Finish Line Friday: What 2nd Place Teaches Us

xr-282[1]Last week I spoke about my love for winning.

Who doesn't like winning and the feeling of success it invokes in us?  But is it the best place?  Not always.  In fact, I'm going to argue today it isn't.

So let's talk about first place.  Let's face it, first place feels great. When is first place less than sexy?  When there's a clear winner.  Have you ever seen a match of any kind that was just a sheer blowout? Boring!  For me, it's about the sport to place, period.  As humans we like to see a good "fight", don't we?

So what can 2nd place teach us?  Here are two areas to explore.

1.  When You Aren't The Obvious Choice AKA "Runner Up"

In the Miss America pageant the runner-up plays a big role.  If Miss America cannot fulfill her duties as winner, her cohort gets the top spot.  Here are 9 reasons why being a runner-up doesn't hurt The moral of some of these stories?  Life happens and sometimes people who win the top spot didn't really earn it or did something to lose it.  Don't be afraid to win because someone else lost their spot!  It happens more than you would think.

However, nearly a half a dozen times in my life I went for something and wasn't the obvious choice.  Has that ever happened to you?  You signed up for something, perhaps didn't hear back or maybe you were told "no".  I once applied for a job in a different part of the business than my own.  What happened?  Nothing and life went on.  Then one day not too soon after that happened, the hiring manager called me asked me to come in to interview.  The candidate they interviewed and pursued for the role didn't work out.  Some would call this a defeat.  Not me.  I took the job and it provided me great experience for future assignments.

2.  When Your Strategy Needs Tweaking

You won’t win all of the time.  In fact, you will fail and lose a lot. I know, that’s scary, but that’s sports, business, money, and relationships. When you fail you increase your chances of success and ultimately winning because you are learning something new. Failure gives you the chance to tweak your playbook and practice again.  It also is a humbling opportunity to pause, reflect and get up and go again.  Second place gives you the opportunity to improve and go further than you ever thought you would.

What are you doing today to learn from 2nd place?  What actions do you need to take to become stronger and grab the top spot?

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