The Winner Effect

Tino MantellaBy Tino Mantella

TLG President & CEO

How do you give people have the best chance to win? And by win, I mean being successful at their job. I was listening to something by Darren Hardy, it’s called “Darren Daily”. He produces a message five days a week and periodically I listen to him. Recently, he talked about the winner effect. Over the years, several studies have been, particularly with animals, to look and see how you can create a winner.


This is related to a mouse study or several mouse studies that were done. They would put two mice together and they would fight over a piece of food. In probability, normally it’s about a 50/50 chance in terms of who will be the winner. Then, they drugged one of the mice and then they would again, fight for the piece of food. Of course the mouse that wasn’t drugged would be the winner. And then they would pit that mouse against a larger mouse with neither of them being drugged and the smaller mouse, the one that won the first time would win again. And why is that? Because there’s a change in neuroscience, possibly an increase in testosterone that would give that mouse a better chance of winning. The probability goes to 70% in this case.


Leading Employees to Success

So then taking that back to thinking about people in our work is do we often give people that come into the job more difficult assignments maybe than they can take on initially? What does that do? It probably reduces their confidence. They may also feel like they’re a failure versus giving them some easier things to do at first. You can have them feel like they’re very positive in terms of how they’re performing and that’ll carry on throughout the job. Now, there is probably a risk that once they have this winner type of mentality that they might take it to an extreme. In a world where, to be collaborative that’s not always a good thing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this for what it’s worth.



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