Playing To Win

At year end our management team worked on developing incentive programs for the upcoming season. We had a brainstorming session to determine what we wanted to measure and provide monetary bonuses throughout the company. Our team came up with a list of areas we could incentivize and we agreed that we wanted to reward behaviors. Looking at the list of potential behaviors I noticed that they either fell into rewarding positive behaviors or rewarding decreasing negative behaviors. For example we could reward employees for bringing in a new client, thus increasing our sales and revenue or we could reward an employee for having the least amount of property damages to our client’s homes. 

As we were discussing this choice I found myself thinking about team sporting competitions. Most of the time the team that wins is the team that plays offensively, the team that scores the goals, not the team that plays to prevent the other team from scoring. I’ve watched games found that players performed their best when proactively offensive, but if early in the game they had an error and spent the rest of the game trying not to make a mistake they tended to hold back because they were focusing on fault prevention.  Our management team wanted to drive positive behaviors and not produce an environment where you spend your time trying to avoid a mess up.  I found myself thinking about this personally. Do I live offensively, or am I spending my life trying not to make an error? Do I worry so much about avoiding failure that I miss the win? It seems so obvious where I should focus my thoughts but for some odd reason I am sucked into preventing bad stuff more than promoting good things. It’s a thought pattern I’d like to break. Today I choose to live pursuing good, how about you?

“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.” – Richard Wilkins