How to Win Well When Winning Feels Impossible


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Author: Karin Hurt, Founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, LLC

Laura and I were doing a Winning Well workshop with the United Nations, when one of the participants, “Pete,” looked at us sincerely and said, “I hear you, and all these tools sound good, and I’m going to use them.  But what do you do when Winning is impossible?”

We waited for more.

“Our mission is world peace.”

Okay, Pete has a point.

And I’m writing this from an airplane on my way to speak to 900 healthcare workers who’s mission is to create “26 million exceptional patient experiences a year.”  That’s a tall order.

If I was facing a terrifying diagnosis, or I was watching my sister die, or my baby was born four months early, it would take a hell of a lot to convince me I was having an “exceptional” patient experience.

“Impossible” missions can crush the soul. You dig the wells, build a school, buy back the guns, and stabilize the village, only to find the next day a revolution causes you to evacuate.

Or despite an army of dedicated doctors and nurses all executing flawlessly together, the baby still dies.

I’m sure you have your stories too.

How do you get back up the next day and try again?

My advice to Pete and anyone else doing work that really matters is simply this.

Focus on the “well,” and the “wins” will follow.  The Win with a capital W might be impossible, but the lower case wins add up and change the world.

The Winning Well Model


Since we published our book: Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul, last April, we’ve been working with companies around the world to blend the bottom line, with the human spirit. To learn practical tools and techniques that produce immediate results that sustain over time.

We’d love to help you and your team make a similar impact.

Be confident in your strengths, know that your work makes a difference, stand up for what matters and speak the truth.

Stay humble, knowing that the mission is bigger than you and your frustrations, know your vulnerabilities, admit mistakes and invite challengers.

Set clear expectations, identify, reinforce and celebrate the specific behaviors that lead to breakthrough results.  Discouraging times often call for a confidence burst. 

Invest in the relationships with your team by creating genuine connections and encouraging collaboration. Reach out to others who can help. Recognize the impact you’re making at a human level.

If you’re working on achieving the impossible, thank you.

Focus on the well and the wins will.

Learn more about the Winning Well system here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article written by our friend Karin Hurt. Karin helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR.  She was recently named on Inc’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers, AMA’s 50 Leaders to Watch in 2015,  & Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America.  She’s the author of 2 books: Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss.

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