Ah, the wonderful ear worm that is Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping song. Such a mouthful that band name and title but the lyrics are still quite inspiring:
I get knocked down,
For so many of us, success in leadership is our primary goal. We want to be successful, we want to achieve something great, make a difference and be remembered. Yet, so often we view success from the rear view mirror. And when we do this, the path to get there looks so much straighter and smoother than it really is. We hear about successful people and what they achieved. Yet only in a few cases do we ever hear the other side of the story, the one that shines a light on all the times they got knocked down or failed before they pulled all those wins and losses into a long-term victory.
No matter how pragmatic or balanced you are as a leader, we all tend to magnify and get stuck by our failures. Maybe it was a bad hire, a misstep or failed strategy or even your own spread too thin self mucking up the works. It isn’t a matter of if we will get knocked down or knocked out by something but when. And what matters most is how we deal with the adversity and failure that pave the road to those really big wins.
One of my favorite quotes comes from author John Baldoni who says, “It’s what you do after you get knocked down that people remember.” If we as leaders can channel humility, grace, resilience and even humor when life throw us a left hook, we will both teach our teams that its okay to be human and we will engage their support and goodwill in getting out of rough patches. So when that left hook lands, get your bearings, stand up, shake it off and even laugh at yourself and keep moving forward.