Believe to succeed

Having just watched the Western Bulldog fairytale come true, it struck me how much they believed they could do it. To win the premiership from 7th place on the ladder, they had to win 4 sudden death finals in a row. No team had ever done this before. The key element that kept coming from the interviews with the players and coaches was that they truly believed they could.

There are great lessons to be learnt here. Challenges in life are common and you often find yourself at a juncture where you have to make a decision as to the best course of action. It is usually not black and white. There is often a course that is more difficult, requires more work and a greater level of skill but the outcome will be far superior to taking the easy road or no road at all. Business leaders find themselves in this position regularly. They need to make judgements on the belief that they have in themselves and their staff, that they can pursue an opportunity that has been identified. That they can be the best at what they do and that success will follow if they implement their game (or business) plan.

There is always an element of luck and timing. If it wasn’t for the bye in the last round of the season, the injury riddled Bulldogs (at that point) would not have had the personnel to get through 4 more finals. Bill Waterhouse, the legendary bookmaker, was a huge believer in luck. He believed that when your luck was against you it was difficult to be successful, but that if you believed and kept doing what you knew to be right, then when your luck changed, it would change massively.

One other element that you will find in most success stories is that at some point there is an element of bluff. It is usually found at the instigation of an opportunity that led to the success. Without it many opportunities would not be progressed. The key aspect of bluff is belief. Without belief in your own ability, you simply would not instigate a course of action that would allow you to be successful. This will require effort, it will require you to develop your skills but importantly it will require you to believe that you can do it. There are no certainties, only probabilities. The goal is to believe that you can heighten your probability enough to swing the pendulum of success in your favour.