Impact of Winning Culture

Nowhere do we see clearer impacts of Winning Culture than in sport, and this week we had a great example, which i thought i would share for discussion.

Reading played Arsenal in the League Cup.

Reading have not won a league game this season.  They have played Arsenal 10 times, in recent years, and have lost on each occasion.

Arsenal, although one of the better teams in the league, had selected a what would be considered a 2nd string team with only 4 regulars starting the game.

Within 37 minutes Reading were leading 4-0, which was an unbelievable score, they played fantastically and took their chances well, at this point many Arsenal fans were dreading the worst and were looking at a heavy defeat.

One minute before the end of the first half Arsenal scored a consolation goal nothing more, they were now going into the break 4-1 down, with little to no chance of winning.

I saw the interview with the Reading manager and his comments were unbelievable, he said “at 4-1 i felt worried”.

Look at the body language of the manager.

The Reading manager had a complete lack of belief that his team could win, his lack of Winning Culture created doubt in his mind, where there should have been none 4-0 is a great lead, and when the score became 4-1 you could see that he was visibly worried.

How does a manager conduct a team talk, when he has no belief in them, no belief that they can win. How does he stop them from seeing that, feeling that, and then starting to doubt themselves.

Reading had a Losing Culture, and now this was starting to come out.

Mid way through second half, Arsenal scored again to make the score 4-2,and thats the way it remained until the final few minutes.

But with just 2 minutes to go, and Reading still leading 4-2, Arsenal scored twice more, to make the scores level at 4-4.

From here the game went into Extra time, where ultimately Arsenal won the game 5-7 having come back from 4-0 down.

Arsenal had faith in their ability to come back, they do have a more of a Winning Culture.

But the bigger impact came from Reading, where they lacked Winning Culture, where even though they were in a commanding position they lacked the self belief, created doubt, and ultimately lost the game.

When you have a Winning Culture, you expect to win and will continue until the very last minute, expecting that you will find a way to win, to score the goals needed.

When you don’t have a Winning Culture, and probably have a Losing Culture, you will not expect to win, you will expect something to happen that will take the game away from you, and when you finally go behind you will give up, as you never expected to win.

This is why its important to create a Winning Culture, to get people use to winning, to expect to win, because it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.