Playing to Win!


I recently had the opportunity to visit and tour Old Trafford Stadium, the home ground of arguably the most recognized football team in the world, Manchester United! A team I have supported since childhood. WOW, what an amazing experience!


During the tour, I saw this quote . . “I have never played for a draw in my life!” . . This was quoted by Sir Alex Ferguson, the most successful coach in the history of Manchester United. I thought the quote was brilliant! I immediately reflected on its meaning in business, and in life.


From a business perspective; do we play to win? Do we strive to be the best in what we do or deliver? Do we set goals and devise strategies to achieve these? Do we regularly monitor our performance and consider ways to continually improve? In my 25+ years experience in business advisory, I have witnessed that those business leaders who answer yes to these questions are more likely to consider themselves as being successful!


Continually striving to be the best will continually challenge the business and it’s leaders. I have also witnessed business owners display different values and approaches to being the best. Playing to win does not necessarily mean we need to be ruthless, arrogant or aggressive, although some individuals will display these “attributes”.


I believe playing to win involves qualities such as playing fair, being honest and respectful, and having some fun along the way. Innovation, determination, and intuition also assists in keeping you at the top of your game. No matter how you go about it, if you play to win; by winning clients, winning a superior team of people, winning best practice and systems, and continually striving to be the best at what you do or deliver, the closer you will be to achieving your goals.


Personally, is it any different? Strive to be the best you can be, whatever that may mean for you! If we play for a draw, we can fall into the trap of being complacent or defensive, or even perhaps not taking responsibility for what is going on for you!


Play to win, be the best you can be, and have some fun doing so.


Thank you Sir Alex, you are one of, if not the most successful coach in football history, and your focus on always playing win, no doubt played a considerable part of your outstanding success!




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