What does winning in business mean to you?
To help figure out how to win in your business, we asked entrepreneurs and business leaders this question for their best definitions of winning in business. From understanding that winning is a feeling to considering wins that affect the entire team, there are several definitions of winning that may help you figure out what it means to you and your business.
Here are 10 definitions of winning in business:
- Winning is a Feeling
- More Than Profit Growth
- Community and Abundance
- Create Conditions to Thrive
- Succeeding in Every Way
- Data Drives Success
- Defining What #1 Means
- Empowering Others
- Benefitting the Entire Team
- Bringing Overarching Value
Winning is a Feeling
Winning is such a loaded word. I don’t much like words that have a duality—in this case, winning vs. losing. In business, it all depends on whether you are in it for the long term or the short term. For me, part of being in business is to create and participate in a world that works for all.
So for me, I reframe winning to be a feeling. If at the end of the day, I feel like we showed up and delivered to the best of our abilities, then that is a day that added positively to the whole — and it’s a win. If we failed in any way, as long as we learned something, it’s also a win because learning implies evolving.
Yolande Grill, InfoSol Inc.
More Than Profit Growth
For me, winning in business is far more than just being concerned about the size of year-over-year profit. Rather, it’s about things like, did any employee(s) leave my company that I truly wanted to retain. Are the brunt of my employees satisfied with their compensation packages? Was our company able to make meaningful contributions to resolving our community’s most unresolvable problems? So, true winning in business is all about when the business wins, the employees win, and the community wins!
Howard Stewart, AGM Container Controls
Community and Abundance
As I reflect on the typical use of the term, Winning is probably not best in the new narrative needed in business today regarding free-market capitalism. Sadly, winning implies that there is a loser. Businesses need to generate revenue and earn a profit. People are employed, working for purpose-minded businesses that create and capture value for society by solving a problem by providing a good or service. The community benefits and taxes are collected that further serve the community and government. Companies that pour resources into their community and people with a stakeholder mindset allow everyone to flourish. Abundance allows for prosperity and elevates humanity. That’s better than winning.
Creating Conditions to Thrive
Mutual thriving is what success looks like for me. If we want peace, prosperity, and innovation, then creating an economic system where no one is disposable is essential. Rather than framing business in terms of winners and losers, I prefer what Simon Sinek calls “the Infinite Game”—creating conditions that promote adaptability, creativity, and keeping the game going.
Elizabeth Castillo, Arizona State University
Succeeding in Every Way
Truly winning in business means to succeed in all areas that the business has a direct impact on. If a business impacts something or someone, that business is, by default, responsible for that impact. To leave a positive impact in all areas a business impacts is the true definition of success and a true win! It is one thing to succeed in one goal. It is another to succeed in all areas. Why settle?
Laurel Elders, The Institute for Integrative Coach Training
Data Drives Success
Defining metrics to analyze and track your progress creates a scorecard so you can celebrate your success and keep your business on track. At my executive recruiting firm, winning in business means receiving qualified leads every month and converting them to paying clients. Each candidate that we place for an employer is a huge success and helps us not only be a profitable company, but it gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I helped another business grow and move forward. The deep relationships we build along the way are some of our greatest success stories!
Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
Define What #1 Means
Winning means being number one. But, to win, there needs to be a clear definition of what being number one looks like because winning in business isn’t as clear-cut as winning in something like sports. For us, number one is a combination of market share, number of employees, and prominence.
Each metric helps us understand our impact. Are we serving more small businesses than other companies? Do we employ more people within SEO than our competitors? When people think about SEO, do they think of Markitors or come across our brand in some way? That’s at least how we define winning. It starts with a clear definition of what being number one actually looks like for any business owner looking to win in their industry.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
It’s a gift to empower others with Lightkey’s innovative AI-powered text prediction and real-time spelling correcting software. Our company helps users save time to focus on other aspects of their businesses, but it also assists people with disabilities for whom typing may be more difficult. Offering a product that can help a wide audience is not only gratifying but is also our winning business strategy.
Guy Katabi, Lightkey
Benefitting the Entire Team
We have seen how companies handsomely reward colleagues who produce new sales and accelerated growth with all types of perks, trip destinations, and the like. Likewise, the manufacturing & production departments are rewarded for maximum throughput, operation cost reductions, and reduced downtime. Yet, “winning in business” should be about the “entire” team and lower profile colleagues, including ‘back of the office’ colleagues, maintenance, and those who keenly and strategically support the sales and manufacturing teams.
Without an inclusive, collective, and rewarding program to sincerely recognize these people, winning becomes a very shallow and divisive endeavor. Stephen Covey spoke about this for years when it came to winning: “The greatest and most inspiring mountain climbing achievements are stories of the extraordinary power of a unified, talented, and prepared team that stays loyally committed to one another and to their shared vision to the end.”
Wally Simon, Strategic Advisor
Bringing Overarching Value
Winning in business is generally defined by a company’s reach and profit margins. However, the true goal should be one of service to others, in this case, your customers. If you truly believe in your product or service and the good that will come from others using it, then you have already won. Money is a motivator, but passion is a much greater ally. Believing in your product, your service, and your company will allow you to overcome any obstacle thrown your way. That is my definition of success: bringing value to your customers, your employees, and the world around you.
Jeff Welch, Grab the Axe