Weekly Thoughts


The Little Things

How to lose a fight

We’ll admit that we are not UFC fans.  We are, however, fans of anyone who excels in their chosen craft, so we thoroughly enjoyed watching McGregor Forever, Netflix’s recent documentary on Conor McGregor, a longstanding UFC Irish superstar.  For those unfamiliar, McGregor is a colorful (and somewhat controversial) character, and while we’re pretty sure he would not screen well on Chenmark’s “team first” mentality, we do admire his passion, drive, and sheer will to win.  

In the documentary, he also showed some moments of profound self-reflection.  For instance, after he lost a fight against his rival, he noted that while technically he did all the work asked of him while in the gym, he “lost” the match with his actions outside of the gym.  From the documentary: 

Set a time to train, train at that time. 
Set a time to go to sleep, go to sleep at that time. 
Set a time to get up, get up at that time. 
Don’t, don’t tell yourself you need to do something and then don’t do it…. 
…I was saying get up at this time. 
I didn’t get up at that time. 
Train at this time. 
I didn’t train at that time.
Don’t eat this. 
I ate that. 
Don’t drink that.
I drank it.
And these all just infiltrated my mental strength. 

Just little kind of defeats?

Exactly. Little defeats instead of wins and it just culminates into, ugh.

Ugh, indeed.  These small things seem so insignificant, until, well, they aren’t.  In business school, we took a class called Managing Change with Rosabeth Moss Kanter.  Kanter made a compelling case that all positive organizational momentum starts with finding ways to make small wins.  Simple things, like a new coat of paint in a shabby office, matter.  Kanter has said publicly“I’ve found that small wins, small projects, small differences often make huge differences.”  On the flip side, small losses, which are easy to dismiss, chip away at confidence and morale, and over time, build negative momentum that impairs the core of a business. 

Whether we realize it or not, every decision we make is, in some small way, either contributing to our goals or detracting from them.  McGregor’s reflections are a good reminder that excellence is not just doing what is prescribed.  It’s about authentically living a lifestyle that reinforces our goals.  If we do that, the scoreboard will take care of itself. 

Have a great week,

Your Chenmark Team

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