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You can’t win them all – the art of moving on June 4, 2014

You can't win them all - the art of moving on

The facts of life are that no situation or hand you get dealt is ever perfect.  In our work and personal environments there will always be deficiencies, imperfect situations; “hot” issues that will literally make the blood boil or frustrate your attempts to introduce important change, recruit a critical resource, thwart a significant purchase, win over an influential client or even satisfy a customer.

How do you deal with the obstacles that get in the way of achieving these things?

Three people each taught me a very simple lesson in life.  The first one was Ron Edwards, my Industrial Relations teacher at university, who went on to be deputy speaker in the lower house of the Hawke Government. His key message was “understand that you are never going to win them all.”   The second was Craig Coleman, ex-managing director of Home Building Society and now chairman of ASX company Rubik Financial Limited.  His key message was “understand and accept the hand you’ve been dealt, be positive and work with it.”  The third was Damian Green, a creative agency Account Manager and fitness fanatic who boundary umpired more than 250 WAFL / AFL games.  At the age of 51 he had a serious heart attack and was actually given the last rites at his hospital bed.  Amazingly he survived and his brush with death completely changed his way of life.  His key message was “relax, have fun and don’t worry about the millions of little things that in the big picture really don’t matter.”  

These lessons have been an important guide for me in my work and personal life. 

In regards to “you can’t win them all”, the facts are:

  • Boards and management are never going to approve every single proposal that you submit to them.  Accept that and move on, as long as you’re confident you’ve put your very best proposal forward;
  • 5% of all customers will never be satisfied, no matter what you do, say or provide.  That’s the reality of the make-up of human beings.  Accept that and move on, as long as you’re absolutely sure you’ve done your very best to satisfy them;
  • You will never get a “green light” every time.  Red lights are here to stay.  Accept that, relax and stay positive.  The light will always turn green – eventually.
  • Your sporting team will not win every game.  They never have and never will. Accept that, stay positive and wait for the next week, year or decade!
  • You will never satisfy all of your in-laws all of the time.  Accept that, stay positive and move on.

In regards to “accept the hand you’ve been dealt”, the facts are:

  • No IT software / system is ever going to meet all of your expectations and most businesses don’t have idle capital available to invest in providing all of the improvements you want.  Accept that, keep positive and find a way to work with what you’ve been provided;
  • We won’t always get the total expenditure budget we want to work with.  Accept that, manage stakeholder expectations and learn to work with the budget you’ve been allowed;
  • God gave us our physical and intellectual attributes.  In most cases we can’t change them.  It’s sometimes very hard, but try to accept that, stay positive, have fun and find ways to enjoy life’s gifts.

There are literally millions of “little things” in life that are imperfect but in reality they are really not important, accept that, relax, move on and have fun.  

I believe all of us want to achieve, both at work and in our personal lives.  No matter what field of employment or family situation we are in, most of us strive for job satisfaction, success, recognition and a sense of fulfillment and happiness.   In reality it’s all about what makes life enjoyable, nothing more, nothing less. 

Until next time.

Terry Jones
Marketing Manager  


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