Win/lose, learn, level up…

If you want to lose at life, keep winning and not learning.

This thought came to me recently during another BTL team practice. I’m not sure exactly where it came from but it flew into my head in a moment of crystal clarity. I love it when this happens and the more I get lost in the work, the more the work does this to me. Funny how the universe works, isn’t it. Here’s another funny. When we study excellence, a very piercing discovery has been around what derails winning individuals, teams, and leaders.


As Lincoln said so long ago, all humans can handle adversity but few can handle power. Fact. Your job, leader, is to make sure you and your team learn the most, not when you lose, but when you win. The demanding leader is sober and views wins and losses very similarly – as an opportunity to get better. Do not get intoxicated with wins or drunk/depressed with losses. Get better with either. Get better. And, the more difficult adversity is not a losing streak, it’s a winning streak that is absent learning. Do not allow yourself and your team to win without learning. Slow down and sit with this for awhile.

Our clients are winners. They have made it to the top or darn close in both work and life. We deal with the uncommon man/woman. Very few are derailed by some disastrous loss. In fact, I’ve never seen this derail any client of mine. Most elite performers are derailed by their inability to resist impulse when they keep winning, and winning, and winning. Think Tiger Woods, friend. He self destructed after winning fourteen majors and telling himself that he deserved to celebrate. He thought he had earned the right, he said. He won fourteen majors from 1997-2008. He’s won one since. His story is repeated in the world of work, sport, art, and any other craft. If you want to lose at life, keep winning and not learning. Winners do not limit their learning to the sport. Winners learn how to respect the game, competitors, and the support systems all around them. Winners learn humility or, someday, the universe will humble them. It would appear that Tiger has slowly learned. Have you?

If you want to lose at life, keep winning and not learning. Winners develop the discipline of win/lose and learn. Continual learning is the habit of high performers, of the uncommon among the uncommon. Never stop learning. Build humility within. Look up and become grateful. Look around and gain perspective. Look down and pull another up. Win/lose and learn. Apply your learning with PA (productive action). Rinse and repeat. This is the recipe for leveling up. Good.

Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…

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