The uncommon mindset of some winners

"The ugly facts you will need to face, if you are to win"


There are countless stories about successful entrepreneurs and companies. Most of them written from an analyst’s perspective, not from a historian’s. The result is that the story is rationalized looking backward. We look at it as a series of cause-effect actions that look obvious in hindsight.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of attributing success to certain conditions that seem attached to the company or champion of the story. For instance, better access to information or a stronger competitive advantage,... Although those factors might be real, it’s important to understand which series of decisions had to make the protagonist of the story to get there.

As per Jim Collins’ research on the matter, the best way to understand the hero’s mindset is when the story is explained from a historian’s perspective. Understanding which conditions existed when important decisions were made, like a historian.

Looking at those stories the right way, Jim Collins identified what makes winners win, at least when the competitors are in the same league. It is not better access to information, a stronger starting position, or anything that is uniquely attached to them. The reason he states is that heroes don’t discount the ugly facts, they actually decide to confront them first thing. And this is what takes them to a winning position.

People often see the same things under similar conditions. What separates the winners from the rest is that they face ugly facts others voluntarily ignore (call it inertia if you want).