For decades, the presenters would say, "And the winner is..." before the big reveal. But some years ago, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided that the phrase implied that everyone who didn't take home a statuette was a loser. That's why presenters now say, "And the Oscar goes to..."
We're dealing with adults, not kindergarteners. Why should this matter? In my upcoming new book, I spend a great deal of time discussing the redefinition of the concept of "winning" as it applies to team performance. The same question applies to the Oscars. Is the winner just the person who receives an award or reaches the highest sales figure?
To me, anyone who, through his or her performance, fulfills his or her full potential in a way that also inspires others is a winner. It might sound like I'm rewarding just showing up, but I'm not. I'm simply suggesting that excellence does not always result in a trophy or a banquet, but that doesn't make it less excellent.
What's the definition of winning in your organization?