Last week, syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker wrote an op-ed entitled “The Power of Losing” about the trials and tribulations of the 2012 Presidential campaign. In it, she notes that the recent losses by Mitt Romney to Rick Santorum in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri on February 7 could actually help to successfully re-focus Romney and his campaign as he seeks the Republican nomination.
Parker asserts that Romney’s concession speech that evening was the best speech to date of his candidacy, saying it “was touching and sweet and true.” She goes on to compare other major concession speeches by Presidential candidates, like Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, as their best speeches of their respective campaigns.
Of course, Romney’s February 7 loss was but one step along the way, and not an ultimate concession for the final prize like that of Gore and Kerry. And that’s the point. Romney still has a chance to leverage that night’s loss.
Parker goes on to say, “The moral of the story isn’t that one must lose to win, but that one try to harness the spoils of loss for the road to victory.”
Clearly, we can apply this same “power of losing” concept to the business world. Whether for an individual senior executive at a company, or the company at large, there is nothing like losing to a competitor or suffering your company’s first quarterly loss to get the juices flowing.
But success will turn on how that executive or how that company chooses to react to that loss, and whether they are successful in summoning a renewed winning spirit to take the next hill.
Loss is inevitable at some point for anybody and any company. Prepare yourself to respond to it accordingly, and turn the power of losing to your ultimate advantage.
And, seek to harness the spoils of loss for your road to victory. It might just lead to a bit of “Hail to the Chief” for you and your company.