7 Questions That Will Turn Failure into Awesome

Over the years Jeff and I have had numerous conversations about the importance of winning and losing. We are a society that watches the scoreboard and cares about wins and losses. But games are not really won on game day.

Games are won in the off-season working on strength, agility, resilience, and speed. Games are won by watching game films. Games are won at before and after school practices. Games are won during the times, on and off the court, when you mentally and emotionally have to reach deep to develop courage, determination, insight and grit.

Finally, the real learning and growth opportunities do not come from winning, or becoming top salesperson in our company for that matter. The real learning comes from: 1) your willingness to prepare to win, and how smart and hard you’re willing to work when no one is watching, and 2) how you deal with the tough losses or failures. How you reflect on failure, take the learnings and make progress is how to turn the failure into the awesome.

I now realize that the precious relationship I have with my family would not exist if we hadn’t endured numerous challenging situations. Precisely in the failure of the past is the seed of future success. Dealing with the shadow side and mistakes of the past, and then bringing them into the light–sensitively, smartly, and timely will demonstrate that failure is indeed awesome.

7 Questions for Reflection

  1. What failures have you encountered that provided major growth opportunities for you?
  2. What failures have you yet to bring into the light so you can use them for good in the future?
  3. What could you discuss with your son (or daughter) that would help him gain a better perspective about failure?
  4. On a scale of 1-10, how transparent with your son or other’s close to you about the challenges and failures you face?
  5. What holds you back?
  6. What possibilities exist by being more transparent about those situations?
  7. When will you take that next important step to move closer to being the leader you desire?

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This blog is an edited excerpt from Tender Lions: Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son

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