Have you ever thought about what separates the leaders who achieve victory from those who suffer defeat?
What does it take to be a winner?
It’s hard to put a finger on the quality that separates a winner from a loser. Every leadership situation is different. Every crisis has its own challenges. But victorious leaders share an inability to accept defeat. The alternative to winning seems totally unacceptable to them, so they figure out what must be done to achieve victory, and then they go after it with everything at their disposal.
That’s the LAW OF VICTORY!!
Crisis seems to bring out the best – and the worst – in leaders. But when the pressure is on, great leaders are at their best. Whatever is inside them comes to the surface and works for or against them.
In this chapter, John Maxwell shares several stories to illustrate Victory in Leadership, the story of Mandela always stands out.
When Nelson Mandela was elected as elected president of South Africa, it was a great victory for the people of that country, but it was a long time coming. The road to that victory was paved with twenty-seven years of Mandela’s own life spent in prison. Along the way, he did whatever it took to bring victory on step close. He joined the African National Congress, which became an out-lawed organisation. He staged peaceful protests. He went underground and travelled overseas to try to enlist support. When he needed to, he stood trail and accepted a prison sentence, with dignity and courage. And when the time was right, he negotiated changes in the environment with F.W. de Klerk. Today he is known for his commitment to bring lasting victory by trying to bring healing to his country.
Mandela once described himself as “an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances”. However Maxwell describes him as a leader made extraordinary because of the strength of his character and his determination to the LAW of VICTORY!
We see the Law of Victory in action everyday, especially at sporting events. Michael Jordan for example, is an individual who lives and breathes the Law of Victory. His biographer, Mitchell Krugel, says that Jordan’s tenacity and passion for victory are evident in every part of his life. He doesn’t dwell on mistakes. What’s important to him is what he can do to lead his team to victory in any basketball game they play. John Elway did it in football, leading his team to several victories in the NFL history. Pele did it in soccer, winning an unprecedented three World Cup for Brazil.
Good leaders always find a way for their teams to win. Here are three components of Victory. Whether you are looking at a sports team, an army, a business, or a nonprofit organisation, victory is possible as long as you have three components.
- UNITY OF VISION —Teams succeed only when the players have a unified vision, no matter how much talent or potential there is. A team doesn’t win the championship if it’s players have different agendas. It’s true in professional sports. It’s true in business. It’s true in churches.
- DIVERSITY OF SKILLS —Organizations require diverse talents to succeed, each player taking his part seriously and applying their minds to what they know how to do best.
- A LEADER DEDICATED TO VICTORY AND RAISING PLAYERS TO THEIR POTENTIAL — As much as you need diversity of skills, you also require leadership to achieve victory. Unity of vision doesn’t happen spontaneously. It takes a leader to make things happen; to make the right decisions on who should be on the team or who shouldn’t and most importantly, it takes a leader to provide the motivation, empowerment and direction required to win.
We’ll leave you with the questions asked at the end of the chapter and hope that you can provide an introspective evaluation of yourself.
What’s your level of expectation when it comes to succeeding in your organization? How dedicated are you to winning your game? Are you going to have the Law of Victory in your corner as you fight, or when times get difficult, are you going to throw in the towel? Your answer to that question may determine whether you fail or succeed as a leader.
Leaders who practice the Law of Victory have no Plan B. That keeps them fighting.