Hunger Games?

Sunday, 08 November 2015 17:04
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A hunger for winning is a valuable character trait. It can also lead to questionable decision making.


In most competitive environments, the day usually goes to the person (or team) that is hungrier. That is, those who are more eager and are more willing to do what is necessary to achieve their desired objective tend to win more often than others. Being "hungry" can be integral to success. However, hunger can also lead to poor decisions, if it clouds judgment.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

Hunger Games?

Athletic coaches will often exhort their players to perform their best by asking them, "Who wants it more?" By this, the coach means which of the two teams has the greater desire to win? However, desire alone is often not sufficient to win the day. Ability is certainly also key. As is a healthy dose of self respect.

What do I mean by self respect, in this context? I mean: should a service provider seek to win business at any cost? Should he be willing to give away his services for free in order to earn a chance to win a new customer? Should he truly be that hungry for the business?

From a customer's perspective, they want their needs met with minimal risk or uncertainty. So, a service provider's mission should be to build the customer's confidence that he can do what is required without introducing risk or uncertainty. Failing this can impact the customer's decision making, including their choice of provider and the terms for engagement.

While the above is typically true, some customers also like to test service providers' hunger for their business by suggesting unfavorable terms. They'll hear some prospective clients say, "Do this work for free now, and it could lead to paid business later." Or, "You'll get paid once I get paid". Should a service provider take this bait?

If a service provider has a track record of relevant experience and accomplishments which are supportable by references and testimonials, he should avoid providing service on a free or a contingency basis, especially if these are not industry norms.

On the other hand, if one's experience is limited, or is less directly relevant and or applicable to the customer's challenge at-hand, some kind of accommodation or compromise may be necessary in order to win the business.

So, should a service provider be willing to give away his talents in order to earn new business? The answer depends very much upon the particulars of the given situation, including an honest assessment of his own relevant capabilities. While hunger can drive us, it can sometimes be wise to decline business opportunities that really aren't worthy of our time and our talents.

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