Super Bowl leadership lesson - A difficult pill to swallow

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[vimeo id="87212202"] The Super Bowl is one of the most watched events in the United States. This year’s game was a clear victory for the Seattle Seahawks with a final score of 43 to 8. It was clear to see that the Seahawks basically dominated the game from the very beginning. Interestingly enough, many predicted the Denver Broncos to win. Others predicted it would be a close scoring game, far from a blowout.

Needless to say, the Super Bowl was very surprising, but what really impressed me was what the Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning, said in a post-game interview regarding their loss.

He said, “It’s a difficult pill to swallow and you have to find a way to deal with it and process it, and fuel it to make you a better team next year.”

There’s a classic, but valuable leadership message embedded in Peyton Manning’s quote that I want to highlight. It’s a good lesson and a reminder for all of us who are dealing with defeat and failure in our lives. The point is that, effective leaders do not allow failures to keep them down, but use them to grow stronger and apply their lessons to the future. All effective leaders understand that failures will happen, but it’s the lessons in failures that will propel people to succeed in the future.

Bill Gates once said, “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

You see, all leaders whether in sports, business, politics or whichever field, know the difficulty in swallowing the pill of failure. There is never an easy way to do it except to reflect on what happened, deal with it, learn from it, and adjust for the future.

The Broncos may have lost the Super Bowl, but if they apply what Peyton expressed in his post-game interview, I think they might come back next year even stronger than they were this year – and that’s not just a die-hard Broncos fan speaking. The truth is that most leaders will always succeed if they choose to follow through with learning from defeat and fueling it for victory the next time around.

What do you think is the best way to deal with defeat? Do you think the Broncos might win next year?