As business take stock of their performance, I find myself considering the plight of those that are considered winners as well as those that are marked as losers. In the process, I have rediscovered a series of norms that force me to pause.
Winning in very much in the eye of the beholder. Some take profit to be the sole measurement of success. Others define it quite differently. There are many different definitions. For each, there is someone that has a contrarian view. Does profit define winning if it comes at the costs of a community? Said another way, if people lose their jobs in order for a company to recognize a profit, has anyone won?
When someone believes s/he has won, the world, at least for one individual, changes. This change is driven by the belief of at least one, even if it is in something imaginary. It may or may not last. Whatever the case, in the moment that one believes, energy and confidence grows.
In the short term, there are lots of ways to win. Some of the ways are filled with truth, community, and the greater good. Others has a different foundation and give rise to the obvious question; “How long, God, will barbarians blaspheme, enemies curse and get by with it?” (Psalm 74.10)
These rediscoveries lead me away from the question at hand; does winning matter? I would like to suggest it does. The key is our definition of what success is for our self. I believe that winning means the world and community I live in is better as a result of my actions. If I win, then compassion, caring, and community are tangibly stronger in the world around me. If I lose, then self is greater than it was. It is important to note that are measures are at best temporary and through rose colored glasses. True winning takes a lifetime. It is measured in the context of a larger story. Winning matters because to it is a life-long engagement that defines who and what we are.