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Are you winning or leading?

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Are you winning or leading?

If you have owned your own business or jumped up the corporate ladder, you know something about achieving goals. In all likelihood, you’re a high achiever.

As a high achiever, you’ve got a track record for understanding how goal attainment works. For example, most high achievers know that to “win”, there are three best practices.

  1. Set a goal.

  2. Prioritize the most important actions to achieve it.

  3. Do everything it takes to get it done!

Leaders, on the other hand, think about what it takes to get the entire team to win, not just a select few.

Each person shows up with different levels of motivation, commitment and skill. Their ability to contribute varies, depending on what is being asked of them.

When you understand what drives “winning”, you’re in a better position to inspire success at all levels.

Dr. Richard Young, Olympic coach and silver medalist in his book, Simplify, points out, there is a difference between a best practice and what he refers to as a “principled practice”.

“Best practices are for yesterday.

A principled practice is for today and tomorrow.”

- Dr. Richard Young

1. For, example, goal setting is a best practice. We can look back and pinpoint a goal we've accomplished.

Writing down your goals, by comparison, is a principled practice. It impacts today and tomorrow by:

  • making us future focused

  • making it visible to influence our actions

  • makes it public to engage in support

According to the Harvard study, the 3% of a graduating class with written goals were earning ten times more than 97% of other graduates.

2. Another example might be a company scoreboard, a well-known best practice.

“Everyone plays better when they know the score.”

McChesney, Covey, Huling

Why is that? We all want to be part of a winning team. Think about the last time you jumped on the bandwagon when your NHL hometown team made it into the playoffs. You get swept up in the euphoria of the results.

The authors go on to describe the principled practice behind the scoreboard.

“Many believe that engagement drives results. So do we.

However, we now know and have witnessed consistently over the years,

is that results drive engagement.”

As you work to share best practices among team members, focus on the principle behind the practice. It helps avoid the common objection that "it's different for her" or "it's easier for him". A principled practice transcends individual or even team circumstances and makes it widely applicable to leading your entire team to success.

Points to Ponder

  1. Are your goals written down and in plain view for yourself and others?

  2. What is an example of a best practice you often call attention to?

  3. What is the principle behind it?

  4. How might that principle impact your teams' success today and tomorrow?

Enjoy leading the way!

PS If you need help leading your team, to help them communicate their value, check out our program for high performing travel advisors, Flying Colors Academy.


I'm thrilled to announce a new series exclusively for travel leaders. Each month I'll host an interactive session on topics that are most critical to your success.

The format will be conversational. I'm deeply curious about how we rethink strategies for growth. How will we set goals and expectations given so many unknown variables?

I've got a framework that might be useful for you to start thinking about how you'll set goals for yourself and your team.

I hope you can join me!

Geraldine Ree

Author, Performance Strategist

  • Join us for our Ree-Think Leadership Webinar on January 26th at 9:00 am PST, 12 pm ET. Register HERE!

  • I'm excited to share my new book, 10X My Travel Business with travel industry leaders If you are interested in getting copies for your team reach out HERE!

  • Get your copy of my new book 10X My Travel Business HERE!

  • If you are interested in my new leadership program on High Performing teams reach out to me by email at

  • If you know someone who would benefit from reading this newsletter please share!

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