Leaders Don't Dwell on Wins or Losses

You win some and you lose some. How you deal with wins and losses will determine quite a bit of your success.

Billy Horschel won the FedEx Cup Tour Championship golf tournament in Atlanta this past weekend, pocketing $11.44 million dollars, a big victory for anyone. But just over a week ago, Billy made a blunder during another tournament that, had it gotten under his skin, could have cost him not only that tournament victory, but the opportunity to win the $11 million purse this past weekend.

When asked how he was able to get past the prior weekend blunder, Horschel said, “I don't dwell on things that are bad… I look at the positives. I'm a positive guy. I'm a positive-outlook-on-life guy. So that wasn't going to affect me at all.”

"…And listen, things are going to happen in life and in golf. The sooner you get over it, the sooner you can move on."

What leaders – in business, sports or other areas of life – know is that “The sooner you get over it” applies not just to losing, but to winning. In both cases, it’s important to learn from the experience. Understand why you won or why you lost and immediately use that information to benefit yourself in the next competitive situation.

Smith & Howard just recently received the most significant national recognition in our history. But that “win” was hard earned over the work and dedication of our people for the past many years. Other quality firms want that recognition next year and, of course, we don’t want to relinquish it. So while we spent a day or two with bigger-than-usual smiles, we’re back to work serving clients and getting better at the things that matter.

Remember: dwell neither on defeat nor victory. Spend some time reflecting on a loss or celebrating a win. But get back to business. Your competitors – the ones who either just beat you or were beaten by you – are already out there trying to get better. Keep moving.