As a kid, I was a huge Atlanta Braves fan. This was during the 80’s when only you and a few hundred friends would show up for a game. and even though you could count on them losing 90-100 games, I still believed that one day, in my lifetime they would start winning (starting in 1991, they won 14 straight division titles). I now live in metro Detroit. Three years ago, the Lions went 4-0 in preseason and 0-16 in the regular season. I hate losing.
I’ve often heard about “failing forward” or “losing helps us learn” and stuff like that. I’m so not a fan of either of those phrases or anything like it. Not because the sentiment isn’t genuine, I think it probably is. But failing isn’t a cliche and neither is leadership.
Failing can be hard…it’s hard because the mind-set of a person, team or organization starts to fade quickly when:
— Sales remain low quarter after quarter with no relief in sight
— Leadership changes have been so frequent that zero momentum can be generated causing morale to suffer
— Losing season after losing season effect a University’s ability to recruit
— A student’s failure in school leads to a low self esteem and the loss of the love of learning
Failing isn’t a cliche…it’s too tough to be relegated to that. Failing means that something once dreamed, once planned and hoped for didn’t happen. For the purpose of this post, the reason for the failure is irrelevant. The good leaders will learn from failures and be better for it. But it still hurts!
So as you pick yourself up and prepare to do battle again, ,there are some ideas to think on and ones I’ll be writing on the next few posts:
1. Failure wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been in the game
2. Failure wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t taken a chance
3. Failure wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t looked forward
I’m not sure if the Lions will be any better this year (we always believe) and the Braves may or may not make the playoffs. But there’s something special about teams, organizations and people who go through a period of failure, only to rise again and join the winners circle.
Now GO Lead!
(Leadership 1K is a journal into the mission of leaders and leadership. To receive daily updates through email or RSS feeds, click on the links in the right corner)