Resilience isn’t achieving constant success

Resilience isn’t achieving constant success – it’s about standing back up after we fall

There’s a great quote from the American basketball player Michael Jordan: ‘I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.’

This sentiment isn’t only applicable to pro-athletes.  From working with and observing my successful peers, I’ve found this premise – that we only grow by the fact that every time we fall, we stand back up – to also be true amongst those who are most successful in business.

I worked recently with a CEO who thought about success in the same way.  He is a very resilient man in general, who has a punishing personal schedule and meditates for an hour every morning without fail.

One of the anecdotes that he tells on his own journey, is about how he lost several million within 12 months of setting up a business.  Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up completely, he worked out why he had gone wrong, picked himself back up and has gone on to start 18 businesses over the last three years.

Not all of them have worked, and some have become $multi-million ventures – but that’s not the important part of this story.  It’s that he uses setbacks as teachable moments; to learn why he went wrong and grow from his experiences, so he can do better in the future.

This is what I see resilience as:

It’s not about easy successes, but being able to bounce back from ‘missed shots’ and lost opportunities and keep pushing forwards, knowing that the game-winning shots will come again.

If you want to develop your leadership or are interested in how you can drive resilience in your business, please get in touch with Empowering Success on

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