Learn From Your Setbacks

Quote of the Week

“You always pass failure on the way to success.”

— Mickey Rooney

Learn From Your Setbacks

by Keith Ferrazzi

“For all his legendary success and greatness as president, Abraham Lincoln lost all the time. Lincoln experienced numerous business, political, and personal setbacks over his life. But he never let any of his failures discourage him from pursuing his goals.

Lincoln failed in business. He failed as a farmer. He lost running for state legislature. He had a nervous breakdown. He was rejected for a job as a land officer. When he was finally elected to the legislature, he lost the vote to be speaker. He ran for Congress and lost. He ran for and lost a U.S. Senate seat. He ran for vice president and lost. And, when he was finally elected president, the nation he was elected to lead broke apart. But by this time, all the activities, experiences, and people he came to know in the process helped him set a direction for that country that will stand as one of America’s greatest legacies.

My point is, behind any successful person stands a long string of failures. But toughness and tenacity like Lincoln’s can overcome these setbacks. Lincoln knew the only way to gain ground, to move forward, to turn his goals into reality, was to learn from his setbacks, to stay engaged and press on (Ferrazzi, 2005, p.98).”

Reference: Ferrazzi, K. (2005). Never eat alone: and other secrets to success, one relationship at a time. New York: Doubleday.


Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114, http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu.

Coaching Call to Action

Document your recent setbacks or failures. Spend some time assessing what you learned in the process. Share this learning with others.