Chapter 2. Define Winning

In Chapter 1, "Why We Lose," we discussed why companies lose—what a downer! Let's move on and talk about winning. Everyone likes winning. Like sports teams, businesses that compete in markets strive to win. Winning ultimately boils down to profits and profit growth. Companies that win in one period of business operations have more profits to reinvest and, hopefully, win again. This is how successful companies are built. Win. Reinvest. Grow. Repeat.

Now for a sobering reality check. In the game of winning with customers there are others: competitors. They are also making decisions and investments to win in the same markets with the same customers. Everyone is striving for the winning strategy and the winning plays. It is not an easy game. There are smart people playing the game and the stakes are high. When you win at this game, your company grows, new people are hired, and you move up in the organization. You make more money and send your kids to college, the community prospers, new investments are made, and customers benefit from your new investments. These are the dreams and aspirations every one of us who entered business had in the beginning and hopefully still possess today.

We have developed a winning strategy and a few plays that have helped others to win. We spend the rest of the book focusing on these winning plays, so no more loser talk. We develop the plays with you through the rest of this chapter as well as Chapter 3, "The Playbook." Then we ...

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