The Cleveland Indians have just won 22 games in a row. That is not normal. The last time we saw something like this it was the year 2002, when the Oakland A’s won 20 games in a row. Before that, we have to go all the way back to 1935, when the Chicago Cubs had a streak of 21 games, or to the New York Giants of 1916 and their run of 26 straight games. So yeah, this streak is, without a doubt, incredible.
Maybe you’ve had a streak like this in your business—or maybe you hope to have one. You find some success, then some more. And then more. It feels like somehow the dice are loaded, and loaded in your favor. You can’t believe it. You can’t not win!
Winning streaks aren’t just luck. No team can win 22 games in a row without really knowing how to play ball. And yet luck is involved. Streaks feel magical because they’re unpredictable. Everything has to go exactly right, including a lot of factors beyond your control. And no matter how good you are, the streak will end eventually. The laws of chance ensure that.
So how do you make the most of your winning streak? How do you ensure that your good luck counts for more than just a great story?
The temptation is to knock off work, kick back, and celebrate—but if you do that, you could end the streak prematurely. You might also feel like analyzing your success to death, constantly worrying about when your luck is going to turn. Likewise, bad idea.
But look at the Cleveland Indians. What can we learn from them about what to do when everything is going right?
Cleveland could have broken out the Champagne and taken a vacation after winning 15 games in a row. A 15-game streak is cool, after all. But it’s not as cool as 22 games especially when history is at stake. When everything is going well for you, keep going.
Know You’re Not Undefeatable
Sometimes it feels like you’ve landed on an elevator that only goes up, but that’s hardly ever reality. Elevators go down, too. The Cleveland outfield knows better than to take a giant group nap during the game, and you should follow their lead. Keep playing defense. Keep fighting for every out, every sale. Hard work is how you got here, and the rules of the game haven’t changed.
Find Out What You’re Doing Right
Maybe you made your winning streak happen by doing exactly the right thing at the right time. You have the talent, you have the resources, you have the game plan. Great. If you don’t know what you did right (it happens!) figure it out, so you can keep doing it. Just don’t let yourself get anxious and controlling about it. Some streaks cannot be explained.
Enjoy the Ride
Whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy your winning streak. Sure, how you handle extraordinary success is important to the long-term development of your business, but it’s also a lot of fun.
Ultimately, taking advantage of a winning streak is about using momentum. If you can extend your success, enjoy it, and reinvest it in your brand, a good streak can benefit your business for years to come. And while all streaks eventually end, the great ones are always remembered. The way we talk about the ’16 Giants, the ’35 Cubs, the ’02 A’s, people will talk about the ’17 Indians for decades.