Celebrating Winning More Than Success

I’m writing today because I didn’t win Mega Millions last week.  Radio Sports Talk Show host Colin Cowherd mentioned this concept on his show the day after the big drawing – We celebrate winning, more than we celebrate success.

We cheer on those who won the Lotto.  We feel successful athlete, coach, entertainer, doesn’t deserve the millions they get.

The problem is the person who won the lottery just got very, very lucky.  They didn’t work hard.  They went down the mini-mart and laid down a dollar bill and had some balls drop out that matched the numbers on their ticket.

The athlete, coach, entertainer, etc. has put in thousands of hours of hard work to perfect their craft.  They’ve taken the G*d given talent they were given, worked extremely hard and are now paid millions of dollars.  It’s really, what Colin said, is the ‘real’ American Dream.  Not winning the lottery (which I constantly argue is the last real American dream).

I think we should celebrate success over celebrating winning.  Anyone can win.  Only those who have talent and hard work gain true success over the long term.

When you think about how you celebrate in your own organization, do you celebrate winning or success?  Do you even know the difference within your own environment? I like to think I know the difference, in my environment.  I know who is successful, I know who is just winning.  Winning can happen to almost anyone, it’s dumb luck.  Success happens to those who consistently put in the work.  They might not always win, but they are always in a position to win.

I want to celebrate that.

One thought on “Celebrating Winning More Than Success

  1. I listened to his show and that exact conversation. I think people “relate” better to the quick win over the dedicated winner. The majority of people cannot relate to a 20 hour work day and missing life events but we can relate to going into the local mini-mart and buying those tickets. As a result, I believe work successes are very similar in nature, mentioned as an FYI but not celebrated. Great topic!

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