself that all the sales “activities” you perform mean you are doing your job. Getting a participation trophy or a ninth place ribbon doesn’t put money in the bank. Instead, light a fire in your gut that pushes you harder and makes you want to CLOSE more deals and WIN new customers TODAY. You can do it, and when you do — look out world!
Need some pointers or motivation? I’d be glad to offer you some, personally. Just contact me to set up a FREE coaching session. 30-minutes or so via phone or in-person if you are in the San Diego area, no catch.
Let’s go! firstname.lastname@example.org or 760.815.4464