Winners Own the Outcome Instead of Blaming Others & Circumstances When They Lose

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Last week was no fun.

It was heartbreaking to see Purdue (our son’s school) bow out of the NCAA tournament early (yet again), this time to #16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson. It was the third year in a row they were upset by an inferior team, but this time was the most painful because as a #1 seed our expectations were high. As I tweeted last week, I think I’m done giving my heart to sports teams; it just hurts too much. 

Speaking of hurt, I experienced some serious pain earlier in the week having a lost a nice deal that I expected to win. I tell part of the story in my latest podcast episode. This one stung. It’s been a long, long time since I didn’t win a piece of business that I really wanted and I had forgotten how much I hate losing!

After venting for a full 24 hours, I started to deconstruct the sales opportunity and conducted my own little post-mortem analysis. As I shared in the episode, I let my internal champion’s excitement cloud my judgment, and despite my gut feeling that it was moving too fast and that I should have been engaging the senior executive (not just my contact and the VP of Sales with whom I was in regular communication), I did not do that and simply let the process play out. In the end, the senior executive decided to do something completely different, and my deal, which I was certain would close, evaporated in an instant.

At first, I was shocked and it was easy (in my mind) to point fingers at others for why this deal went south. But after a day I came to my senses and accepted the fact that I could have, and should have, done more. I finally said to myself out loud, “this is on me; my bad.” Because sales friends, This. Is. The. Truth:

Winners take ownership of the outcome (exhibiting internal locus of control) instead of playing the victim and blaming others and circumstances when they lose.

I am hopeful that this short story and my transparency (and my pain) is of benefit to you or your sales team. 

Here’s to great selling as we put the wraps on Q1!

To More New Sales,


Reminder: The next Supercharge Your Sales Leadership Event takes place May 3rd at The Porsche Experience Center adjacent to the Atlanta Airport. All previous ten events have sold out. Get more info and register at to join Mike and 50 driven sales leaders for this powerful experience!

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