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Lessons from the Road: What a Little Brown Bird Taught me about Winning

Before my flight to Austin last week, I was sitting inside the Jet Blue terminal at JFK  airport and a little brown bird flew and landed ten feet in front of me. The bird had spotted some kind of large nut lying on the ground that it wanted to eat.
The nut was too large for the bird to swallow much less grab with its beak, so it started pecking at the nut. The bird worked hard until the nut cracked into three pieces. But cracking the nut was not the bird’s main objective. The bird started biting at each piece of the nut until it was small enough to chew and swallow. It wasn’t easy biting at each piece of the nut. Smaller pieces were flying in different directions but the bird kept at it and finally ate the entire nut.
That bird was on a mission, a mission to complete his objective, a mission to win.
If that tiny little bird can find a way to win, so can I. But what does it mean to win in the grand scheme of things? What does it mean beyond a little brown bird inside an airport?
Winning is:
  • Persistent
  • Always looking for solutions
  • Willing to take on big challenges
  • Taming the negative voices inside your head
  • Standing up for yourself
  • Standing up for what is right
  • Working within the rulebook to make the rules fit the game you want to play
  • A phenomenon that can lie inside gray areas… until your decision negatively affects someone else—then it’s a black and white situation
  • Patient but not complacent
  • Not a diva
  • Not something that makes you better than anyone else
  • Something that enables you to empower others to win
  • Willing to fail
  • Needing to learn from a failure
  • Earning trust
  • Often different than what you envisioned
  • Following through on a promise
  • Relentless
Winning above all is finding a way to lasso the word “impossible” from the heavens, bring it down to earth, tame it, and make it possible.

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