Failure sucks. Fail brilliantly in 2016


Failure sucks.

Let’s face it, we’d all rather ‘win.’ If we set a goal, or enter a ‘race’ (for example,  chasing a new client, attracting a superb candidate, etc), we’d all much rather achieve that goal than succumb to failure. Agree? Of course you do. It would be insane not to.

So I read all these famous quotes about ‘failure being the key to success’ with some scepticism. I kind of understand. You have to ‘have a go,’ and often you’ll land on your bum. So, pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Go again. That’s how champions do it. Still sucks though.

Unless, that is, we get much better at one aspect of failure. The only place I see it done brilliantly is at the Olympics. It’s there that failure is embraced. And that’s what we should do.

We have to become brilliant at losing.

Think about it. Someone loses the 100 metre sprint. They come second. Yet they beam and wave and hug and pose for multitudes of photos. They are delighted. And then they step up on the podium, having lost, and everyone cheers. They get ‘Silver’, and kiss it.

That’s the attitude I love about losing. Celebrate it. Don’t skulk off into the shadows, head hanging low, gritted teeth, determined to fight back, to seek revenge and triumph another day. Yes, be resilient, but change the tone.

If you did your best in trying to achieve a ‘win,’ and you ‘come second,’ hug each other. Be generous with the ‘high fives.’ Acknowledge and congratulate the team on the effort. Go out for a lunch to acknowledge the hard work and positive intent.  Talk about what went right. Brainstorm what could have been done better. Go hug the prospect. Thank them. Get as much feedback as possible. Do it with a smile and optimism in your step.

I just do not understand why the rugby folk did not organise a ticker-tape parade to welcome the Wallabies back to Australia after their World Cup Final loss to the All Blacks in November. The ground staff at Auckland Airport gave the All Blacks the first of thousands of hakas when they landed. But the Wallabies kind of skulked back into town. Why? They were brilliant! They lifted our hearts and ignited a nation. We were so proud of them. I bet 50,000 people would have turned up on George Street and cheered that ‘failure.’ Why on earth were we denied that opportunity? There was no shame in defeat. Just honour and pride.

And that’s my point. Failure sucks. But embrace failure where you did your best with open arms. Lift its arm in triumph. Appreciate the great effort involved. Learn from it. Lift shoulders. Build pride.

Olympians do it. We should have done it for the Wallabies. The power though, is with YOU. Make sure you do it for your teams and for yourself this year. Be brilliant at failure. Yes — failure sucks. But failure when you did your best… that’s an opportunity to celebrate. Hug. Learn. Energise. Be grateful. Go again.


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