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Silver Or Bronze


Which Is Better, A Silver Medal Or A Bronze?

I can already feel some of you backing-up. I must have really shaped some behaviors out there to be “suspect” of my newsletter titles; or just conditioned to look for the “twist” you have grown to expect. (I have no idea what the latter could be thinking of.)



(I owe this newsletter to one of my brothers-in-law. And, thanks for sharing it.)

Trick question, right? Maybe, Maybe not.


I mean really, in our good ole’ American culture of “We’ve got to keep up with the Jonses.”, and “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again”, and “If you don’t play to win, don’t play at all.”, and “Winning isn’t everything; but it beats second place.” And, one more…”A champion is afraid of losing, Everyone else is afraid of winning.”, from Billie Jean King.


So, why do I ask the question? Well, it seems like back in 1995, down in the Cornell institution of higher education, a group, a bunch, ok…some, psychologists studied the reactions of Olympic silver and bronze medal winners. Guess what they found. (It must be pretty interesting, at least to me, or I’d be writing a different newsletter.)


Wait for it…they found that the bronze medalists were “significantly” happier with their achievement than the silver medalists. What?


Well, it is true. It seems that “the silver medalists compared themselves with those who had won gold, while the bronze medalists were happy to have medals at all.”


So, which would be better to have as your team? A group of Silver medalists, or a group of Bronze medalists? Which is going to be “happier”? I got that one for ya. Why did you turn the page over? Are you looking for the “Answer”?


Don’t have that answer? Now that’s a twist if I ever saw one. I’m inclined to recognize those bronze performers. Actually, recognize both. The silver performers may already have a sense of their ultimate potential. The bronze winners, this is “opportunity space” for You as their supervisor and for them as they experience the awareness of their “potential”.