Show Me A Good Loser, And I’ll Show You A Loser

Last week I posted a mini “rant” on LinkedIn about excellence and doing things right that turned out to be, surprisingly, controversial. Here’s the short of it: 

Our brand promise is 100% right, 100% of the time. 

Doesn’t seem all that radical of a statement, does it?

But wow. 

Now to be fair, MOST loved it. But a certain small group were deeply offended, messaging me (a few openly posted) about how I must have such a toxic, high-stress workplace that nobody would ever want to work here; that I was a terrible leader with zero compassion, intolerant and inhuman. They told me I’ve created a “high turnover” workplace culture of “cover your ass” and hide, not collaboration and excellence. 

Odd how some stranger on LinkedIn whom I’ve never met, has never been to our office, never worked here and doesn’t know and hasn’t met the majority of our team can make such a confident statement with supreme certainty, but here we are. Social media at its finest. Good thing I didn’t post it on Reddit. Those crybabies would have needed to go into their safe room with a teddy bear for days to overcome the butt hurt.  

I have gotten a little pushback from a few employees on this, mostly due to a misunderstanding of the intention of the standard we’ve set. I DO believe you get what you tolerate, and if you have a culture of what I call “the shrug,” where the mantra is, “Well, people make mistakes!” that’s exactly what you’ll get. 

If I tolerate people showing up late for work, people will show up late for work.

If I tolerate salespeople missing quota and goals, I’ll get salespeople missing quota and goals.

If I tolerate people not following a process for an important system in the business, I’ll get zero compliance with that system. 

How is THIS controversial?

Of course, the SAME people pointing out how deeply flawed I am for having this as a standard are the SAME people who would not be casual and understanding if their surgeon made an avoidable, stupid mistake when operating on them or a loved one. They would not want to fly on an airline that has the mantra, “People aren’t perfect and they make mistakes,” as their standard. Employees would not tolerate leadership that constantly made mistakes on their paycheck or with their careers, or even in service delivery. 

But there IS a percentage of our population that doesn’t like to have their performance measured or to be held to a higher standard, even though they expect that from others. 

When things are done poorly, deadlines missed, sloppy work or service delivered, they shrug. They aren’t disturbed when things go wrong on their watch. They say, “Whatcha gonna do?” ready with an excuse, quick to defend their sloppiness and explain away (point fingers) why they failed. I’m with Lombardi in his statement that if you show me a good loser, I’ll show you a loser. You get the performance you expect from yourself and others.

The things many business owners take casually or with a shrug perplex me. They seem perfectly at peace with slow to no growth and mediocre profits, horrible customer service, substandard work product and “wild west” employee standards. Things that would EAT at my core if they were happening, seem to be perfectly acceptable to them.

Hill correctly wrote that having a “burning desire” is an essential for becoming rich, and identified it as a common characteristic among giants – and if you look at anything in your life that’s not as it should be, I guarantee you’ll find a lack of “burning desire” to win and succeed in that area, not a “100% right, 100% of the time” standard. FAR from it. Very, very few are on fire with their ambitions and higher standards

Now, let me clarify a few things on our “100% right, 100% of the time,” core value and brand promise…

This does NOT mean that a person making a mistake is raked over the coals, publicly shamed and unceremoniously fired. That said, if a mistake happens, we find out whose mistake it was and why it happened, systems and processes are reviewed and the appropriate person is reminded this is unacceptable; and if poor standards are a recurring theme for them, they are fired. We praise in public and reprimand and coach in private. 

This does NOT mean we never run into “unexpected turbulence.” There are many times when an unforeseen, unexpected situation creates a mistake (or less than perfect response) because it’s new territory that we haven’t yet developed a process, procedure or “quality control” check for. 

This does NOT mean everything someone sees as a “mistake” is a mistake. You can’t please everyone, and some customers insist we’re “doing it wrong” because it’s not done the way they want us to do it. Everything we do is intentional and is intentionally decided knowing the downsides but choosing the approach because there’s more upside, often made on a “lesser of evils” basis. 

This does NOT mean perfection, although we often nail it. Things can always be made better, and we are constantly debriefing after events, launches, campaigns, sales calls, etc. to see what we’ve done wrong and what we could improve. Perfection and “done right” are not the same thing, but are kissing cousins.

This does NOT mean we never test new products and approaches. Creativity in such matters creates, automatically, a high probability of errors because developing new products, campaigns and systems are an iterative process of tests, mistakes and corrections. The first time I deliver a new presentation will never be as good as my 100th time IF I’m constantly tweaking and improving; but I have to do the first one poorly to get to the point of perfection

What it DOES mean is if we are doing a routine task, we don’t make stupid, easily avoidable mistakes created by skipping steps, failing to pay attention, failing to test and proofread our work, being lazy, etc. 

It DOES mean that we START with the expectation to get a project or work product 100% correct the first time. We strive for it, train for it, prepare for it and do everything within our ability to deliver it. 

It DOES mean we take PRIDE in our work and deeply care about our clients and delivering value to them. Our clients are running businesses and are stressed, overworked, overburdened and already have TOO MUCH on their plate. The last thing we want is to be another “problem” they have to manage. That’s unacceptable, and why we have this as a brand promise.

Believe me when I say this is NOT an easy standard to uphold, and it would be a hell of a lot easier for me to simply shrug, accept that “mistakes happen” and go on our merry way. But I do it because that’s what I want to deliver to the client who trusts us to deliver. It’s also part of our culture because I only want to work with team members who thrive on excellence and share my core value about getting things right for our clients. 

Those who don’t like this standard should not work here. 

One such client who has gotten tremendous value from working with us and has used it to achieve excellence for his clients is our 2023 Spokesperson, Adam Spencer.

There’s no doubt about it: Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery and low incomes. For over 20 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 10,000 IT services firms around the world, from start-ups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to


Be Notified When New Robin's Rants Are Published


Upcoming Events

Stay Up To Date

Thousands Of MSPs Trust
MSP Success Magazine
For The Best Industry News, Trends and Business Growth Strategies

Never Miss An Update