What Does Your Winning Condition Look Like?

culture leadership management performance self-awareness
Operating In Your Winning Condition

Self-awareness is an essential soft professional skill.

Self-awareness is the ability to look in the mirror and understand your strengths and opportunities.

Early in my coaching engagements, I ask the talented individual I'm working with to describe how she operates in her "Winning Condition."

Being in your Winning Condition is the feeling you have when everything is going your way:

  • You're ahead of your goals.
  • You just closed a big customer.
  • Your business recommendation was not only approved but also applauded.
  • You were asked to take on a more prominent role in the organization.
  • Your team is pulling above their weight and flying.
  • Success is at every turn.

Sounds great!

Of course, it feels great to operate in your Winning Condition. You feel confident and on top of the world. Buoyed by success, you have a spring in your step and are ready to take on any challenge.

You are lovely to be around when you are in your Winning Condition. Your team, drawn to your positivity and enthusiasm, will run through a wall for you. You are patient, supportive, and optimistic. 

Operating in The Winning Condition feels like catching lightning in a bottle. When you get it, enjoy it. It comes and goes quickly, then back to the grind of day-to-day business operations.

Now, let's flip the script. There are many tough and challenging times in business. It's likely the norm that there are more difficult days than great days. 

When the tides turn against you, and you feel like you are drowning in bad news, you have to be most aware of how you manage, lead, and check your emotions.

Operating outside your winning condition occurs when your back is against the wall. It's the behaviors and approaches you take when stress is at its maximum and you feel like you are trudging through quicksand.

I had a coach who said to me, "Andy, I'm not worried about how you'll operate when you're in your winning condition. That's easy. I'm more concerned about how you operate when you are not in your winning condition." He went on to describe operating outside your winning condition as:

  • Becoming a Tasmanian Devil and taking over all the team's activities.
  • Pushing stress down onto the team
  • Becoming a hard-to-work with cross-functional partner
  • Displaying a short temper
  • Turning inward and disconnecting

I learned that we behave differently when we're outside our winning condition. When we are "outside," we must be much more careful: 

  • We need to take more deep breaths. 
  • Be patient. 
  • Continue to delegate. 
  • Hold onto the stress instead of spreading it to your peers. 

Reflect on how you operate within and outside your winning condition as a manager, leader, or colleague. Take specific inventory of how you operate outside your winning condition. When you feel stressed, and your back is up against the wall, it's hard to be the best professional version of yourself. 

Make the hard right decision and seek to navigate the stressful moments with grace and collaboration. Reject the easy, wrong decision of becoming the out-of-control Tasmanian devil.

Observe yourself in both your winning condition and when you're outside it. With grand self-awareness as your ally, you'll be a more effective and successful professional, manager, and leader.

Subscribe to The Monday Mojo Skills Newsletter

Join our mailing list for the latest news and updates that will lift your skills and confidence.