Losing With Dignity Reveals True Character

Ours is a society that revers winners. We love winning. And while our quest for victory is laudable, we too often overlook those who compete nobly and yet fail to win the ultimate prize. Sadly we label as “losers.” However, the way an individual conducts himself in defeat often reveals more about character than it might in victory.

Essential to a leader’s development is managing adversity. It’s one thing to lead when everything is going your way; it’s another thing to lead when the odds are against you.

Leaders who have weathered adversity are often better prepared to make tough choices required to move forward because they know what it takes and are prepared for the next challenge. There is no shame in falling short; what matters more is how you handle defeat and what you do next.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me,” said Walt Disney. “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Disney knew something about going against the odds, as an animator, a studio chief, and ultimately as a theme park developer. The setbacks Disney endured did not prevent him from continuing to pursue his dreams until he found fulfillment.

Summing-up: Success can only come if you continue to believe in yourself, manage adversity with grace, and continue forward with a stronger sense of purpose.

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