By Abhijit Bhaduri
Winners are a rare breed. We look up to them. We admire them and their achievements. But in reality, winners are not different from you and me. Each one of us has the same qualities that are needed to win. We do not leverage it often enough.
If you think about the times when you have been extremely successful (or failed badly), you would have demonstrated the same six qualities that winners demonstrate. The six qualities are common to every winner.
“You have to set yourself goals so you can push yourself harder. Desire is the key to success.” – Usain Bolt.
Winners have immense belief in their ability to work hard. They will give every task their 100%, regardless of the stakes and outcomes. An eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016), a feat referred to as the “triple double.” He came from a small town in Jamaica but has through his achievements put the country on the Olympic map.
My mother had a saying: ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last.’- Kamala Harris
Winner are not afraid to be pioneers. They are willing to try out things that no one has done before. They want to be the ones to create the tracks that others follow. That means clearing the jungle and dealing with the thorns. The country that is at the cutting edge of drone technology is not US or Canada but Rwanda. They have built the world’s first commercial drone port. Risk takers and innovators will always push the boundaries and redefine what is possible.
“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.” – Mark Twain
Elon Musk read two books a day on different subjects. So if you read one book a month, Musk would have read 60 times as many books as you. His expertise ranges from rocket science, engineering, physics, and artificial intelligence to solar power and energy. He then applies what he has learned in one field to solve a problem that he is grappling with in another field. Winners will continuously evolve and refine their ideas by learning continuously.
Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure. – Benjamin Disraeli
Grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Winners are people who have persisted in working at something over years. They have sharpened their craft, polishing it like a master craftsman. Beethoven composed more than 300 pieces during his life time; Van Gogh painted more than 1,000 paintings. To be able to produce a masterpiece it is often important to do a lot of work. Winners stay the course and continue working over the years to be able to continuously refine their talent and produce their best work as many decades of sustained work.
When you need to innovate, you need collaboration. – Marissa Mayer
Most innovation lies at the intersection of fields. By combining ideas of one field to another innovators often solve complex problems. In the digital world, companies are collaborating with suppliers, NGOs, industry alliances, governments, even competitors — to become more sustainable. The cost of introducing disruptive technologies can be prohibitive for a single firm. However, by joining hands, many challenges become achievable. Sony and Samsung collaborated to create the new products – Bravia and Bordeaux.
When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor” — Elon Musk
Winners learn to pull themselves up by their own shoestring. The ability to bounce back after failure is an important part of a winner’s mindset. Jeff Bezos built a site for auctions, which didn’t work. That effort evolved into something called zShops, which also failed. The idea eventually evolved into Amazon Marketplace, which now represents 40% of Amazon’s unit sales.
Winners become more and more determined to bounce back after every failure.Can these qualities be taught? They certainly can be learned by incorporating them into your daily behaviors.
Take Elon Musk’s belief that it is possible to put humans on Mars. He literally taught himself how to build rockets. He read voraciously, spoke to every expert on the subject and continued despite numerous failures. He’s used a billion dollars to do what NASA couldn’t do with $27 billion. You will see all six qualities of a winner in Elon Musk. He can, but can you & I do it? Of course. I will be at the 6th SHRM India Annual Conference in Delhi on Sept 14-15th, 2017. I am collaborating with the National Award winning actor Ashish Vidyarthi to create Dramatic Conversations. We try to answer the question: “What do we need to DO to become winners?” We are both trying to live these 6 qualities as we have crafted “Once Upon A Time …” Do come over and watch the premier. (I am really nervous. I have never done this before… that too before such a large audience …). But I am inspired by Elon Musk.
Abhijit Bhaduri works as the Chief Learning Officer for the Wipro group. He lives in Bangalore, India. Prior to this he led HR teams at Microsoft, PepsiCo, Colgate and Tata Steel and worked in India, SE Asia and US.
He is on the Advisory Board of the prestigious program for Chief Learning Officers that is run by the Univ of Pennsylvania.