Just win, baby...but what does it mean to win?

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. David Schmidt
  • 18th Wing Inspector General
Politicians, executives, and coaches all talk about it, you can buy books about it, and motivational speakers make money teaching you how to do it. What is it, you ask? 

Winning! Recently, Tiger Woods joined the legions of pundits touting the positive effects of winning when approached about the FedEx Cup standings. When asked what he needed to do at the next tournament, he stated, "Winning takes care of everything, so you don't have to worry about it if you win." 

What does it mean to win? As I looked up the definition in Webster's (old school, I know), part of the definition was to be victorious. Victory is defined partly as "achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties." At this point most of you are probably thinking something like, "Thanks for the vocabulary lesson, what does this have to do with me?" 

All of us in today's military are facing "odds or difficulties" everyday. Whether constrained by a lack of training, equipment or personnel to accomplish the tasks required of you and or your unit, everyone in today's military faces a challenge. How great would it be if everyone was able to adopt Al Davis's mindset of, "Just win baby!" Instead of focusing on the negatives, look at what you have available to you and do your best to win with it! This applies across the gamut of human daily experiences. 

Your next promotion, win it! Know your job better than anyone else, study your PME more than anyone else, and volunteer more than anyone else. If everyone worked to win everyday, all of us would be able to work less to win as a group. Do you work in customer service? Work to win the customer, be the "go to" person who helps people resolve their issues. Are you a maintainer? Work to be the crew chief whose jet is always ready and follows the technical orders religiously and still gets it done faster and better than any other crew chief. Are you in civil enigeering, contracting or finance? The 18th Wing just "won" the end of year funding battle because warriors in each of these organizations went the extra mile to be ready to execute. What does that mean to you? Almost $20 million in improvements for Team Kadena, best in Pacific Air Force! 

So let's take control of our lives, stop looking at what we don't have and try to win with what we do have. In the words of the immortal Vince Lombardi, "Winning is not a sometime thing. You don't win once in a while. You don't do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time." And the rest will take care of itself!