Book Takeaways: The Winner Effect

January 14, 2024 • BooksTakeawaysConnect ↗

Transposed image of The Winner Effect by Ian H. Robertson

I was never much of a reader, but lately books have been a welcome refuge from the business of what I set out to achieve in 2024. Reading 24 books this year is one of my goals. 2 weeks in, The Winner Effect by Ian H. Robertson is the first one ticked off of my list. And I couldn’t be happier.

This was by and large a very interesting book. A little difficult to read with often scientific lingo and run on sentences, but these are exactly what give the book its foundation and drive the key ideas home in a relatable manner. Would I recommend reading the book. Yes. If you are intrigued by the key ideas, the book will offer you with a range of contextual examples that will answer the burning question: what makes a winner?” elegantly. Would an audio book suffice? Probably. But that is up to you. ☻

This article is a collection of my favourite ideas transported on the 283 pages of the book. When I read, I read physical books because highlighting and note-taking keeps my focus channeled onto the in between-the-lines meaning the author aims to convey. Hence, these are no copy-paste insights.

So without further ado, let’s dive into my top ideas from The Winner Effect.

Key ideas & takeaways

[01] Intelligence ≠ Entity. It is incremental, not a thing with limits.

[02] Winning = how you respond to failure.

[03] Set up short and medium-term accomplishment rewards to fuel winning momentum.

[04] Passion = self-motivated achievement desire. Essentially a physical feeling impelling you to get it done”.

[05] Grit is the #1 determinator of success and has 2 elements: consistency of interest over time and perseverance of effort.

[06] Win to win more… winning is a statistical game, where more input = higher chances of success.

[07] Environment setting = win prep. Pick where you want to win or mentally attune where you need to win.

[08] No matter your state of mind, act the way you want to feel. Once you mimic an ideal state of mind, you will manifest the desired feelings.

[09] Winning = feeling control. The resulting cortisol reduction and increased BDNF is a safety signal.

[10] The toxic killer instinct’ takes shape in those where winning reduces cortisol levels.

[11] Individualism is more harmful than collectivism → p-power people (ego) are driven by the flow of testosterone to win. s-power people (social) are driven by the greater good.

[12] John Gottman studied breakups to determine that contempt in the speech and demeanour of a partner results in failed relations (p-power predicts this).

[13] Power boosts egocentricity and weakens empathy for others. Beware of toxicity if winning leads to more winning, which leads to power — keep your desire for power in check.

[14] Seek p<>s-power balance → even though power drives smartness, goal-seeking and creativity, authentic winners are use both power-desires equally.

[15] Main takeaway → the winners mindset does not impose any limiting mantras on the ability to succeed. Winners don’t know negative self-talk.

Favorite quote

What makes a real winner then - as opposed to a Karen or a Robert Mugabe, whose distorted brains believe themselves to have won? Real winners enjoy the benefits of power - the testosterone-fuelled drive, smartness, creativity and goal-focus - and enjoy influencing other people by dispensing resources that other people need and want. They thrive on being able to have an impact and they do not cripple themselves by believing their success to be due to inherited, unchangeable qualities - intuitively winners know that the greatest obstacle to success can be self-handicapping beliefs such as I can’t do that because I’m not bright, outgoing, ambitious, tough [add any other adjectives you care to] enough.’” — Ian H. Robertson

Final thoughts

If you are into reading or have a goal for 2024 as I do, let’s connect on Literal. You can follow me via @julianpaul — I track my current read and progress daily.

Want to connect? Visit @itsjulianpaul on 𝕏.

Until next time.

squiggly horizontal divider


Let’s meet on whatever platform serves your desired outcome best. My digital identity holds all platform intentions. Prefer email? Try

Want to stay up to date? RSS ↗ and/or subscribe for email updates. ↓

Socialise with me: LinkedIn | Instagram | 𝕏.com |

Julian Paul Logo