The Hall of Fame UCLA Men's Basketball Coach, John Wooden used to say, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you prepare properly, you may be outscored but you will never lose." In my short tenure as a teacher, coach and adviser, I have come to recognize a majority of student leaders are easily defeated. Too often plans or performances do not go as expected and the all too common reaction is an overwhelming sense of failure. No big deal, right? NO! It IS a big deal. What happens all too often is this failure turns into defeat, an act of submission by one's will to discontinue his or her efforts towards improvement. In other words, defeat leads one to quit.
John Wooden would also add to this quote by stating how he would not fail BUT he would make mistakes. His perspective on failures resulting in seeing failures as setbacks and opportunities to learn and improve. We've heard this before and maybe too much in that the truthfulness of this perspective has lost its influence on our motivation and will to live and succeed.
The difference between leaders who fail and succeed comes down to how each handles failure. Many great leaders, as John Wooden has stated, assumes and accepts failure will happen. The difference in those who become great and accomplish greatness is they understand failure is NOT the same as defeat. See failures as a means of growth and necessary to develop one's character, vision and leadership.
Look back at your last defeat. Was it as crippling as you felt at the time? How could a different perspective on failure lead to a new sense of improvement?
Picture taken from http://kennysilva.net/failure-is-not-my-identity/