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The Art of Winning … in Home Care

By Stephen Tweed

Several weeks ago, I was in San Diego, California for the annual convention of the National Speakers Association.  As a past national President, I am always invited to the Board of Directors dinner which is usually quite special.  This year it was very special.  It was special because Ron Karr, the NSA President, introduced to us Dennis Connor, the winner of three America’s Cup yacht races.  I was a big fan of Dennis back the in the late 80’s and frequently quoted from the strategic insights in his book, The Art of  Winning.SCT Dennis Connor at NSA

Dennis spoke about his experience winning the America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club, then losing the Cup, and then creating the opportunity to win it back. I was very familiar with his story because I had been following the America’s cup back then, and even had the opportunity to attend some races in San Diego the year he brought the race back to America from Australia.  After he spoke, I made a bee line to Dennis and introduced myself.  We had a terrific discussion and it renewed many memories of the lessons I had learned from reading his books and studying his lessons on leadership.

Here are five lessons on leadership for home care and hospice executives from Dennis Connor and his book, The Art of Winning.

1.  Attitude – It all starts when you commit yourself to winning.

  • “It takes commitment to win. If you are not committed, you won’t be able to put up with the aggravation”.
  • “Once you make a commitment, a lot of other things begin to make sense.  You become focused on one act. Your time becomes more purposeful. Your rally people to your cause. You get surprise payoffs. “
  • “Winning is a habit that is attained by persistent mental and physical effort.”

2.  Performance – Associating with the best people, seeking incremental improvement, and tracking progress systematically are critical.

  • “For the average performer, ninety percent of achievement is the mechanical work you do and ten percent is psychological. The equation shifts when you become an expert and compete against people operating at the same high skill level. Then the psychological aspect can provide a significant competitive edge, overwhelming mechanics.”
  • “If you want to win, you have to begin by asking, ‘Who are the best? Where are they? How can I meet them? How can I learn from them and compete against them?”

3.  Teamwork – Look for hunger and commitment in your teammates.  Find people who can break the “good enough” barrier.

  • “How do you choose a team?  I have just three requirement: attitude, attitude, attitude. Finding people with the right attitude is the most important step in building a team.”
  • “Motivating someone who doesn’t want to be motivated is the hardest work in the world.”
  • “I have my eyes open for good people all the time.”

4.  Competition – Competition is one of the best sources of self-improvement.

  • “The better you know your own strengths and capitalize on them, the better you’ll do as a competitor.”
  • “For a competitor in a crowded market, the key is careful positioning to sell your product or service.”
  • “Study what your competitor is doing right. If you want to build a better mouse trap, get hold of the best mousetrap on the market.”

5.  Goals – a strict deadline is almost as important as the goal itself.

  • “First, do what you love and love what  you do.”
  • “Make your goals central to everything you do, so everything else shapes around them.”
  • “Make your goals visible.  In every kind of  endeavor, there are visible signs of success – indications that you have begun to reach some of your goals.”

What about you?

What are you doing to apply The Art of Winning?

Let’s discuss in our LinkedIn discussion group, Leading Home Care Network.

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