We Hate to Lose

On a recent episode of AMC’s series, The Pitch, the head of one ad agency crowed, “We hate to lose.”  Then they lost.  Negative motivation — working to keep something bad from happening — is rarely as powerful as working to make something good happen.  One puts you on defense; the other puts you on offense.  Trying to avoid pain can cloud your judgment; trying to create something positive usually brings clarity.  If you’re leading a sales team — or any team, for that matter — does their motivation come from trying to stave off disaster or working toward a celebration?  The difference will affect the outcome.