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Two large pawns sitting on the ledge of a deck in front of an outside large chess board

Two large pawns sitting on the ledge of a deck in front of an outside large chess board

Winning Is the Sum of Small Victories

“If winning were easy, everyone would do it.” Any member of a team either at work, school, or in sports has likely run into that quote.

Of course, experience aptly suggests winning is hard. Those who aspire to win must be diligent in pursuit of victory, and emphasizing incremental progress is necessary for continued success. Winning is the sum of small victories.

For example, when a runner is still at the starting blocks, the finish line may appear to be a challenging destination to reach. However, each step of the race is a small victory toward the finish line. The race is won because of the power of progress, and that advancement yields gratification, which positively influences how an individual and a team performs long term.

As a member of the Santa Clara athletic department external relations team, I have seen how sharing our wins has helped inspire my teammates. Our wins result from the successful engagement of donors and fans through fun and positive experiences, and, in turn, grow the department by generating greater awareness of Bronco athletics and assist in increasing revenue to assist our teams.

Our team meets weekly to plan, learn, and prepare to execute upcoming events. On every agenda, the team ends each session with an item called, “Victory Sharing.” It’s the highlight of every meeting and gives each staff member the opportunity to inform others about events or promotions that have gone well, to note a positive comment made by a fan, or to thank a colleague for exceptional work performed. As a result, the group learns about the power of teamwork and hears how daily efforts are making a positive impact not only on the lives of the student-athletes and coaches, but also on the lives of alumni and fans within the Santa Clara community. Such encouragement reinforces the meaning of the committee’s work and validates the small victories earned and enjoyed while striving to help Bronco teams win championships.

In your team meetings, consider incorporating a time to share small victories. To help construct a viable opportunity for victory sharing, consider this three-step approach:

  1. Set a tone for positivity. During the victory sharing time, all statements should be affirmative and uplifting. Set another time during the meeting to discuss concerns.

  2. Identify even the smallest of details for praise. Creating a winning environment necessitates that even the tiniest of details are done well. They matter and need to be celebrated.

  3. Revisit why. A “why” is behind all endeavors. A “why” keeps a team committed and invested. So in sharing victories, announce how the little successes help shape why the team works, studies, or plays.

Consistent celebrations will provide inspiration for future big wins. Sharing our victories restores the vigor for intentional progress and enables the long-term development of a winning culture.

Business, Leadership, Athletics
Illuminate, Santa Clara, success, teamwork

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