Real estate can be an unforgiving, brutal and competitive game of the last man or woman standing.
But has this model run its course and lost its zeal?
Is there another way of winning and losing emerging?
It has been said that winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing, and nobody remembers second place.
Or, as the famous Michael Jordan espoused, “There is no I in team, but there is in win”.
These sayings are throwback quotes to a time when winning was all that mattered in life and business and encompassed pure domination, whatever it takes attitude.
Losing, or failure, was a veritable mark against your character, condemning you to the abyss of self-condemnation and loser land forever.
From an early age, this societal conditioning has left us measuring winning only by outcomes, not moments, by ambition, not meaning, and by comparison, not contribution.
The outfall of this over-competitive, striving and never arriving, win at all costs culture has impacted all aspects of our lives in many negative ways.
Our health, relationships, parenting, businesses, and team culture have suffered and stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout have become the norm.
A recent Development Dimensions International global study of 15,000 leaders and 2100 human resources professionals across 1700 organisations, 50 countries, and 24 industry sectors found that one of the top global leadership megatrends for leaders was managing burnout and wellbeing.
At a global level, our planet is in ruins, the world in many places is at war, and poverty and homelessness are rife.
This leaves many wondering what the value of a society is based on just winning and losing. Surely there is a better way?
Surely, we can find a way to coexist through equality and acceptance and harness both the practical outworkings of winning and losing.
Winning and losing as concepts are not inherently bad; our application has skewed the narrative.
Yes, the construct of winning and losing is etched into our DNA; it’s part of the survival of the species’ evolutionary matrix.
Yet this model we aspire to around winning seems to alienate and separate us rather than unite and heal us.
“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” – Alan Watts.
So, how does all this fit in with the hustle and bustle of real estate?
An industry all about winning and losing. An industry steeped in ambition and competition.
But also, an industry, as research tells us, that is suffering greatly and is in trouble when it comes to the impacts of the old winning and losing model of business.
If you fast forward to our overzealous ‘every kid gets a trophy’ era and winning and losing are slowly taking on totally different meanings.
The gladiatorial bravado, separatist, winner takes all, view of winning and losing is waning and in its place is a more well balanced “everyone’s a winner baby” catch cry.
Winning has become a more inclusive – we, not me – experience as collaboration, not just competition, defines it.
A new paradigm has emerged, and winning has become less important than the journey to get there.
Losing also has taken on a deeper experience than just loss and is touted as an opportunity to learn.
Failure is now feedback, as they say.
And finally, something from Ash Barty’s Instagram post when she announced her tennis retirement.
She commented on how her perspective shifted after winning Wimbledon.
She realised that her happiness wasn’t dependent on the results, the money or the status that winning provided her.
Her measure of success was not based on whether she won or lost. Instead, her success depended on whether she gave everything she could.