Nobody wants to lose—and nobody wants to hire a loser. We want to win. So we must build a culture of victors, not victims. Culture is defined by where your collective employees fall in their beliefs. If you have mostly victims, you have a victim (losing) culture. If you have mostly victors, you have a victor (winning) culture. Our beliefs create both types of cultures, but with the right tools, you can build a victor culture.

Our beliefs drive our behavior. People who believe they alone are responsible for their success engage in behaviors that reflect that belief. If they see an opportunity for improvement in their department’s processes, they’ll take initiative to make the changes. If they’re in sales, for example, they’ll make cold calls and personally clean their communities and model homes when they see a need. On the other hand, if they believe that circumstances control their success, they’ll wait for things to change and complain when circumstances aren’t perfect. Their numbers will plateau, as will their effort. The former mindset is that of a victor and the latter is that of a victim. Victims blame others, while victors take ownership. The culture of an organization is made up of the average of where its people fall on this belief.

Victim mindsets attribute success to good luck: “I got so lucky on that idea.” Or “the sales gods smiled upon me this week.” Victim mindsets celebrate the final result, regardless of the process. For example, salespeople will think about the numbers without worrying about providing the best experience. Victim mindsets cripple people—making it seem that results have nothing to do with our efforts. If you or your team find yourselves giving into a victim mindset, work on correcting the behavior by adopting a victor mindset right then and there! Change the language, change the beliefs, and change the results!

If we want our organization to blow past the competition and exceed even our own expectations, we must start with people’s beliefs. Believing like a victor takes away all limits. If we can change what people believe, we can change how they behave. Beliefs drive emotions, emotions drive behaviors, and behaviors drive results. We are products of what we’ve been taught and what we’ve experienced. So we must retrain team members to believe they can succeed, no matter what happens on a particular day. A victor mindset says, "I focused on the sales process and moving my customer forward. I gave my clients the best experience possible, and I know that effort will pay off.” This mindset celebrates the process, even if it hasn’t yet resulted in a sale. This starts with celebrating the wins that aren’t always obvious—a new prospect, a returned phone call, an encouraging lead. When we focus on where we have control, we build confidence. This mindset teaches us to believe we are victors—day in and day out and not just on the “big” days. Share your war stories on how you’ve moved sales forward in the process and encourage your teammates to do the same. In addition to learning from each other, you’ll be energized by the love of selling, rather than just the sale itself.

Sometimes organizations falsely believe their strategy (brand promise, vision, and mission of how they’re going to accomplish their goals) should take first priority. But culture eats strategy for lunch. We can’t do anything inconsistent from what we believe. So, regardless of your strategy or what you’re telling people to do, your culture will always dictate your organization’s growth. Build a victor culture where each person believes they can contribute to the organization’s success, where they celebrate the small and the big wins and look for opportunities to take ownership. Then everyone’s a winner.