Imagine if they hadn’t kept score during the Super Bowl or the World Cup. Instead, the best two teams were simply put on the field, instructed to give their best efforts, and it was put upon the fans to judge which team was the best.
Few professionals would choose to participate in such a contest. And viewership of the game would plummet. That’s because the score is the best data to determining whether a team is winning or losing.
Perhaps this is a reason why too many people work within de-energized environments – the score isn’t kept, or at best there’s confusion of what data constitutes success. There are many reasons for this, including this hidden fear: We don’t like who we become when we’re failing.
A different story is told on teams that have difficulty telling the truth. The measure of how success is defined is clouded. Multiple data are used, resulting in a default to measuring effort as a gauge of success.
This isn’t so on healthy teams. They have a different response muscle to failure, starting with the fact that it doesn’t define them as losers. Losing doesn’t cause punitive acts; it ignites productive actions. As well, the members of such teams don’t attack one another – they attack the barriers that stand between them and success.
You’re not going to win every game. (If you do, you’ve got other problems.) Therefore, it’s worth discussing:
- Are we clear about how we measure success? (Is it easy for everyone to define?)
- What’s our relationship with losing? (How do we respond? Are we afraid of losing? If so, what’s the consequence of that?)
- What’s our relationship with success? (Do we remain humble and hungry?)
The best team wins today. The learning team wins tomorrow.