Are you a Vincent or a Victor? (2012)

Are you a  Vincent or a Victor?


Ring the bells that still can ring

forget your perfect offering

there’s a crack in everything

that’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen


The Internet introduces ‘the personal age’ I once said in my 2004 inaugural speech as a university professor, the internet enabling and even provoking  lots of personal choices.

One of those choices you have to deal with is to be either Vincent or Victor’ in life.

Both words root in Latin. ‘Vincent’ and ‘Victor’ reflect different attitudes in life. A ‘Vincent’ is someone in the process of winning. So, he hasn’t won yet.  A ‘Victor’ has won. He has arrived.

So, a ‘Vincent’ has yet to prove himself, tends to show all his talents in his battle to win. He always competes. In doing so, he is usually completely unaware that “to start competition with someone’ usually makes one very reactive as you make someone else your standard or even reason of acting. A ‘Vincent’ is in the defensive line and abundant in his argument. He needs support outside himself to find what he thinks.
A ‘Vincent’, for example in a sales situation, is unaware that the simple fact that he sits at the customers table because he has value. If he wouldn’t have value he wouldn’t be there. ‘Vincent’ will endlessly explain his great commercial proposition, using beautiful power points, with lots of difficult words on it.  In fact, ‘Vincent’ just sends his messages. He is not really connected and unable to receive and listen. You understand how this talk will end.

‘Victor’ has no need for complexity and he is not really sensitive to the interest he receives. He knows people hear and see him. He is convinced to be heard and rewarded by others. He is quick to-the-point and just expresses his view. He just knows that other people listen to him. He doesn’t need evidence. He also has no arguments of the type that Mr. X or Mrs. Y agrees with him. A ‘Victor’ has source power.

For sales guys: ‘Victors’ sell really more. They understand that ‘arguing’ in essence always is a defensive strategy, and that irritates in the long run. An example of this? Married men, just remember proposing for marriage. I’m sure you, at that time, really wanted this and that you,  in that situation, haven’t used an argument. On the contrary, any argument at such a moment would be ridiculous. What you did do: stating what you want.

A translation of this attitude in business? “Winners have a vision, not a business case”.
Shape your life. Unlock the  ‘Victor’ in you. That connects you to partners, your personal creativity and to your true (business) value. The Victor attitude will get you where you want to be. Social media give you lots of opportunities to practise.

If you are not eager to stand for your values be prepared to remain background player.

Be a Victor! Bon voyage!


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