1. June 12th, 2012  | 

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Published in Strategic Planning

Winning and Losing: Horse Races and Business

You probably know that the day before Belmont, the favorite horse in the race – I’ll Have Another – was scratched, abandoning an opportunity to become only the 12th ever and first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.

The week before the Belmont, I enjoyed horse racing closer to home with a client and his leadership team. As we watched race after race at Lone Star Park, two thoughts kept galloping through my mind:

  1. It’s not over ‘til it’s over. Time and again, horses that led the way for much of a race often finished second, third or fourth. Meanwhile, some horses that were in the middle of the pack found an extra burst of energy on the home stretch and won. You’re about to find yourself on the home stretch as you seek to hit your objectives. Keep running.
  1. The difference between winning and losing is small. Most of the races were close. One race literally was a photo finish, requiring a review of a photographic image to determine the winner. In the workplace, little things subtract from success. Missed deadlines. Unreturned calls to customers. Inaccurate accounting. Broken commitments to colleagues. Are you addressing these little things?

Business may not always be as fun as a horse race. But business can certainly be a gamble. How will you finish this year’s race?

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 250 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 600 keynotes and workshops on every continent except Antarctica, and he coaches leaders who are inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book— Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) —is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.

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