(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Any of these sound familiar?… “Nobody likes a quitter.” “Quitters never win and Winners never quit.” “She’s just a quitter, you know.” (Said scornfully.) Quitting is rarely thought of in positive terms. It’s generally viewed as some kind of character flaw.

While there are many accurate examples of quitting not being a good thing, it is an overstatement to say that quitting is universally bad.

One is that successful people — in the game, out there creating and trying every day — know that it’s best to stop doing something if it’s not working. But you already know that; you wouldn’t keep doing something if it’s not working, would you?

This distinction, however, is about another thing successful people know and that’s how to quit when they’re ahead. This is a much harder skill to master. It’s easy to get caught up in a winning streak and quit paying attention to what’s going on around you.

Has your market changed? Is a new form of technology about to obsolete your product or service? Do new, younger employees thrive in a different kind of environment than the one you’ve been providing? Is your job no longer interesting to you?

Building in a periodic review process is useful and can keep you fresh to try new things. And it can help you take your winnings on to your next endeavor.


Coaching Point: Is there some place you’re winning and it’s time to quit?


Copyright 2007 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.