Winning, with the Right Stars, Leads To More…Winning!

Two things.

It really helps you win if you’re on a winning streak.
It really helps you win if you have the right stars to fill the right slots.

Both of these thoughts are stated pretty clearly, and strongly, in the Jack Welch book, Winning.

Here’s Jack Welch about winning:
There have been literally thousands of questions.  But most of them come down to this:  What does it take to win?  And that is what this book is about – winning.  Probably no other topic could have made me want to write again!  Because I think winning is great.  Not good – great.  When companies win, people thrive and grow…  Winning lifts everyone it touches – it just makes the world a better place.  When companies are losing, on the other hand, everyone takes a hit.  People feel scared.  They have less financial security and limited time or money to do anything else.  All they do is worry and upset their families, and in the meantime, if they’re out of work, they pay little, if any, taxes.

An effective mission statement basically answers one question:  How do we intend to win in this business?  It does not answer:  What were we good at in the good old days?  Nor does it answer:  How can we describe our business so that no particular unit or division or senior executive gets pissed off.

And here’s Jack Welch on hiring:
Hiring good people is hard.  Hiring great people is brutally hard.  And yet nothing matters more in winning than getting the right people on the field.  All the clever strategies and advanced technologies in the world are nowhere near as effective without great people to put them to work.

Here in Dallas, life revolves around one thing, and one thing only – how are the Cowboys doing?  (I am fairly convinced that if a scientist found the cure for cancer, war broke out between the USA and Canada, the Texas Rangers won the World Series, and Tony Romo had a hang nail, all on the same day, the lead story on the front page of the Dallas Morning News would be Tony Romo’s hangnail).  Lately, the Cowboys have looked like losers  (because they were losers, losing their first two games).  Their posture, their facial expressions, were all showing the strain.  And then, yesterday, it all clicked.  They looked like a different team.  They looked like…winners.  And winning literally changes the way you look!

And then I read this fascinating article, Without Star, Often Broadway Shows Can’t Go On by Patrick Healy, in the New York Times.  Consider these opening paragraphs:

To understand why the hit Broadway musical “Promises, Promises” will close after just nine months, gaze up at the show’s giant billboard over Times Square. There are the smiling faces of Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth, stars who are the chief reasons the show usually grosses $1 million a week.

The producers built the $9 million revival of “Promises” as a vehicle for Mr. Hayes and Ms. Chenoweth — so much so, they now contend, that the actors have become irreplaceable, and the show will close in January when they leave.

Winning in business works the same way.  If your company, your department, you, are on a losing streak, you don’t have to tell anyone.  They can see it in your demeanor.

And if you are on a winning streak, you don’t have to tell anyone.  They can see it in your demeanor.

And it really helps to have the right stars (the right people, doing the right jobs – the jobs they were born to, trained to, feel “called to,” perform) in the right places.  And when you find a true star, he or she is really, really hard to replace.


You can purchase my synopsis of this Jack Welch book, Winning, with handout + audio, at our companion web site,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *