Why being prepared to win at all costs is not always a good thing !!!

I have met a number of people particularly in business and especially sales, who claimed that they were prepared to “do anything to win”. Mostly they were people I didn’t like.

When I was 12 years old, every pupil in my school had to participate in a boxing tournament. I was the smallest in my year and was matched in the first round against my best friend Giles. He was the tallest in our group and by far the most strongly built in our class. I am not sure what perversion the teacher who paired us up suffered from, since we were obviously grossly mismatched.

As a close friend, I was sure that Giles wouldn’t want to hurt me, so I made a pact with him that neither of us would hurt the other. He didn’t need to make the pact since he could have beaten the crap out of me anyway, but he was a very nice guy and readily agreed to my non agression terms.

The bell rang and as I moved toward Giles, with my guard up, trying to look as unmenacing as I could, I got this overwhelming urge to win the match. I knew I would only get one shot at it. With all my might, I punched him as hard as I could on the end of his nose. He looked shocked at my duplicity, but he didn’t crash to the ground unconscious.

Giles won the fight and I got the beating I deserved.

We lost touch for about 40 years but have been recently reunited via Facebook. We haven’t discussed the boxing incident, and I suspect he may not even remember it.

Anyway for me the moral of the story is that just because you are prepared to win at any cost doesn’t mean that you will win, and the consequences of trying to win in unethical ways may be dire.

Tony

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