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Still Stings…

Periodically, I’m reminded of past failures.  You too?  Oh, I try not to dwell on those negative experiences.

Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

Easy to enthusiastically retreat to worldwide wisdom when thinking about a recent (or past) failure, isn’t it?  But a few of my recent (or past) failures stand above a retreat.  And when memories of those failures resurface – they still sting.

2 years ago I was asked to deliver a 3-day selling skills training class to a dozen of our newly hired college graduates.  Young; bright; articulate; enthusiastic… these young professionals have a wonderful career opportunity in front of them.

Somehow, their Sales Manager and her Sales Director seemed to think it would be a good idea for these aspiring professionals to go through my class.  It was the worst sales-training event I have ever delivered; and I’ve delivered a lot of sales training events over the past 20 years!  When I see these young colleagues and their managers in my office today – it still stings.

They don’t remember the details; they didn’t know any better; they thought it was just fine.  But I know better; and it wasn’t just fine.  Thank God for Mike Ditka:

Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.

True enough – I’m still kickin’.

I’ve had my share of failure over the years; professional; personal; you name it.  Makes me “normal” I’d say.

We all fail reaching our goals or managing our responsibilities from time to time, true?  And if we all waxed poetic after each and every failure, well there would be a lot of starving poets in the world, don’t you think?

They say the best result to gain from a failure is to learn from it; overcome it; and avoid repeating it in the future.

When an archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within.  Failure to hit the bull’s-eye is never the fault of the target.  To improve your aim – improve yourself.                         

Gilbert Arland 

Easy to say, but a few of those missed marks still sting.=

I flunked Thallophytes my sophomore year of college.  The only class I ever failed – still stings.  That same year I missed a winning jump shot at the buzzer against Coe College.  I remember that miss like it just happened – still stings.

I can remember to this day the very worst business meeting I was ever involved with (even worse than that 3-day training class).  It was called an “Ops Review”; it was 1994.  I presented my plan for the sales team I was leading to our National VP of Sales and his staff.  After a string of successful sales years, I thought I knew it all.

My Division VP offered to coach me in my prep – but Nooo – like I said, I already knew it all.  It was the single worst business meeting (in 39 years of business meetings) I have ever experienced.   I can remember it like it occurred yesterday – and it still stings.  Thank God for Tom Hopkins:

I never see a failure as failure, but only as the opportunity to develop my sense of humor.

Today I have a healthy sense of humor.  Lots of opportunities to develop it over the years.  Been pretty successful too:

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

Truman Capote

But every now and then something reminds me – and it still stings.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

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