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Winners: And How They Succeed

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  631 ratings  ·  47 reviews
How do sportsmen excel, entrepreneurs thrive, or individuals achieve the ambitions? Is their ability to win innate? Or is the winning mindset something we can all develop?
In the tradition of The Talent Code and The Power of Habit, Campbell draws on the wisdom of an astonishing array of talented people—from elite athletes to media mavens, from rulers of countries to rulers
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published October 7th 2015 by Pegasus Books (first published February 26th 2015)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  631 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Winners by Alistair Campbell leapt off the shelf at a time when I was looking for some inspiration, how to get back on track and how to motivate my waning enthusiasm for my work. I could identify with his main points...objective, strategy and tactics. Alistair wrote in a very loose style, attempting to pull together personalities from the sporting and political field in his search for winners. Random examples became a little tiresome after reading half the book.
However, he made some excellent p
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"One of the most interesting people in Britain and this book is one of the most interesting about winners." (Gavin Esler).

Attitude, resilience, crisis management, the right mindset, extreme mind, strategy, leadership and teamwork, all are key elements to make a winner. Alistair Campbell's analysis of what makes a winner tick is a handy manual for anybody who wants to have an extra edge professionally and personally.

Alistair Campbell writes in his typical loose style with many examples from the w
Bartley Sharkey
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Superb book with loads of interesting insights although the three that I want to remember are these:
1. O.S.T. - Objective, Strategy, Tactics - the structure used to define your plan to success. The objective is likely to be fixed and very simple to define, strategy is what approach you'll take and is generally long term but must be communicated and brought up frequently to get everyone pulling in the same direction. Tactics on the other hand are the actions required to implement the strategy at
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although it's probably more of a 4 star book on my rating scale, I'm giving this five stars for the ambition of Alastair Campbell in looking at common characteristics for winners in business, politics and sport, three very different spheres, and also for some of the insights he has extracted from those he has interviewed.

As you would hope from a communications guru, the book is clearly constructed with simple messages, but illuminating and interesting too. It's definitely a book I'll be referrin
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: society
A phrase I find myself using a lot now is 'History is written by the winners' but I fought to approach this with an open mind for two reasons: firstly, that I think the saying is largely true, and secondly, it was written by Alistair Campbell, a successful but thoroughly detestable figure. I don't think I was converted on either count but Campbell uses his contacts well to get a lot of interesting profiles, but is let down by an acceptance that their word is Gospel, and in a bid to make himself ...more
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has many useful ideas and strategies explained largely through the medium of various 'winners'.

However, it is far too long by half. The same points could have been made as effectively but much more concisely.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I was looking for a positive book to read at the beginning of the year and this fit the bill exactly. By no way it offers anything new but helps in getting our thoughts structured in suggesting OST. But I found it a bit lengthy and repetitive beyond a point.
JJ Yeo
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most inspirational books on success I've ever read, offers incredibly good and relevant advice to excel in whatever one decides to set one's mind on. Especially relevant for me during the transitional period of my career.
Chris Oleke
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book to read. OST can be applied to many walks of life without a complicated approach. I love sports and could relate to many of the sporting examples used in this book. I'd recommend reading it.
Tod Brennan
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not for me.

Jabir Khammal
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Fantastic book, highly recommend to anyone that really wants to know,what it takes to be a winner. Very insightful. Read it now.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a good read (or listen), some interesting insights but a bit in-concise compared to the relevant information

But worth it never the less
Nico Swanepoel
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Cambell interviews the top people of their fields, business, management, sports etc. and gives an analysis of their success. Easy read and addictive read. Very inspiring.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting concept; much too long. Should have been edited more thoroughly.
Ernest Mundia
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you can't win, then what's the point.

Throughout the book, I found that one of our everyday question each time we wake to set out in our endeavours is how we are going to win, and Alistair uses winners in sports first, business and politics to show how these people have done it. Having a strong winning mindset, thinking you will win and working hard towards winning is part of that formula for anyone.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 5/10

Motivational and inspiring stories from successful people and elaborated reasons and rules for why they succeed. Interesting to read but I was personally a bit annoyed by "I know it all and my opinion is the best " approach to the writing.

IS THIS BOOK FOR ME? If you are looking for a motivational book, you can give it a try. But I honestly think there are plenty of better books that fall into this category.

GOOD: Interesting stories of successful people
BAD: Too political and one-s
Tara Brabazon
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have a very odd relationship with Alastair Campbell. I am thankful that he is on the progressive side of politics, but I also know that to enable Tony Blair's victory, Campbell pretty well destroyed the British Labour Party.

