• en
  • nl
  • Winning and overcoming

    01/06/2015 | Zaltbommel

    Seven competing boats - only one winner. Does this mean six losers? Not according to Hans Kampers. 'Being driven to the utmost by your passion and ambition is also winning. It is victory defined by the discovery of new solutions, by daring, risk-taking and developing your own capabilities. In my view winning is challenging yourself to overcome your own limitations, it is overcoming your personal fear of disappointment or failure - the very things which might prevent you from daring to try out new solutions.'

    Passion and ambition
    Every team hopes to be first over the line - and knows that participation is certainly not more important than winning. These are teams at the peak of their capabilities. Teams whose incredible passion for sailing has been welded into a single, strong entity with a sharp, common focus. Feeding and sustaining this kind of passion is, in my view, the key to success - in sailing as in business. It means being prepared to dig deep to feed that will to win. This is a process that demands more than simply the will to win. It means participating in your own way, doing what you individually need to do to overcome your personal limitations, daring to try new approaches. You have to work on developing what you, personally, need in order to achieve 'your' victory. And then you still may not win. Victory is not an easy achievement - and never guaranteed. But competing with full commitment and ambition is also a victory. What winning is really about is whether you live up to what your ambition requires of you.


    Winning is about risk-taking
    Many businesses express the will to win, but are reluctant to change course, will not adapt sufficiently to changed circumstances or adapt too late. Fear of failure overcomes the ambition to grow and win. These businesses are intent on maintaining their position, see competition as a threat, avoid risks, and sail - often unknowingly - from a blue ocean into a red ocean. An ocean in which survival becomes the sole aim. And survival strategies allow little room for innovative entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. Let us be clear that consolidation is not, by definition, a bad strategy – it is just an attitude that does not fit with a winning mentality. Every business that wants to win must ask itself three, critical questions:

    –        How do we know we have won?
    –        What talents do we need to win?
    –        How do we bundle these talents and set them on a winning course?

    Trust is essential
    Trust, and lots of it, is an essential ingredient in the winning mix. You have to trust yourself and your teammates. And you need commitment to attaining the goal and to supporting each team member's unique role in that achievement. But is this sufficient? What if we run up against obstacles? We live in a rapidly changing world. Sometimes the pace of change is such that it seems almost impossible to keep up. This can create stress - at individual, team and organizational level. We may doubt our ability to achieve our goal. We become demotivated. Frustration and irritation seem to go hand in hand. This is when the willpower of the team manifests itself. The stronger the common commitment, the more you can call on each other's contribution and responsibility. In these circumstances you learn to rely on each other and you learn from each other. At the same time you really learn to value and respect each other.  
    I have the impression that Team Brunel is really good at this. The team lives in close proximity, 24 hours a day, in an extremely restricted space, without any chance of escaping each other's presence. It is an environment ripe for conflict. And yet they maintain their focus on a common goal. To achieve this they have had to overcome their individual weaknesses, plumb their own strengths and shortcomings, understand their personal limitations and then overcome all of this for the good of the team, while still allowing each other the space to flourish as individuals. Because a winning team does it together. And trust is the crucial ingredient.

    Click here for more information on Managing yourself, Managing teams, Communication skills, and Collaboration skills.



    Personal profile

    Hans Kampers is Managing Director of Coaching at Schouten & Nelissen, where he has held several positions since joining the company in 2007.

    He is extremely broadly experienced in advising and supporting senior management and HRM/HRD managers in the areas of strategic HR, inflow, throughflow and outflow, talent development and sustainable HR management.

    His specialization lies in developing and implementing talent development concepts and employability constructions.

    He studied Sociology and Business Administration and has an Executive Master's degree in Lifelong Learning, Knowledge Management and Institutional Change from the International University in Bremen, Germany.He is currently doing a Master's degree in Conflict Management at the S&N University.




















    Back to top