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Develop a winning mindset today

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

In The Winning Mindset by Professor Damian Hughes, he suggests 5 key ways to improve our mindset, based on the teachings of sports.

It's a well established myth that various rock stars demand riders free of certain colour M&Ms. Usually the intent of the story is to illustrate the diva factor.

Would you have guessed at Van Halen being one of the offenders? Me either. This is one of the things I enjoyed most about this book.

Stories like this that teach something, but from an unexpected view point.

The M&M clause was written into the bands contract to serve a very specific purpose. It was called Article 126 and was buried in the middle of countless technical specifications. When Roth appeared at a new venue he would immediately walk backstage and glance at the M&M bowl. If he saw a brown M&M he'd demand a line check of the entire production.

In a nutshell, if the team managing the production had missed his 'tripwire' then the chances were there would be further errors to discover mid show.

About the Author

Now for a little about the author.

"Professor Damian Hughes combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisation and change psychology to work as a trusted advisor to business, education and sporting elite, specialising in the creation of high performance cultures" other titles include Liquid Thinking and How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson.

The five principles to develop a winning mindset are:

Professor Hughes bases his theory of how to develop a winning mindset on thousands of notes and observations from what he has studied. The five principles of developing a winning mindset are: Simplicity, Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, Practical, Storytelling. This neatly translates into the acronym STEPS, which is purely coincidental, he says tongue in cheek.

The purpose of this book is to help you create a winning mindset in yourself or in others.

  1. Simplicity - When trying to convey ideas, particularly in high impact situations, like a coach giving a pep talk during a time out, use simple easy concepts that go straight to the heart of what is needed at that time. Sound bites not necessary, but brevity is often key

  2. Thinking - For a culture of a winning mentality to endure we must generate interest and curiosity. Hughes explains that this can be achieved via laying tripwires ' or opening gaps in their knowledge', generating curiosity and then leading people to fill in the gap via their own learning.

  3. Emotions - How do we get people to care about our ideas? We make them feel something. Research shows people are more likely to make a donation to a charitable donation to a single individual than an organisation. We are wired to feel things for people not abstractions.

  4. Practical - How do we make our ideas clear? We must explain them in terms of human actions in terms of sensory information. This is why so many business communications go awry.

  5. Stories - How do we get people to act on our ideas? We tell stories. Coaches naturally swap stories after every coaching session and by doing so they multiply their experience.

Summary I found this book a great read. It contains a lot of biographical detail on many sporting greats, like Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Cus D'Amato (trainer of Mike Tyson) and Muhammad Ali, teaching us more about the techniques they favoured to encourage excellence.

It also has a lot of information on neurological science, recapping on The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters, among others. There are lots of exercises to help you take in what you have learned.

If you are the sort of person who enjoys thinking about how to improve yourself, stay motivated, and pass on what you have learned to a team then this book delivers. Thanks for reading


As well as reading books I have now written one of my own, read on for more info!

Would you like more help with your marketing? My new book is out now

If you would like a book of 100 Marketing Tips written just for small business owners then do have a look here. I wrote this book to be easy to read cover to cover or to be kept as a reference to dip in and out of!

What to read next

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About Me

Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in SE London.

Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.

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