Football, depending on the city you grew up in, is more than just an American sport; it is a way of life. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA which means regardless of where I've lived - Texas, Germany and now Denver - Black & Gold is in my blood. As much as I am proud of all the Super Bowl wins we have, six (6) if you were wondering, it's what leads up to the big game that truly matters. It's all about the win, but how did you get there? This is the same in your career.
Yes, you got the big promotion/ the big contract/ the biggest client but how did you get it? Were you impeccable with your word? Did you give it all you thought you could as far as design and piecing it all together? Or did you kind of fall into it by minimizing the abilities of a co-worker, stealing ideas from someone else, or maybe you were the person who found a similar project from a couple of years ago and just copied it. How ever you came about your newfound position winning means nothing if you didn't get there on your own merit in a way that holds in it the integrity of your work ethic.
Why does it matter so much? Well, after the win there will be some who expect you to "win" again, then there are others who will take this moment and determine how else you can be used in the company. Leadership will want to leverage you, the new found talent, to help move them to their bottom line goal. Once they begin to leverage you, if you didn't get there on your own merits the ability to do what you did before - damage a co-worker, steal an idea, copy what's been done before - are slim to none. Now the pressure builds up within yourself, failure becomes inevitable and now the career you slowly built in the beginning is now worth nothing. You may possibly even be fired. The stakes are higher when you move up and there isn't as much compassion shown for a loss.
It's great to win, trust me I know, I was born into a winning city culture; did I mention the Stanley Cup. However, winning is losing if you don't get there on your own work and merits. Choose your way to the top carefully.