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How to Win

The Winning Habit

“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.” — Leroy “Satchel” Paige

Why do winners win?

And why do losers lose?

Let’s take a look at Super Bowl history.

With Pittsburgh’s victory yesterday, three franchises — Pittsburgh, Dallas and San Francisco — account for 37 percent of all Super Bowl victories.

That’s right. There have been 43 Super Bowls, and those three teams have combined to win 16 of them.

Why is that? It’ so difficult to win even ONE Super Bowl. How can some teams win it again and again?

It’s the same in other sports. The Yankees, Cardinals and Dodgers have combined to win a disproportionate number of baseball titles. The Celtics, Lakers and Spurs dominate in the NBA, and the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings rule over the NHL.

Maybe it’s easier to win multiple championships than to win only one.


Ask yourself if you have a team or a program. There’s a big difference. Someone once defined a program as a system under which you’ll do the same things today, regardless of whether you won or lost yesterday.

Winners have figured out the right way to go about things, and they do those things all the time. Other people lurch from one idea to another, embracing fads or copying whoever happened to win the last championship.

Winners bring a consistent approach to what they do. They have principles, not opinions. Their idea of good preparation does not change.

So ask yourself: Do you have a team or a program?


One comment for “The Winning Habit”

  1. I like the idea of making sure you have a program not just a team, but I’m also intrigued by the idea that teams win that expect to win. I don’t have any empirical evidence but I believe that one reason teams win is they expect to win. Part of this is because they have won before. So far so good but what I want to know is what are teams that expect to win actually DOING differently?

    Posted by Peter Hirsch | February 2, 2009, 8:45 am

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