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Make winning a habit and go from good to great

By Chris Whelan
Centre of Business Excellence

Joyce Meyer, the Christian author and speaker, makes the point that we need a backbone, not a wishbone. 

That sounds just about right, especially in the volatile, uncertain and often challenging world of the Covid pandemic. When times get tough, we get tested and winners invariably are the most resilient.

Having a backbone is much more a series of daily decisions than a single, “silver bullet”. Every day we have choices and every day winners make the decision to keep pressing on towards the dreams and goals they’ve set. 

Winners value the process of winning. Losers over-value the outcome and don’t spend enough time on the process. While dreams are massively important and not to be dismissed as the “magnets” that draw us forward, we can’t afford to get so caught up in the outcomes that we forget that success comes from consistent, considered and continuous focus on the process. 

Too often we strive for a mythical perfection, when in fact getting really good at each step will make all the difference.

The process of winning has two key areas: preparation and separation. Preparation for the things that you need to do and get done, and separation from the things you need to stop. 

Preparation removes pressure. So often we see highly naturally talented people reach a plateau and either stagnate or fall back. Their innate ability carried them and often meant they really could wing it. 

So much so, in fact, that they failed to prepare.

There’s a saying in business marketing about four Ps – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Well, in preparing for winning there’s another one – proper planning prevents poor performance – the 5 Ps, if you like.

Do you want to move from being good – at running your business, at being a parent or helping at your local community organisation – to being great? 

Prepare and be exceptional. Use this formula to make winning a habit: Natural Talent + Preparation = Unforgettable. Gifts will only take you so far and your resources will follow your resolve.

Those who say “I wish” and those who say “I will” are worlds apart. 

To prepare and process correctly, we need to separate from what is good to do what is best. In building winning into a habit, our enemy isn’t bad. Our enemy is “good”! 

We can’t respond to every need. We need to focus on doing the best, not on doing all the many things that seem good.  There are a lot of good things we’ll need to say no to in 2022 in order to focus on the best things.

If that seems overwhelming – maybe you are already doing lots of things and putting in most of your energy – then remember this: We don’t need to bring high performance to everything we do, but we must bring it to the two or three things we do BEST. 

Focus on the things we want to be excellent at, daily. If you can achieve high performance once, you can certainly repeat it another two times.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t try to win the championship in one day either. Value the process of winning, rather than becoming discouraged by not having won the gold medal immediately. 

Invest where the returns are greatest, because a “spray and pray” approach won’t deliver your dreams and goals.

Two quotes sum up things really well: legendary US basketball coach John Wooden said, “the game is won before the game is begun” and John D Rockefeller made the point that we should not be afraid to give up the good for the great. 

So, as we head into the year, look for at least one thing where you can grow, every day. Persistence pays! 

The secret is the habit, not the winning. Make the process a habit and winning will follow.

If want to grow your business, call 0222 332 669 or email to see how my 25 years of business experience can help you. To join the Centre of Business Excellence community and benefit from regular insights, ‘Like’  centreofbusinessexcellence on Facebook. Sign up for my newsletter at



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