Last week I witnessed one of the best football games I’ve seen in a long time. The University of Texas Longhorns pulled out a victory over the reigning national champion USC Trojans. Since I live in Austin, home of the Longhorns, I was ecstatic to see the outcome.
I watched the TV as the Texas players celebrated their victory at the end of the game. One of the TV commentators cornered USC’s quarterback Leinart and asked his opinion of the game. He stated:
I still think we’re a better football team. They just made the plays at the end.
Sure, USC has a great team. They have enjoyed a great run over the past few years. But when push came to shove, they didn’t execute the plays that could have led to the victory over Texas. Instead of acknowledging the loss and what it really meant, Leinart was in denial. Are you running your business with this mindset?
Sometimes You Lose
Business isn’t always great. You don’t always have year after year of revenue growth and a rising stock price. Your products may fail. Your key employees may jump ship. Your competitors may even outsmart you with a better product or strategy.
Just because you make a mistake or fall behind in business doesn’t mean all is lost. You can learn from the situation and come out better on the other side. Accept the fact that something bad has happened and prepare to move on.
The easiest thing to do when something goes wrong is to make excuses. You’ll want to blame everyone but yourself: employees, suppliers, customers, the boss, or even the post office. But making excuses and passing blame won’t turn things around and certainly won’t help your business.
Instead of making excuses, find the reasons behind the problem. What went wrong? Why did it happen? How can you prevent that from happening again? Learn from your situation. Don’t just say, “I still think we’re the better business. They just made the plays at the end.” Why didn’t you make the plays at the end? Or how could you have stopped the competition from stealing your victory? Eliminate the excuses and find the underlying reasons for failure so you’re better prepared the next time.
If your business has been greatly successful over the years, you may grow complacent. You may look down at your competition with disdain. Beware! There are others gunning for your position and are working hard to get a piece of your market share. Stay focused and innovative so that you’re a step ahead of the rest.
Be the Better Team
Learn from your mistakes, failures, errors, and disasters. Don’t forget them or brush them off with random excuses. Take the lessons from your loss and better your company. Do this and you’ll always be able to say: “I still think we’re a better football team.” You can say it because it will be true.