August 18, 2015


What is it that makes the difference in winning and losing?

The All Blacks' winning mindset. The role of pain in change.
I would like to make a comment about the recent international rugby match between the All Blacks and the Wallabies for the Bledisloe Cup. In the previous game the All Blacks played poorly making very uncharacteristic mistakes and showing a distinct lack of urgency. Last night's game was the reversal. The change in attitudes and tactics made a dramatic impact on the game and the Wallabies were never going to win it.
The thing I want you to think about is -- what was the catalyst for change? Simply, if you ignore the statements made by the All Blacks after their loss last week in which they said they were out of passion, what really transpired was that they did not have enough desperation. They had lost the edge which often defines a team or a person.

Often a loss, if interpreted correctly, can be the right trigger that stimulates the desperation to win. The challenge is that this trigger can often cause two reactions in people -- either of depression or the other of anger. Of the two, in my opinion, anger is the better as it causes people to take action. Depression can cause you to shut down and see no way out of your predicament.
Understanding how pain can help you to take action is one of the keys to changing your results. Now here is the caveat: You must use anger wisely. Revisit your strategies and tactics, practice these changes and then take action. Many people, when they get angry, just react and lash out. Anger has to move to controlled aggression. Anger, without control, will not help you to change your results.
The other lesson here is, often people in sales or teams that are winning consistently lose that edge and settle. I see it with many sales people, with many managers and CEOs . They don't recognize the symptoms of being in a comfort zone. The one clue is their fear of taking chances and their inability to make decisions. The habitual pattern is often they say "the time is not right to change" or "we are comfortable in what we have". They often aren't aware of those words coming out of their mouths. And talking of words coming out of their mouths, if you noted the sentence that Michael Cheka said - "we don't fear failure".

I can tell you categorically, that one sentence may have played a big part in the mindset of the Wallabies failure. When I have worked with smokers to quit or with people who want to stop gambling, the language you use is critical to the actions that are taken by the individual. The unconscious cannot process the negative. So what it hears is "we fear failure". So "I don't want to smoke" really is "I want to smoke".
Pain is a great stimulator to change if utilized correctly.