Failure Is Not Defeat

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This is a guest post by Tom Panaggio,
 Author of The Risk Advantage: Embracing the Entrepreneur’s Unexpected Edge. Tom is an entrepreneur who spends his time advising companies, speaking and spending time on the racetrack.

Vince Lombardi never admitted to failure. He always said that he never lost a game, he just ran out of time. To Lombardi, failure was not fatal; it did not mean that hope was lost. He simply refocused his team and made the necessary game strategy alterations. In his mind, he never lost or failed because he always made the necessary changes going forward.

There is a difference between failure and defeat. Failure is temporary, but defeat is permanent. I’d love to see the statistics for how many entrepreneurs mistook a failure as defeat and gave up. For anyone who accepts defeat, there is no hope, only regret.

 

Failure is temporary, but defeat is permanent. -Tom Panaggio

 

Today, I am an amateur race car driver. That obsession began in 1983 after I attended a sports car race at Daytona International Speedway. My background was in traditional athletics, and I knew nothing about racing or how to even begin to get involved. All I knew was that I wanted to do it. After conducting some research, I found that I needed to go to two accredited racing schools to qualify for a license, with the caveat that school number two must be a Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) sanctioned school. If I didn’t pass this second school, there would be no racing for me.

9781938416446The first school I attended, Skip Barber Racing School, supplied everything needed, including a real race car and all the safety equipment. The second SCCA school supplied only the racetrack and instructors; I needed to provide my own race car. By luck, I knew someone who owned a race car and was retired from driving. He was gracious enough to let me borrow his car if I paid to get it track ready. That turned out to be a mistake on his part.

I failed at the second racing school. Twice. In consecutive weekends, I failed due to mistakes. (Okay, I crashed both times.) The second failure caused the untimely death of the borrowed race car in a spectacular crash at over a hundred miles an hour. I can still see the track workers leaping from their protective bunker moments before I plowed into it.

Everyone told me to quit, to give up. They said that I didn’t have what it takes to be a race car driver. Even I had doubts, but my desire to race had not lessened. In fact, everyone else’s doubts made me want to prove that I could do it. I was determined, and I wouldn’t let failure defeat me.

Why Your Success Depends on Being Off Balance

Dan Thurmon is on stage, and I’m already wondering how I will describe this scene.  He’s completely different from other speakers, but I’m not even sure I would characterize this as speaking.  He moves effortlessly from motivational speaker to performer.  One minute I am furiously writing down nuggets of wisdom to review for later.  The next, I am gripping my hands together as I watch him balancing on a unicycle as knives are thrown his way.  After he leaves the stage, I intentionally eavesdrop on the others around me.  They, too, are trying to put it into words.

Dan Thurmon’s performance may be difficult to describe because he has blended his many interests and talents into a role that suits him uniquely and perfectly—roles that include speaker, author, juggler, and acrobatic performer.  Dan is a keynote speaker, a member of the prestigious Speaker’s Roundtable, and the president of Motivation Works, Inc.9781608320141

Dan dispenses advice that seems to contradict common wisdom.  He talks about life balance in a way that gets your attention: balancing atop a tall unicycle as he juggles sharp objects.

Here are five things you may not expect to hear from a motivational speaker:

  1. Forget balance.  The goal to have a life in balance in unattainable and also undesirable.  Life is off balance and you must be off balance to grow.  The key is to be off balance on purpose.  Embrace uncertainty to create a life you love.
  2. Let go to get a grip.  You need to let go of the necessity to control everything.  Let go of the need to do everything yourself.  Let go of negative emotions.  Letting go will free you.
  3. You won’t reach your potential.  It may seem strange to hear this from a motivational guru, but you have an infinite capacity to grow, learn and love.  Keep reaching higher.

Igniting Passionate Performance

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Photo by timsackton on flickr

This is a guest post by Lee J. Colan, Ph.D. Lee is a leadership advisor and author of 12 popular leadership books. This article is based on his bestselling book Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees. Learn more at www.theLgroup.com.

In today’s hyper-competitive market, creating sticky customer relationships is paramount.

After all, keeping existing customers is five times less expensive than finding new ones. That’s good business in anyone’s book.

Traditional competitive factors like product design, technology and distribution channels are harder to sustain in a super-fast, mega-networked world. In fact, the good old “Four P’s of Marketing” – product, price, promotion and placement – are having much less impact for companies competing in today’s marketplace.  A fifth “P” – people – has become an increasingly important competitive factor.

Consider this: About 70% of customers’ buying decisions are based on positive human interactions with sales staff. Add to this the fact that 83% of the U.S. gross domestic product comes from services and information which are created and delivered by people. The bottom line is that people buy from people, not companies. So, your people – and the performance they deliver – are the defining competitive advantage for your organization.

The Anatomy of Passionate Performance

Think of the times you’ve gone shopping or to a restaurant and dealt with service people who were visibly excited to be in their jobs and to be serving you. Their words jumped out of their hearts rather than being regurgitated from a script. They probably surprised you with the extra effort and thoughtfulness they put toward satisfying your particular needs or questions – and they actually seemed happy to do it!

70% of customers’ buying decisions are based on positive human interactions with sales staff.

Now, consider how you felt when you left these establishments. Did you buy more than you had planned? Were you likely to return? Did you recommend these businesses to friends? You probably answered “Yes” to at least one of these questions. That’s the beginning of a value chain that starts with engaged employees.

When people are engaged in their work and feel a deep connection to it, they deliver Passionate Performance. Passionate Performance creates satisfied customers, and ultimately, value for the organization.

9 Steps to End Procrastination

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Procrastination is not inherently evil. There may be benefits to procrastination.  Before ending procrastination for good, make sure you understand why you are delaying in the first place.

Why do we procrastinate?

 

No commitment.  You realize after waiting a period of time that you aren’t fully committed to the goal.  Better to know before you spend hours and hours on it, then abandon it.

Bad idea.  It may be that you realize it’s a bad idea or that there is another way to accomplish something.

Too many goals.  Maybe you put it aside in favor of something else or you have competing priorities.

Laziness.  You look at your last week and realize that you have no excuse.  You are just lazy.  A sloth.

Exhaustion.  You are physically and mentally spent doing other things, and you don’t start because your tank is running on empty.

Fear of failure.  By not starting, you don’t finish and therefore reduce your risk of failure.  After all, if you finish, everyone will see the end result and judge it.  Rather than risk that, you never begin.

Move TO your future not AWAY from your past

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Photo by Fellowship of the Rich on flickr.

People seem to be motivated by one of two forces.  Either toward or against.

Both can be equally powerful motivators, but one seems to last.

Why are you in motion?

When I interview people for a job, I often ask questions about how the individual made career decisions.  Some job changes were motivated by moving AWAY from something—a bad boss, a negative work environment, low pay.  Other people make a change to move TOWARD something—a new opportunity, the ability to make a bigger impact, a better use of talent.

Though it’s not scientific validation, I’ve found that the people moving TOWARD the new opportunity are more successful, happier, and continue on an upward career path.  These people are energized by the future, by what’s to come, by what’s possible.

Contrast that with the people moving AWAY from a job.  It seems that the very same things that they didn’t like about the one job magically seemed to follow them to the next!

Moving TOWARD is more powerful than moving AWAY.