How to Win

In his book Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki, tells the story of Neile McQueen Toffel, the first wife of actor Steve McQueen.

It was the fall of 1963 and Neile had accompanied her husband Steve and a couple of his actor buddies, James Garner and Paul Newman, to a car race in Riverside, California.

On the return trip to L.A. Neile needed to make a pit stop of her own for a rest room break.

The four stopped at a roadside gas station and Neile headed around back to take care of her business.  As she rounded the corner she found a line of young women waiting at the door to the rest room.

Knowing that the guys were in a hurry, Neile faced a dilemma.

So she marched right up to the line of young girls and said, “Hey, did you know there is a car full of movie stars out front?”

“Really, who? . . . came the reply from the girls.

“There’s Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and James Garner,” Neile said.

Girls started screaming and running around the building.  And Neile found herself all alone in the line for the rest room.

Kawasaki points out that Neile McQueen created a win-win-win situation.

The girls won by getting to meet some movie stars.  Neile won by getting to go to the rest room.  And the guys won by getting back to L.A. ahead of all the traffic.

When it comes to your leadership, do you think win-win?  Most leaders don’t.  They think win-lose.  They want to win and everyone else to lose.

I have news for you.  If you are winning at the expense of others, you are really a loser and no one likes being on your team.

Find someone today and help them win.  Even if it means there is nothing in it for you other than the satisfaction of helping someone else get what they want.

I have found that if you help someone else win today, there is a good chance someone will help you win tomorrow.  If you really want to win, help someone else win first.

One of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits is to “Think Win-Win.”  But that kind of thinking didn’t originate with him.  It goes back at least as far as a California roadside in 1963.

The Question is, “Will you find a way to think that way today?”





As a leader, do you find it more satisfying to win at someone else’s expense, or to help someone else win?


repost from 3.23.11


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