On The Path Of Winners
By Bayo Ogunmupe
Profile of the Double Winner
WHAT is a winner? Most of us identify a winner as one who has it all-good looks, talent, wealth, power and popularity. However, this article will show us that it’s not the externals that make people winners, but the attitudes, values and qualities within, that determines success. Here, we shall demonstrate how we can gain what it takes to excel in every human endeavour.
Real winners know that we get ahead, not just by looking out for Number One and working against others, but working with them. Here we shall show our teeming job-seekers and Olympic stars that winning can be more rewarding, meaningful and easier than we ever dreamed. We just summed up the meaning of winning. But what about Double Win? We will discuss double win, many people look at it with suspicion. How can both sides win? Isn’t life a game of winners and losers? But I don't think it is a winner takes all world. Though the win-lose approach has been around before Jesus was born, there is yet another-way. It is called win-win, the Double Win. And it works.
The old laws of winning, is but a simple matter of the survival of the fittest. For every winner there must be a loser. To win means you must have both money and influence. The concepts of winning and serving are incompatible with modern-day realities. Slogans like,” Winning isn’t everything; it is the only thing,” are juvenile locker room mania. For some however, winning is just getting through the week without getting killed. You earn your money, take what is left after tax and try to find pleasure on the weekends. Winning is simply surviving in this terrible world.
All of this is a reflection of the dominant view point on winning and success in our culture. This philosophy says power is god and competition and comparison are its prophets.
The extreme popularity of this view of winning can be labeled simply win-lose system of success. To the victors belong the spoils, the headlines and the prestige. But this win-lose approach breeds the concept of invidious comparisons, of titles and postures.
Indeed, the idea of being Numero uno is attractive. So is the idea of success. Given the choice, anyone would rather succeed than fail. In defence of success stories, they contain a great deal of sense, and the practical realism that help you take greater responsibility for your own actions. Those of us who seek to tell people how to succeed believe there is a lot to be said exhorting you to take charge of your life and making personal decisions, instead of you just floating with the tide like a victim or at best as a disinterested life spectator.
The win-lose world is obsolete. While corporate managers are guided by an ethic of competition, of winning the game of product marketing, heroes by contrast are driven by an ethic of creation, creating gadgets to relieve man of the pains of living. This creates more tolerance for risk-taking, this greater innovation, greater persistence for tangible goals ahead. Therefore the idea of the Double Win is a concept that is long overdue. Just what then is Double Win? Briefly, it is if I help you win, I win, too. This means, by helping others get what they want, you win also. For the true winners in life get what they want by helping others get what they want. In Double Win, independence is replaced by interdependence. We must face the fact that as individuals, we are a vital but single organs of a larger body of human beings that inhabit this planet. There are too many people, too few resources and too delicate a balance between nature and technology, to produce winners in isolation today. As individuals in today’s world, we cannot succeed or survive for long without others.
Thus, let us be all we can be. But competition isn’t the problem. Competition, be it in the marketplace, polling station or at the playground, sharpens skills, exposes shoddy efforts, stands guard against gorging and greed and motivates us to be the best we can be. What is missing in today’s win-lose society is the spirit of cooperation and creativity and the feeling of the importance of helping everyone develop his great human potential.
A brief look at history shows the Olympic Games were founded on “the be all you can be” principle, not “get all the Gold you can.” The first Olympiad was held in 776 B.C. The first personalities we know as winners were the athletes who won victories in these games. Recognizing the unity of spirit, nature, body, and mind, the Greeks created the Olympiad in celebration of the harmony of the cosmos. They saw the Games as much more than mere athletic competition. Their Olympic athletes were trained by coaches, scholars, physicians and clergy, not only in sports but in religion, the arts, politics philosophy and music. Athletics were just one form of Olympic competition. There were also, musical, theatrical and artistic events to regale the public and for the participants – means of expressing individual and team excellence. The ancient Olympics flourished until Rome conquered Greece in 146 B.C. Roman indifference and corruption led to the abolishment of the Games in 393 A.D.
When Baron Pierre de Coubertin mooted reviving the Olympics in Athens in 1896, he was inspired by the original principles that had fostered the Games in the first place: the value of the whole man, spirit body and mind; the belief in individual freedom and merit; consciousness of our collective responsibility to each other; and an acceptance of our democratic right to participate in public affairs.
Our champion this week is Billings learned Hand (1872-1961) the American jurist whose tough and profound mind, philosophical skepticism and faith in the United States were employed throughout his record tenure as federal judge (52 years from April 1909, until his death in 1961). Though never a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, he is considered to have been a greater judge than all but a few of those who have sat on the highest U.S. Court.
At Harvard, Hand studied philosophy under William James, Josiah Royce and George Santayana. He then studied law. Thereafter he practiced law at Albany and New York City. In 1909 he was appointed a federal judge in New York. In 1924 he was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals in New York, Connecticut and Vermont. From 1939, he served as chief judge. He sat in many cases after his official retirement in 1951.
Because Supreme Court justices disqualified themselves, Hand’s court rendered the final decision (1945) in a major antitrust suit against the Aluminum Company of America, a.k.a the Alcoa case. After a trial lasting four years, Hand wrote for the Court an opinion rejecting the “rule of reason” that the Supreme Court had applied in antitrust cases since 1911. He ruled that evidence of greed or lust for power was inessential; monopoly itself was unlawful, even though it might result from otherwise unobjectionable business practices. In his view “Congress did not condone good trusts and condemn bad ones; it forbade all.”
In 1950, Hand sustained the conviction of 11 American Communist Party leaders on Smith Act charges of conspiracy to teach and advocate the overthrow of the government. His reasoning was adopted by Chief Justice Fred Vinson when the Supreme Court also upheld the convictions. In a later case, (Yates v. U.S., 1957) the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren considerably restricted the application of the Smith Act. A collection of Hand’s papers was edited as The Spirit of Liberty (1952) by Irving Dillard. Hershel Shanks selected 43 opinions of Hand for The Art and Craft of Judging (1968).