So his interpretations of winning, losing and success will always be bittersweet. Also, it is impossible to read his stylistic excesses without summoning Peter Capaldi's re-interpretation of Campbell in the brilliant similacrum of New Labour in The Thick of It.

Therefore, I
Nessy Dimitrova
I listened to this audiobook thanks to an app called Blinkist.

The key message in this book:
Winners come in all shapes and sizes. While winners share certain traits, such as boldness or innovation, their ability to beat the competition is also a result of the teams they build and their focus amid crises.

Actionable advice:

When dealing with a crisis, be honest.
If you find yourself in the middle of a crisis, you might feel like closing your eyes and wishing it to disappear – or worse, pointing the
Kathleen Allen
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Campbell interviews his selections of great leaders and offers excerpts from these interviews as examples of why they are winners. The narrative is interspersed with Campbell's own reflections and opinions on what makes a winner and why certain world events were wins or losses. He frequently digresses into discussions of his Tony Blair years and the decisions that were made. The book offers new information and insights into the thinking of several famous leaders and for that reason it is worth t ...more
Nic Brisbourne
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Campbell brings a lot of clarity of thought to the essence of great leadership and I learned a lot from this book. The best chapters are the early ones where he shows that winners are crystal clear on their objectives, strategy and tactics, and that they don't muddle the three.

The examples are mostly from UK sport, politics and business over the last 25 years, which made reading highly enjoyable as well as interesting.

This book prompted me to think more about my own business and own leadership
Stephen Francis
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I started this book thinking it would be an average political book. This is anything but. This book allows the reader the chance to get into the heads of various 'winners'. These people range from sports people, business people and political figures (some of them being a combination of all 3!). The author writes intellectually, resulting in one of the best books about 'success' out there. The book spans a huge number of genres, but never loses focus on the original subject matter. Highly reccome ...more
David Margetts
Aug 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Good insights and testimonials from winners with a strong focus on behaviours, characteristics and habits, most of which are 'transferrable'. Also showed the importance of data and analytics to support strategy and tactics. Nothing really new, but a useful refresher of key winning practices and principles from a vast array of successful people from different walks of life. The only criticism would be the focus on politics and the bias for New Labour - understandable given the author, but lack of ...more
Hassan Ali
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good read.

While at times it does tend to be steeped in politics – a given due to the fact that the Author was the director of communications and strategy for former Prime Minister Tony Blair – the author does a great job with the flow of the book and not 'fluffing'.

Drawing on successful people from all walks of like - athletes, football managers, politicians, businessmen and women - he presents the key strategies and traits he's found all 'winners' have in common and how to apply them to
Ogi Ogas
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
My ratings of books on Goodreads are solely a crude ranking of their utility to me, and not an evaluation of literary merit, entertainment value, social importance, humor, insightfulness, scientific accuracy, creative vigor, suspensefulness of plot, depth of characters, vitality of theme, excitement of climax, satisfaction of ending, or any other combination of dimensions of value which we are expected to boil down through some fabulous alchemy into a single digit.
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting inside stories of various successful people.

You may not like all those characters but definitely there are things to learn from every one of them.

Many analogies between sport, business and politics. My american friends sorry but there are many example from European football which maybe harder to relate to.

Enjoyed chapter on psychology and mindset (... the most important muscle is between your the ears...) - can very helpful
Robin Harris
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robin by: Kyle
One of the few books I would go back to and read again.

Very insightful look into various different sectors - politics, sport, technology, entertainment, fashion - and the characteristics that the cream of the crop in each field share and set them apart from the rest. Chapter on Visualisation was particularly interesting.

Overall, very inspiring and motivating, with techniques and changes in mindset that can be applied to my own life to make those 'marginal gains'.
Myrna Azzopardi
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
A breeze to read since it's very easy to skip over passages you're not so interested in while easy to engage in ones you are. This is because Campbell makes obvious shifts from sports analogies to political ones (and any other he deems fit) so it's easy to pick and choose what appeals to you most. Really insightful but bite-size lessons which will allow you to take what you know, assess it and reevaluate if need be. Will definitely read again.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-forget
I had to put this book away once I read up on the author. I know I know, how unfair and uneducated of me but I struggle to feel bad about it in the light of recent events. Also interviewed crowd. From bad to worse. I gave up around reading Floyd Mayweather's quotes. Hasn't he battered his girlfriend?? Tony Blair - war cryminal, Anna Wintour - fur advertising evil cow.. do we need to be bad to be successful? I don't think so.
Justin Lam
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The concept of the winning attitude at the beginning is clear and interesting. I like the part of Jose Mourinho the most:)When it goes to the middle, the books gets boring and repetitive. It is recommended for authors to make elaboration of how the featured person achieve success, instead of making a lengthy list of examples.
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