Martin Bjergegaard, Jordan Milne: Winning Without Losing: 66 Strategies for Succeeding in Business While Living a Happy and Balanced Life

Jul 30, 2016

I picked Winning Without Losing based on a recommendation in The Year of Living Danishly. I generally shy away from pop business books but it never hurts to try.

The book comprises of 66 short essays split into seven groups. Some of the essays are based on personal experiences of the authors, others are derived from conversation with successful people around the world. Everything from picking projects and co-founders to healthy lifestyle to organisation and prioritisation of tasks to meditation is covered. The overarching topic is: work on something you’re passionate about with people who share your goals, don’t let your work overrun your life, and don’t get discouraged by set backs.

Everyone knows the stereotype of the workoholic who burns out and after he breaks down one day and then reinvents himself with a new age vibe. The complement is a successful businessman who rises to the top through dedication and sacrifice of personal life. By sharing ideas and strategies, Winning Without Losing provides counterexamples of successful people who live balanced lives where work, family, hobbies, and sports all have a place. I like this model much better than the alternative and I’m glad whenever I see people moving in this direction.

However, this approach to life is conditioned on a great level of autonomy which many people don’t have. I’m fortunate that I have an amazing job developing Enectiva which gives me a great deal of freedom and autonomy so that I can lead a balanced life. Even then, I find some of the essays too utopian and can easily imagine that they would enrage others as a hippy-dippy nonsense limited to a few privileged people.

As motivational books go, Winning Without Losing is fine. The recommendations and approaches presented are nice and I’d love to see them more in the world. I’m sceptical, though, about the reality. I know too many people who either see their job just as a chore and try to avoid it as much as possible or spend 95% of their energy on their career; either camp would, I believe, benefit from a more balanced approach (and not just people in the leading positions which is the focus of this book), though, many of the ideas presented here are too out of the world.