At schools in the UK, they are teaching children that its not about winning, it’s about taking part. It’s a phrase echoed by the founder of the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who said, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”
Try telling that to the French rugby team who lost the Autumn Nations Cup Final to England in a sudden death play-off, after they had put their bodies on the line. Sometimes, it’s all about winning.
We’re not saying it’s only about winning all of the time. But what we are saying is that there are times in life when winning is what counts. Let’s face it, in our industry, you either win or lose; there’s little value in just participating. In fact, if you set out to respond to a tender with the idea that you’re going to “just put something in”, it’s likely to do more damage than good to your reputation and be a waste of time and money.
You might learn some things along the way, but it’s likely that one of the things you’ll learn is that in this instance, winning is what counts.
The BiD Masters team understands the importance of winning, rather than just taking part in a bid process. Unlike school sports, there’s no prize for participating. This adds gravity to our support, as our entire raison d’être is to help organisations onto the winners podium.
When it comes down to it, a lessons learnt exercise won’t contribute to the bottom line. Sure, it might improve your chances of winning next time, but it would have been better to win this time. And to keep winning.
There’s evidence in literature to suggest that losing games is helpful for children because it teaches them to show empathy and cope with the experience of losing. That may be so, but let’s face it, that learning stops when it comes to the business world.
So here’s the conundrum: How do we prepare our children and future business leaders to develop beyond empathy and understand the importance of winning when it comes to business?