June 12, 2013
The “Best-Of” Failure

We have to face reality and accept the fact that at some point, we all will face failure in something. Although the word, failure, is often a word we try to avoid within our vocabulary, it is an act that every successful person experiences. Even Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan and Albert Einstein failed a number of times.

Over the next few weeks, we will be reflecting on the Spirit of Competition program, whose core themes are failure, civility, rivalry, passion and innovation. This week we will be focusing on failure, which we highlighted on our blog last summer. Check out our top 5 picks from the theme:

1. How failure breeds success

Failure is crucial to our everyday successes. It is an important aspect to the experimental process. Explore, experiment, foul up and repeat.

2. What can we learn from Shackleton and The Endurance

Many lessons can be learned through our failures. When Ernest Shacklton led a polar expedition across the continent of Antarctica and failed, he encouraged his men to focus on the new task at hand, surviving. One of the most important lessons learned through this failed expedition was to never give up.

3. Learning from failure

Very few people enjoy failing or admitting failure but many people are plagued with finger pointing and deflecting blame. How can we learn from our failures and improve what has already been done?

4. Hogwarts was built on failure

J.K. Rowling claimed to have nothing else to fear when she was at her lowest. How can you fear failure when you have already failed?

5. Neal Brown: Failure taught me a lot

Life hasn’t always been delicious for Neal Brown. Shortly after being named “Best Chef” and having his restaurant L’explorateur voted “Best New Restaurant” in 2007, the restaurant was forced to close its kitchen. Fortunately, Neal was able to deal with the failure and start again in the food industry with new restaurants The Libertine Liquor Bar and pizzeria, Pizzology.

Although failure is a touchy subject, these themes led to a number of thought provoking conversations. Join us next week as we share the best-of passion!


“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

― Maya Angelou


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