Losing with Grace…
I live in a world where everyone is always talking about leadership and how to handle yourself as a leader. I’m lucky that I get to see some of the best leadership on this planet first hand and I’m very grateful for that because it has helped me grow in incredible ways. I am constantly surrounded by great leaders and people who are used to winning, but I can say that there is something I feel we all need to hear occasionally. Sometimes we all lose and great teams and leaders lose well too.
It’s a pretty common fact that games and contests were not invented to create losing teams. Everyone wants to be a winner. Unfortunately, at some point all of us have to lose. Fortunately, there is a way to do this and still feel like a winner.
A proactive attitude can do wonders for your entire team and your own mind as well. I was once on a team where one of our players looked at the rest of the team several times and asked “Why do we suck so bad?”. They even looked over at the other team and apologized out loud telling them “We suck!”. I believe this kind of talk only serves no good purpose. It demoralizes your own team more than they already are. It also tells the other team that you don’t respect yourself enough to even try to give them a challenge. Your team already knows they aren’t playing well and the other team already knows you aren’t playing well, so “We suck!” “I suck!” or “You suck!” never has to be mentioned. It should be obvious to everyone involved. If you find yourself losing, take the role of motivator. You may not win, but you can always get better! The other team will appreciate the practice.
You should also never give up. You may be in last place, but finishing is an accomplishment in itself. When you take that away from your team by forfeiting or getting your team disqualified on purpose, you do nothing more than strip yourselves of the dignity of finishing well. You also take away the chance to get better. The team that quits is even more of a loser than the team who tried and finished last.
Losing only strips your pride if you let it get to you. Don’t let it affect those around you too. You can win while losing as long as you keep the right attitude and you never give up.
Don’t get so used to winning that you forget how to lose well…