Saturday, July 26, 2014

The World Only Remembers Winners!

Nuggets For The Noggin
World Only Remembers Winners!
By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown July 26, 2014

Watched the 1960 movie, Sink The Bismark this morning.  The German Fleet Commander supposedly said, "The world ONLY remembers winners!" meaning there is no place in the world for second place finishes.

Terry Cole-Whittaker said, "What you think of me is none of my business!"

Now put the two of those quotes together and you have conflict.  Is only one true?  Of course not, they both are true but only one is important - that of Terry Cole-Whittaker.

Think about it.  People remember who won the race, who won the world series or the super bowl and people remember who won the Emmy or Oscar or the Olympic Gold Medal.  Few if any remember who came in second, third, fourth or below.  Why do you suppose that is?  Frankly, because people really do ONLY remember the winners in this world and so quickly forget those who did not win but notice I did not say "losers!"

Consider winning the Olympic Gold Medal.  Granted someone performed greatly to win the gold but what about those who competed but did not win?  Is it possible that they may have exceeded their own personal best?  My guess is that many athletes most likely did because that is what typically happens at almost all Olympics - people tend to do their absolute best.  What about the winner of the Emmy or Oscar awards?  Did these "winners" do their best or did they win because other people liked their work and voted accordingly.  In this case it is not simply running faster or jumping higher as in the case of the Olympics it is more subjective in that the winner received more votes.  That does not mean the winner had the greatest performance only that other people for whatever reason voted more for them than their competitors. 

Does that mean those Emmy/Oscar candidates who did not win did not perform at a winning level?  Absolutely not.  It is quite possible that they did and again, for whatever reason the voters voted for someone else to win.  It may be something as simple as the actor's performance was an Emmy or Oscar winning performance but the movie sucked.  Does this not happen?

So what does a person do?  Everyone should strive to do their best in all situations - forever!  No exceptions!  Always do your best.  When you do you should have no issues with your performance.  It is not about doing better than someone else, it IS about doing better than you - just you - no one else - just you!  When you do, you have won the race, the gold, the Emmy, or the Oscar!  You will have won your own best race for best salesperson, best executive, or best hamburger flipper.  It is a question of taking pride in what you do.  Striving and educating yourself to become the best you can be in every situation.  It is about learning both from your victories as well as your mistakes.

Most importantly it is NOT worrying about what someone else thinks of you.  As Terry Cole-Whittaker states, you would worry less about what other people think of you if you only knew how little they thought of you.  By "little" she does NOT mean that someone thinks ill of you only that they probably do not think of you at all if ever!  If that is true, and I believe it is, then why would you ever worry about someone else doing better than you IF in your mind you did your best?

The next question you need to ask yourself is, did you do your best?  If the answer is yes, you should be excited about your performance.  However, if you left something on the table then you have questions that need answering. 

  • Why didn't you do your best? 
  • What additional training or education do you need to insure that every performance is your best performance?  
  • What additional support do you need from those people who matter to you?
  • Who or what do you need to add to your business to insure that you perform at your best?
  • What do you need to eliminate from your performance that someone else could possibly and probably do better than you that if eliminated would result in a better performance?
  • Do you routinely solicit evaluations from those people you work for or serve to insure you are at the top of your game and if not, why not?

Unfortunately not everyone who reads this Nugget will think the Nugget applies to them.  I recently had several stays in the hospital; nothing serious but did stay overnight.  During those stays I had a constant parade of medical professionals who stopped in and who made certain I was progressing as desired.  It absolutely amazed me that the number of professionals who stopped in made it quite evident that not all took their profession as seriously or as professionally as others who stopped in.  The differences were stark and very real.  I also realized that not one of them except for my actual surgeon asked how their service was; not one.

  • How can you possibly know you are performing at your best if you don't ask? 
  • How can you possibly know where you need to improve if you don't ask? 
  • How can you possibly know what you have to do in regard to additional education or training that you might need if you don't ask?

During those inpatient stays it became very obvious to me that some medical professionals have no clue as to the value of personal relationships BEFORE the professional traits are applied.  Some explain what is about to happen and continually check to see if you are alright.  Others quietly go about their business without any explanation and without checking to see if you are alright.  In both cases, the professionals did their jobs well but only in the first case did the patient, that would be me, feel I was actually being served by someone who cared about me.  I have no doubt that both types of professionals cared but only one showed it.  The second professional may go through his or her entire career and not know how their patients actually feel about their professionalism or lack thereof because they do not ask how they performed.

No matter what profession in which you are engaged, if you are not being evaluated by your supervisor(s) - ask to be so evaluated.  If you are not evaluated by the people you service - ask to be evaluated.  You will never improve upon your performance if you know not where improvement is needed.  You will never know that you have exceeded your personal best(s) if you have no baseline from which to evaluate (notice I did not say judge).

When you know you have performed at your best and when you know the people you served are satisfied with your performance - give yourself the "gold medal".  Give yourself the sales award!  Give yourself the mental promotion you know you have earned!

Remember this:  "What I think of me is the only thing that really matters!"  What other people think of me ONLY matters when I am not doing my best AND fail to have my performance evaluated by those same people. Whenever I am not at my best, I know it; but what am I going to do about it?