Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Playing not to lose in the World Cup

Mexico, Chile, and many other countries have found themselves in unfamiliar territory during this World Cup. They took leads on teams they were not supposed to beat. Then, they each forgot what it took to get that lead, and they began to play "not to lose." The aggressiveness went away. The daring went away. The calculated risk taking went away. Instead, they focused on running out the clock.

The end result: the very outcome they tried to avoid became a reality and they have all gone home after losing their games.

It's funny how businesses tend to follow a similar pattern. Start-ups are aggressive, edgy, willing to risk, and willing to try something different. Then, they find a measure of success and fear of loss sets in, and they begin playing not to lose.

The problem? They miss out on the opportunities in front of them -- the ones they were willing to take on, the ones that brought them the first measure of success.

Success can be paralyzing. Take time to determine if you are playing to win, or playing not to lose. Your next opportunity may be passing you by right now.


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