Choose to win

Choose-to-win

Do you like to win?
Do you want to win?
Do you plan and strategize to win?
Yes, you can win the race in the best possible way.

Let me share with you this interesting story below.

Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who
was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race.
They agreed on a route and started off the race.

The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that
he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he'd sit under a tree for
some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree
and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding on overtook him and soon
finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke
up and realized that he'd lost the race.

The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race.

This is the version of the story that we've all grown up with.
But then recently, someone told me a more interesting version of
this story. It continues.

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some Defect
Prevention (Root Cause Analysis). He realized that he'd lost the race
only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax.

If he had not taken things for granted, there's no way the tortoise
could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race.
The tortoise agreed.

This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to
finish. He won by several miles.

The moral of the story, Fast and Consistent will always beat the
slow and steady. If you have two people in your organization,
one slow, methodical and reliable, and the other fast and still
reliable at what he does, the fast and reliable chap will
consistently climb the organizational ladder faster than the slow,
methodical chap. It's good to be slow and steady; but it's better
to be fast and reliable.

But the story doesn't end here.

The tortoise did some thinking this time, and realized that there's no
way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted.
He thought for a while, and then challenged the hare to another race,
but on a slightly different route.

The hare agreed. They started off. In keeping with his self-made
commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top
speed until he came to a broad river.

The finishing line was a couple of kilometres on the other side of the
river.

The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise
trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank,
continued walking and finished the race.

The moral of the story; First identify your core competency and
then change the playing field to suit your core competency. In an
organization, if you are a good speaker, make sure you create
opportunities to give presentations that enable the senior
management to notice you. If your strength is analysis, make
sure you do some sort of research, make a report and send it
upstairs. Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed
but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement.

The story still hasn't ended.

The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good
friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the
last race could have been run much better.

So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this
time.

They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the
riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the
hare on his back.

On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they
reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of
satisfaction than they'd felt earlier.

The moral of the story; It's good to be individually brilliant and to
have strong core competencies; but unless you're able to work
in a team and harness each other's core competencies, you'll
always perform below par because there will always be
situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well.
Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the
person with the relevant core competency for a situation take
leadership.

There are more lessons to be learnt from this story.

Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The
hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure.
The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as
hard as he could. In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is
appropriate to work harder and put in more effort.

Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something
different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.

The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. When we
stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against
the situation, we perform far better.

When Roberto Goizueta took over as CEO of Coca-Cola in the
1980s, he was faced with intense competition from Pepsi that was
eating into Coke's growth.

His executives were Pepsi-focused and intent on increasing market
share 0.1 per cent a time.

Goizueta decided to stop competing against Pepsi and instead
compete against the situation of 0.1 per cent growth.

He asked his executives what was the average fluid intake of an
American per day? The answer was 14 ounces. What was Coke's
share of that? Two ounces, Goizueta said Coke needed a larger
share of that market.

The competition wasn't Pepsi. It was the water, tea, coffee, milk and
fruit juices that went into the remaining 12 ounces. The public should
reach for a Coke whenever they felt like drinking something.

To this end, Coke put up vending machines at every street corner.
Sales took a quantum jump and Pepsi has never quite caught up
since.

To sum up, the story of the hare and tortoise teaches us many
things. Chief among them are that fast and consistent will
always beat slow and steady; work to your competencies;
pooling resources and working as a team will always beat
individual performers; never give up when faced with failure; and
finally, compete against the situation. Not against a rival.

Want to get the unfair advantage in life?
This can help you to improve your life and win.

Have an awesome day!

Leave a Reply

One response to “Choose to win”

  1. Xinh says:

    Right on, this helped me sort things right out.

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