Are success and victory the same thing? No, believes longtime head coach of UCLA woman’s gymnastics team Valorie Kondos Field who retired recently.
Valorie, who won multiple championships in her career, spoke about our obsession with winning, in a Ted Talk. “In our schools, in our businesses, in politics, winning at all cost has become acceptable. As a society, we honour the people at the top of the pyramid. We effusively applaud those people who win championships and elections and awards. But sadly, quite often, those same people are leaving their institutions as damaged human beings,” she said.
We need to redefine success, Valorie asserted. “Real success is developing champions in life for our world, win or lose.” She went on to cite examples from her coaching methods to show how to help people achieve success.
“As parents, as coaches, as leaders, we can no longer lead from a place where winning is our only metric of success, where our ego sits centrestage, because it has been proven that that process produces broken human beings. And I emphatically know that it is absolutely possible to produce and train champions in life in every single walk of life without compromising the human spirit,” the retired head coach expressed.