Five Ways to Win

Genelle King Heim
3 min readNov 25, 2023


In my 30s, a friend of mine had a complete meltdown when her team lost at a board game. She had four older brothers and grew up

in an environment of intense competition. Her reaction was so strong I remember thinking she had completely lost the plot.

By focusing solely on the loss, she recorded a notch in the mental and emotional “defeat” column and the missed an opportunity

to grow.

Competition is at work in almost everything, sometimes in brutal and unforgiving ways.

Psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante has found that there are five basic concepts around talent, work ethic and practice that define why

some of us win and some of lose at the games we play.

1. Talent

Mozart’s early compositions showcased his musical genius. At just five years old, he could not only comprehend but replicate the

complex melodies he heard. After a particular church service, Mozart went home and transcribed the entire composition from

memory. He began creating masterpieces when most children were just beginning to learn how to read.

Talent can act as the initial spark for greatness. It offers an initial advantage, but it’s not an end-all-be-all. It’s a starting point in

the journey towards excellence.

2. Work Ethic and Effort

Michael Phelps had an unwavering commitment from a young age which had him practice relentlessly. “He’s willing to swim 80

kilometers a week when nobody else will,” his coach said. This combination of natural ability and unmatched work ethic

transformed Phelps into the most decorated Olympian of all time. Effort complements talent and propels individuals to heights

that were previously unimaginable.

When passion fuels you, the effort you are willing to put in can overshadow even the most innate talent.

3. Differentiated Perspective

As a young boy, Elon Musk would daydream about the universe and think about how to create a sustainable Earth. Where many

saw hurdles, Musk saw opportunities — be it with electric vehicles at Tesla or interplanetary exploration with SpaceX. His unique

perspective has redefined industries and reshaped the future.

While the world around us remains constant, it’s our unique interpretation and response to it that can set us apart. Innovation

often stems from this unique perspective.

4. Process and Routine

It was Marie Curie’s meticulous approach and unwavering commitment that led her to the discovery of radium. It wasn’t about

spontaneous flashes of genius but rather a structured and repetitive process that led to success.

Our daily habits and routines shape our destiny. A dependable process develops a habit that we can rely on when the obligations of

daily life seem to get in the way.

5. Embracing Competition

Serena Williams believed that every game was about self-improvement. She approached every match with the mindset that it was

a lesson, a chance to grow. Serena viewed competition not as a threat but as an opportunity to refine, evolve, and ultimately excel.

Competition wasn’t so much about beating her opponent as it was about seeing what she was capable of and becoming the best

version of herself.

Competition isn’t always about outdoing others, but about transcending our own limitations. Our most formidable opponent can

often be the reflection in the mirror.

Focus on what you are drawn to (#1) and put in the work (#2). Get outside of yourself and try to look at things in a different way

(#3). Create a routine so that you don’t have to have a conversation with yourself about whether or not you are going to do a thing

(#4) and use whatever means necessary to fuel your drive and push yourself (#5).

In the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

When you’re ready, there are two ways I can help:

1) I highly recommend the same 2-hour course ($150) I used to get started posting on LinkedIn (affiliate link): THE LINKEDIN OPERATING SYSTEM

2) We can work together to create a content system, tell your stories and amplify your brand: GHEIM@GRAYSONHAYDEN.COM



Genelle King Heim

Strategy and Storytelling, Human Nature and Communications. Playing the long game.