Like many people around the world every night this week I have been drawn to my television to watch the Olympics. How every 4 years I can be drawn into watching sports that I show little interest in other than on a 4 year interval is beyond me.
I am inspired by the determination and commitment that the athletes show, committing such a significant portion of their life to an endeavor that for most will come to an end early in life. This ending to a career either comes with a medal or a slow fade away into history.
Today, I listened to an interview with Ryan Lochte a day after his 5th place finish in the Men’s 200m individual medley. I thought about how similar his experience is to what we experience in business. In business, we focus our energy on short-term and long-term successes. As business leaders we are like Olympic athletes, we desire the win. But in life like in sport there is also loss.
It is important to know you will not always win every decision, not every idea you bring to the table will win over your leadership, and sometimes you will fail.
How do you handle a loss?
- Are you the athlete that learns in order to win the race next time?
- Do you drown in self-reflection of the failure or loss?
- Do you draw others into learning from your experience or drown them in your own frustration?
Making the choice on what type of office athlete you want to be not only impacts you but also those who you interact with. Learning to handle the loss is something to think through, be prepared for when it happens. While it is fantastic to win, not all win every race.
So what type of office athlete are you?