The older I get, the more fault I find with slapping titles on
people who may or may not deserve them. This certainly applies to the titles winner and loser. No one likes to be called a loser and, as this month's issue of Newsline would suggest, everyone – I can't think of any exceptions – likes to be called a winner!
That got me thinking about our industry and the people in our industry who reflect the definition of those titles. It's easy to pick out the winners. They're usually the leaders of the most successful companies, executives of the best trade associations, top salespeople, achievers, and generally, people who wear their“winningness” around them like Superman wore a cape! It insulates them from ever having to deal with failure, unhappiness, disappointment or any negative state of mind. And therein lies the difference, the real difference, between winning and losing. Winners sometimes lose but never give up; losers sometimes win but never have a positive expectancy about it. It's almost as though they anticipate the failure that awaits them and are never surprised when it comes through the front door to meet them.
When you look around at any industry event, it's easy to spot the people who are successful, doing their jobs well, have good family relationships, and are really enjoying life. Recently, George De Marco was recognized by the California Alarm Association for his contributions. Even if you didn't know George, all you'd have to do is look at him during the weekend of events in which he was to be honored. He exuded the confidence of a winner. Recently, I emceed an awards and recognition segment for the Sammy awards, inducting new members into the Security Sales & Integration Hall of Fame. As I introduced each of the inductees, I was not surprised to see that they were not only enjoying themselves and the recognition, but also seemed to be genuinely humble about the reasons they were being recognized that evening.
You can try an experiment the next time you're at an event talking about what's happening in the industry, who bought who, and the latest acquisition and merger activity. Ask people around you, not so much what it is that they have done or accomplished that made them successful, but rather, at what have they failed and how did that failure contribute to their ability to eventually win? The answers to those questions are inevitably the real reasons why some of us are considered to be winners. Winners don't always win, but when they lose they get right back up, put themselves back into motion and strive towards accomplishing their next goal.
For years, I used to send out marble paperweights as gifts to friends, business associates, and clients. On each of these desk ornaments was the simple engraving:
To this day, I occasionally see one of those paperweights on some, usually successful, person's desk. I look at the paperweight, then the person upon whose desk it sits and sometimes, a knowing smile is exchanged, and we both know that winning is the constant application and repetition of the principles that have led to successes in the past.
Just like any thing else, there are ground rules for winning. The business of winning is a success-driven mentality that can be acquired and learned. Here are what I call the six steps to being a winner in this or any other business:
Assess and recognize your strengths, weaknesses and what you need to do to build on your strengths.
Start acting as though you are the winner you would like to be. You will be amazed at what follows. One morning, you will wake up and find that you have become the person you have always dreamed of being.
Lay out a program for the accomplishment of your goals. Keep them simple, achievable and believable.
Let every important person in your life know what you are attempting to do and accomplish. They will give you positive reinforcement and help you achieve your goals.
Volunteer, participate, expose your thinking to others and be known as a “giver.”
And finally, when you have accomplished the initial goals that you have set for yourself, take a deep reath, look around and establish new goals. Winners do this almost intuitively, losers resist it almost always.
This industry that we're in is rapidly changing. Direct marketing is having a major impact on what we do. Integration has taken on all sorts of new and sometimes confusing meanings. Consolidation continues at a rapid pace. New players come and old players go. The only thing that you can totally control, is how you perform and how you succeed. The only person you ever really have to impress is that person looking back at you from the mirror each morning. And if you do that, you will be counted among the winners, not only in our industry, but in life.
Ron Davis is the founder of the Davis Mergers & Acquisitions Group. Through its broad-reaching contacts in and around the security services industry, the Davis Group can add legal, financial, operational and executive search capabilities to its core competencies of sales and marketing. In addition, Davis and his associates are knowledgeable and accomplished public speakers, having spoken in front of thousands of dealers, manufacturers and industry executives.