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The Winning Curse

February 17, 2013 / Comments (0)

Lately, the news is full of fallen heroes; fallen to drugs, crime or bribery. Leadership is not the same as management or winning at all costs. Leadership is about being the best of who we are, leading by example and in the process creating other Leaders, not followers.

Hero worshipping is creating serious anomalies in our society and there is a need for our prime caregivers and education systems to re-frame and redefine how we are motivating our youth and what success means.

Ego is not the same as self-worth and self-respect. Ego is the opposite!

In my opinion Ego is the result of self-denial, where the value of oneself is so low, that from a young age we start comparing ourselves with others to create an avatar of ourselves that becomes our Ego; that we manipulate like a chameleon in every aspect of our life (friendships, relationships, work, play, etc) in order to cover-up that innate sense of worthlessness. This is exacerbated by the emphasis of our caregivers, from a very young age, where we are compared with others and where others (winners!) are established as yardsticks of success. Being individuals, we never match those others that we are compared with and that which we are taught to revere and thus starts the process of creating our fake avatar, the chameleon.

In this process, depression is a very likely path as we learn to suppress that who we are while we act in behaviours that make us appear to be successful, as defined by others. That suppression leads to depression.

And depression is not even the worst outcome. Performance enhancement drugs, bribery and crime often are outcomes that destroy our lives and those of those around us.

Our newspapers are currently full of devastating news like Pistorius, Lance Armstrong, extensive doping in Australian sports, and other fallen heroes/organisations.

The issue is that instead of looking at this as an epidemic of our times, driven by our trained focus to “win at all costs”, we look at these disasters as individual cases. Doing so, we continue making a bad situation worse.

The answer is simple but not so easy to deploy. It is simply about motivating our young to explore that which motivates them from the inside and for them to feel contented and loved for simply being who they are; rather than the unnatural pressure from day one to be better than the Joneses, to make more money, to drive better cars, wear set brands, etc…

And there is nothing wrong with aspiring to having the best that this world has on offer, and more. The difference is the motivation that gets us to achieve these, that needs to be internalized rather externalised; meaning, motivated from within rather than motivated by comparing ourselves with others.

Whether you are a mother, a school teacher, a manager or an orator, be a Leader and inspire others by motivating that beautiful energy that lies within them that will yield astounding results to themselves, your family and your organisation.

In our definition, Leaders are those that create Leaders and Leadership starts with one owning the responsibility of taking a Lead in their own life! Whether you know it or not, you are a Leader! Leaders exist in all walks of life. They are mothers, CEOs, volunteers, spiritualists, care-givers, receptionists, and the list goes on. However not all these role players are Leaders.

Last modified: April 12, 2018

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