As many Americans, I’ve been watching the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia these last few weeks. As with all Olympics, there have been high point, low points, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. One thing I have been more acutely aware of during this Olympics is just how close the competition can be. I have seen millimeters or tenths of a second determine the difference between Gold and Silver, or winning a medal and going home all but forgotten. One particular quarter final ski cross race was even determined by a competitor reaching his arms over his head. All of the competitors had fallen on the last jump and were sliding in. Literally raising his arms won him the race.
So, I started thinking how many wins in life and at work are determined by seconds, millimeters and other small measures. Many times, getting or losing a new account comes down to the minute details. On the People Team, sometimes one aspect of the deal (culture, pay, benefits, environment, etc) can be the final determining factor in whether a candidate accepts a job offer or moves on to the next offer. I’m sure in all of our jobs, we can show that the line between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat is a remarkably fine line. But, companies, careers and people aren’t measured in such small victories or defeats. I think it is important to remember that when there is a failure, it is temporary and hopefully gives us more information the next time. And, that a win may only be because the other guy just didn’t put his hands up. We can’t rest in the glory of a win, or wallow in the pain of a loss for too long. We must keep moving because we are judged more holistically than on our body of work as a person, team and company.
So, the next time you feel elated at a win….do some high fives and enjoy the feeling. But keep moving so the next victory comes too. Or, when you feel down because of a loss, then remember, this too shall pass and move forward taking any lessons for the next time. And, by the way, there will be a next time! Oh, and GO USA!
Kim B. is a Talent Sherpa who thinks sleeping is an underrated activity and tops every sandwich with potato chips.