Keep calm and win again

November 9, 2012 — Deja un comentario

No, success is something I don´t wish on anybody. It´s like what happens to mountain climbers; they kill themselves to get to the top and when they get there, what do they do? Climb down, or try to do so, discreetly, with as much dignity as possible. - Gabriel García Márquez

The Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi was held on Sunday November 4. The final podium was conformed by Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. If we look at the drivers’ championship to this date, this result is not surprising. However, if we look at the career development, the final positions could seem bewildering. How could such a result have occurred? Only these drivers seem to be able to accomplish a feat of this magnitude: the first one of them, winning with a less developed Lotus vehicle, the second starting sixth with a F2012 which in recent competitions does not meet his demands and the third, with all the opponents in front of him.
But is this really surprising? Honestly, no.
The reason for this deduction is based on the existence of an archetypal behavior which explains how a success can explain a new future success: the success of the successful.

Success to the Successful archetype

In this archetype there is competition between two or more actors who share a given limited resource among themselves, from the results achieved in the first instance, and then reuse this resource to generate a new competitive advantage with a direct result on the next competition. Thus, one who achieved the first victory has an advantage that may favor him in the next instance, with a forecast in his favor that, if carried out, will then extend his advantage, gaining momentum advantage at the expense of the other competitors.

To better understand this behavior we can rely on the following article which lists ten reasons justifying it, carried to the field of sports. Listed are some aspects such as the morale and self-determination, more difficult to quantify; but are also other factors, such as the press, the continuity and the invitation to best practices, reinforcing the theory of success.

Is this always the case? Clearly, not. In response, there is another article which warns of the possibility of falling into the obsession of success. In short, the author stresses the importance of not evaluating success by the success in itself, but to find ways to measure not only focused on the outcome. If so, would pose a possible solution to this archetype, avoiding entering the success to the successful behavior (and the consequent failure of failure).

What other options exist to overcome this vicious circle?
The best response is to always stay one step ahead: be proactive and take the initiative to carry out all necessary action to achieve a significant advantage over the competition. This means acting big.
Finally, the definitive way to avoid entering a bond of this type is to leverage on oneself: in order to have control over the desired success, and to escape from result-determining performances, it is necessary to start with a good attitude, and work in this internal communication, as described in this latter publication.

As a final conclusion, we can say that this type of behavior can be expected in any circumstances in which you compete for a common resource and that, if sustained, can be very detrimental to any of those affected and, ultimately, for the overall system. It is your own responsability to depart from this model with  cooperation and a global goal as the best solution in the long run.

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