Overcoming Failure

Overcoming Failure

I will be the first to admit that I have failed a lot—but I have bounced back. I learn from my mistakes, and hopefully, do a better job the next time. Some of the people I have hired over the years in different roles in different companies have been the wrong people. I have built strategies that did not go as planned. I have made wrong predictions. But in each case, I have tried to learn from the mistake or failure. I have always liked Winston Churchill’s line that “Success is walking away from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” and try to be as positive as possible after an error, mistake, or failure. Others rely on it. If I am a leader, those who follow need to know that I have learned from the failure or mistake and am ready to take the learning and forge ahead with enthusiasm. That is the role of a leader.

My 14-year-old daughter is an ice hockey goalie. On her bantam girls’ competitive team, she knew she could never wear a letter on her jersey, so she offered her leadership to her coach at the beginning of the season. She said, “I am here to support the team. Let me know what to do.” Coach Mike told her that the biggest role she can play as a leader and goalie is to be positive and instill confidence in her teammates when a critical goal goes in. He noted that perhaps it is a tie game late in the third, you let in a goal, and the opposition goes up by one, or you lose a lead with a goal going in. He told her to be positive, let the other players know that they can get another to make up for it, or that they can get a couple more and win. Her role is to instill confidence when the team is deflated after a goal goes in at a critical time.

Recently at Wickfest Surrey (Haley Wickenheiser’s all female hockey tournament for ages 10 to 17), my daughter’s mentor and idol Shannon Szabados spoke to the girls about getting to the next level and going for gold. She noted that, as a goalie, she needed to understand that she should not be able to stop every shot. Once that was a given, she could play her best, stop as many as she could, and that would be the best she could do! Likewise, as professionals in the sponsorship world, we need to understand that we won’t secure every deal. We will lose some big opportunities. Some campaigns will not go as planned.

Accept the loss or mistake. Learn from it. Then enthusiastically move on to the next opportunity.

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  1. Thanks for this important reminder Brent!

    • Cindy,

      Thanks for reading and for the feedback. Stay safe and healthy. Brent


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