“It’s O.K. to make a mistake as long as you leave it behind.” – Kevin Love
A significant part of being a great leader is knowing how to handle failure. We have all failed. It is part of the human experience. It is inevitable.
The ability to learn lessons in the midst of failure while having the perseverance to keep moving forward is the mark of a successful leader. Failure is not falling down. It is staying down.
In the December 16th edition of Sports Illustrated, writer Alan Shipnuck profiles Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love. For those of you unfamiliar with Love, he is currently the finest player in the NBA at his position.
Shipnuck vividly tells the story of Love’s commitment to improvement and passion to make others around him better. The following are 14 Practices Of Leaders Who Overcome Failure I gleaned from the article. These lessons will make you a better leader.
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Learn The Relationship Between Risk And Reward – Love is the NBA’s best rebounder. He is also recognized as one of the best outlet passers in NBA history. He says, “Whenever the ball is in the air that long, there’s a chance of a turnover (after the pass), so it’s always a risk. You have to be smart about it.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Value Chemistry With Their Teammates – Recently acquired Corey Brewer says, “We got signals…He knows when I’m gonna go. I know when he’s gonna throw it.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Work Hard To Continually Improve – Love says, “I’m a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. I believe it takes 10,000 hours to be an outlier at something…I pride myself on putting in the work.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Recognize Opportunity – He goes on, “You’ve just gotta assume everything is a miss. In this league every shot is contested.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Are No Longer Complacent – Personal trainer Rob McClanaghan says, “He’s willing to pay the price to be great. He won’t be complacent. Ever. He brings his best effort to every workout, every time. He’s a professional in everything he does.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Begin Focusing On Making Others Successful – Love proudly proclaims, “I’m getting a lot of excitement and joy out of setting uys up for shots and getting guys going.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Become Increasingly Aware Of Obstacles – He goes on to add, “I know a guy like (Dallas Mavericks center Bernard James) is gonna want to toss my shot into the third or fifth row.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Are Resilient – Once you fail, you understand failure is simply part of leadership. Love acknowledges, “In this league you’re going to get your shot blocked, it’s just part of the deal. You can pout about it or you can keep playing. I choose to keep playing.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Are Humble And Learn From Others – Love recounts the story, “Bill Russell told me before my rookie year that he believes 80% of rebounds are taken below the rim, and I’ve taken that to heart. If I do my work early I don’t have to jump high.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Develop Great Anticipation – Teammate Ricky Rubio says, “He has an amazingly high basketball IQ. He sees everything that is happening on the floor, and a lot of times what’s going to happen before it happens.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Trust In Their Preparation – “I really love shots that hold a lot of weight…I’m very at peace, I’m very confident. I know I’ve put in a lot of work to put myself in that situation,” says Love.
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Now Focus On Their Successes, Not Their Failures – Love adds, “You’re gonna miss some (game-ending shots), I know that. But what matters are the ones you make.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Know Failure Is Never Final – Love knows leadership is an oval track. No matter how good or bad an individual lap may be, it is always on to the next lap. He says, “All that matters to me is the next game.”
- Leaders Who Overcome Failure Leave Their Mistakes Behind – That’s grace. Love concludes, “One thing Flip (head coach Saunders) has talked to me a lot about is how to fail quickly. It’s O.K. to make a mistake as long as you leave it behind.”
What is one lesson from this list you learned on failure?
To subscribe to this site and get my latest FREE eBook 649 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From The 2013 Passion, Exponential, Orange, Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Conferences click here or on the image to the left.