Garrison Wynn
Speaker, Consultant, Author

Garrison Wynn

Founder of Wynn Solutions, this keynote speaker is a former stand-up comedian and author of "The Real Truth About Success

 ALL POSTS

Avoid Loser Town

Q: Butler University's basketball team, which was fifth-seeded in its region in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, will play Duke for the championship Monday night. In fact, two of the Final Four teams -- Butler and Michigan State, whose coaches are pictured -- were fifth-seeded in their region. Does a low ranking serve to motivate or deflate? Does having less status than a competitor affect performance?

Being lowly ranked can obviously cause your competitors to underestimate you, unless they are savvy enough to know that people who have a disadvantage, or are under-achievers, can be very dangerous competitors.That's why you don't want to pull out in front of 20-year-old car with a lot of body damage, or get into a fight with a really short guy!

The myth is that if we believe we can achieve success and keep a positive attitude, we can accomplish anything. In reality, modern researchers like Jing Zhou of Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Management indicate, the most successful people are primarily negative thinkers.

People who believe they cannot fail are commonly blindsided by things they did not see coming. Contrary to popular belief, people who see a glass as half-empty are more likely to fill up the glass than those who see it half full. This may not be the "feel good" message of the summer, but it's historically accurate.

If you ask a winning underdog team-member off the record (not in a TV interview) about the big upset they just achieved, they almost always say, "I can't believe we won!" When was the last time you saw people jump up and down and celebrate when they achieve the inevitable?

During the New England Patriots' winning heyday, their locker room after a game looked like a day spa for sweaty fat guys. After one particular Super Bowl win, Tom Brady in an interview looked like he had just awakened from a nice little nap. There are many more stories of failure from the over-confident than there are from those who believed it might be impossible to win.

There are those who can't compete at a certain level because of a belief they hold about the skill or status of their competition. They can have a positive or negative attitude and get the same result, which is a one-way ticket to Loser Town. They are just not aggressive enough to win against a skilled opponent even if they read the book "The Secret" five times. Success favors the bold and sometimes even the obnoxious.


By Garrison Wynn  |  April 5, 2010; 8:51 PM ET  | Category:  Underdogs Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Yes, we can | Next: A leader's tightrope

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company