Women Play to Win in Business and Life

Copyright 2006 Jeanette Cates

Have you seen this happen to a woman you know?

She gets very close to success – then turns her attention in another direction.

She has an opportunity to “shine” at a meeting, but turns it over to someone else.

You compliment her on what a great job she did and she gives credit to the team instead.

She has a million-dollar idea, but decides to take the safer route and get a steady job and pursue the idea “later.”

These are examples of “playing not to lose” and it’s often a common ailment of women in business. It’s taking the safe option instead of really going for it.

While part of this may be a result of our culture, we still have choices. And that choice can be to “play to win!”

There are five principles for a “Play to Win” attitude.

1. Be Decisive. In business there are opportunities that are time-sensitive and if you delay in making a choice, you may lose the chance. From ordering lunch to signing contracts to choosing the ideal outfit, you need to learn to trust yourself and make decisions quickly. Start with the menu at lunch tomorrow. Make your choice in less than a minute, then enjoy more time for your lunch and the conversation.

2. Live with a Commitment to Learning. Part of the learning cycle is recognizing and admitting that you don’t know. Be open to asking questions and give up the need to be the ultimate authority. You’ll enjoy a confidence that it’s okay to be you.

3. Learn from Mentors with Experience. Successful people did not achieve their success alone, yet we sometimes think we need to do it all ourselves. Seek out a mentor and absorb their guidance and advice. It doesn’t make you appear less capable by asking for help. It evokes thoughts of “Winner” when you are willing to ask for mentoring.

4. Be Resourceful with Daily Activities. Women are naturally good at multitasking, so we tend to be very efficient. But what that talent does yield sometimes is a lack of focus. So learning to balance the focus and the multitasking is key to the Play to Win attitude.

5. Join a Team of Like-Minded Players. In the famous book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, the power of the Mastermind is emphasized. It is important to align yourself with others who are on the level to which you aspire. So be cautious in your associations with people, organizations and even what you read and watch! Be sure they are on the same winning level.

Learning to Play to Win is a process which can be learned and practiced on a daily basis. Start now to stomp out that “playing not to lose” attitude and start winning!