Do your best, "Deserve Victory"
By Lt. Col. Michael Welsh, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
/ Published April 28, 2007
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Sir Winston Churchill will always be remembered as a great leader and a prominent statesman during World War II. In my eyes he will also be remembered for coining the phrase "Deserve Victory" and infusing it into the collective consciousness of the British Empire during WWII. You may have seen the poster of him pointing his finger straight ahead with the words "Deserve Victory!" emblazed across the bottom -- memorializing a strategic lesson on life.
Churchill was known for his no nonsense approach to life and always spoke his mind, to his detriment at times, but this message to his fellow countrymen during a time of tremendous strife and turmoil is as poignant today as it was then.
No matter who we are or what we do, we should always strive to do our best. You have heard it before, but have you tried to live it? Sometimes our best will not be recognized as "the" best in the subjective eyes of some, but we can always hold our heads high and feel proud of our efforts and our accomplishments if we know, in our "heart-of-hearts," that our effort was "the best we can do; and it deserved victory."
Unfortunately, we are not always individually recognized for our superior contributions to the collective success of the mission, but all of our inputs are collectively necessary for that success. We are not here for individual recognition -- we are here for a much greater purpose. Everyone's purpose may be different, but if we don't do our best, we are not being true to ourselves. Winning is not everything, some have said that winning is the "only thing," but I disagree because everyone cannot win all of the time. However, if we always put forth our best effort, no matter what, then we can all say that we deserve to win. This should be our goal. If we all put forth the effort to deserve victory, all of the time, then victory will be ours, each time.
If you put forth minimum effort, even if it is enough for your team to succeed (to win) you should not feel proud of that achievement, because you did not do your best to deserve that victory. Your team could have done better if you gave it your best shot. You let your team down by not putting forth your best effort to win. Your team's victory is somewhat tarnished by your minimum effort.
Do your best, no matter what, and you can feel confident and self-satisfied that you "Deserve Victory" regardless of the subjective measure applied by others. We are a reflection of our work and our measure of success -- our legacy -- will be the product we leave behind.
We all have bad days, but if you can struggle through a bad day by remaining focused on doing your best so you "Deserve Victory", your effort will reflect the quality you seek. It has to be done and you have to do it, so put some pride into it and do it right. Eyes are upon us, make it the best you can -- "Deserve Victory."