html style=""> Living On Purpose - The Power and Importance of Relationships!

ISSUE 167 ISSN 1712-468


Most people would rather be certain they're miserable than risk being happy.

Robert Anthony

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This Week's Inspiration

Playing Not to Lose is Not a Winning Strategy!

Calculated Risk: A chance taken after careful estimation of the probable outcome; this term uses calculated in the sense of "planned with forethought," a usage from the mid-1800s. Its pairing with risk dates from World War II, when the chances for losing bombers were taken into account before a bombing mission was sent out. After the War, the term was transferred to other undertakings where taking a chance to succeed had to be weighed against the costs of failure.

With today s uncertainties, many individuals are frozen with fear and choose to sit on the sidelines rather than risk anything but that approach is risky in itself! 

We see it in sports all the time. The team that was aggressive and winning the game backs off into a defensive posture to hold off their opponents, only to lose because they stopped doing what got them ahead aggressive and offensive tactics. 

Sales and business development professionals who try not to lose business by moving into a protective conservative mode see their businesses contract instead of grow. 

There are only two directions in life up and down. Which path are you on?  

Recently, I was reminded of those choices in my own life and business. Enjoying my profession for 23 years and committed to continuous learning every month, I asked myself, Ken, when was the last time you pushed beyond your own comfort zone and knowledge? When was the last time you REALLY had to stretch to overcome fear and take calculated risks? 

So this year I took a full-blown coaching certification program using a methodology different from what I have used in my 10,000+ hours of coaching and consulting. It has been refreshing to see that learning experience stretch me into a more developed professional.

Also last month, while contributing to a conference in Palm Springs, I took a full day of sales training, even though that is one of my specialties and areas of expertise. The trainer, who was very good, brought fresh perspectives and information that has added more value to me and to the work we do here at CRG.  

On the personal side, last week my family spent some time in Whistler, BC home to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Whistler happens to have a bungee-jumping bridge. I surprised my teenage kids with tickets for the three of us. At first, while preparing for my first-time jump and being harnessed up, I was quietly confident in the process, but I admit that once I was standing on the jump-ledge 150 feet above the fast-flowing river every nerve in my body said, Hey, are you crazy???!!!

At that moment, I had a choice freeze and retreat to the comfort of the bridge deck or in spite of the emotional wave of fear jump anyway! Well, I made it, though my heart has never pounded that fast before. :&

Of course the bungee jump is a metaphor for our lives and the things we choose to engage or not. I am not talking about betting the farm and losing everything; I am challenging each of us to stretch to take more calculated risks. The bungee company with whom I jumped has a perfect safety record and the staff double-checked all safety equipment before each person was permitted to jump, so where was the risk? Many things you consider risky are not risky at all. You are simply playing not to lose, rather than playing to win.

One example of playing to lose versus taking a risk to reap a reward is how people are told to check with their doctor before they start exercising. We have developed a warped belief system that exercise is a risky activity. Many of those same people will eat a fat-filled, 2000-calorie triple-burger with fries and wash it down with sugar-drenched pop. Did they check with their doctor first? Isn t something wrong with that picture? Obviously, we need to use common sense if we start working out after a sedentary lifestyle, but surely you see the irony.

Where have you played not to lose rather than playing to win?

Review the Action Steps to confirm possible ways you can shift from playing not to lose to playing to win while taking calculated risks.  

Special Invitation for You to Join Me Online

As many of you know, Social Media has become the hub for communications and connections.

To enhance our relationship, I would like to invite each of you to connect with me on my LinkedIn account. I accept every invitation since you are already on our contact list.

Follow me on Twitter.!/crgleader

Each day I share personal and professional development strategies and thoughts to help others live, lead, and work On Purpose! Retweet whatever you find valuable for others.

See you online!

Thanks in advance for connecting,

Ken Keis

This Week's Action Steps

Playing Not to Lose is Not a Winning Strategy!


  1. Upon reflection, where in your life are you playing to lose rather than playing to win? Think of both personal and business examples and list them as they come to you.

  2. For each of your examples, why do you think you have been playing to lose rather than playing to win? What belief systems have been hindering you or controlling you?

  3. What do you have to shift how can you revamp your thinking to play to win? Who can help you establish a new mindset?

  4. To play to win, you must know yourself. Complete CRG s Values Preference Indicator (VPI) and the Personal Style Indicator (PSI) to get to know yourself better . . . so you can play to win!

  5. Read Why Aren t You More Like Me?"!. It provides a roadmap for understanding yourself and others. You will learn about your natural tolerance for risk and be better able to play to your strengths.

  6. If you knew you would not fail, what would you do differently? Calculated risk means the reward outweighs the potential cost!

  7. I want you to take a moment to focus on just one item on your list. First, relax and clear your mind. Envision you are playing full-out to win. What emotions arise when you see you are accomplishing your goal? Now magnify those emotions 100 times and see yourself being successful! 

  8. Only those who play to win can make a difference in their life and the lives of others. Choose, this very moment, to become one of them!


Until next time, keep Living On Purpose.

Ken Keis

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