Lifelong Learning

Recently, a lot of very burly men gathered in Northern California to put on tights and very expensive shoes so they could prance, frolic, cavort, and make merry with one another in an open field – and we called it Super Bowl 50. Unless you’ve been living on another planet (or Bakersfield without cable), you’ve at least heard that Cam Newton didn’t take the loss all that well and his post-game interview was less than . . . gracious. His behavior in that interview really got tongues wagging, and a lot of criticism was heaped on Mr. Newton. He later released a statement as a response to this criticism: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser. . . . If I offended anyone, that’s cool.”

From everything I read, there wasn’t a single significant criticism about his failure to apologize for the loss. No one was expecting him to start writing checks to the fans to make up for the fact the Panthers lost the game. The criticism can be summed up in the short statement given by Newton’s head coach, Ron Rivera, in which he said he wished the quarterback had “handled it differently.” That’s all – and that’s the lesson for all of us.

No one LIKES to lose (unless you’re a member of Weight Watchers). We don’t wake up in the morning, look ourselves in the mirror and say, “I can’t wait to have someone beat me at my own game!” When we do lose, though – and the fact of the matter is it’s going to happen every now and then – how we act either inspires those around us (and even inspires ourselves) or causes people to step away from us and choose another partner.

Have you closed EVERY deal in which you’ve been involved? Has EVERY deal gone exactly the way you anticipated with respect to your client’s wishes and the commissions involved? I’m going to take a WILD guess and say, probably not – there have been, maybe, two or three times when the deal didn’t follow your plan to the letter. When things have gone sideways on a transaction, did you go to your client and say, “They beat us! I hate losing! If I offended you, that’s cool” – and then you just walked away? Of course not!

I’m going to go out on one more limb here and say that the likelihood of your getting a referral from a past client is MUCH higher if the transaction you completed involved problems – problems that you overcame – than if the transaction went off without a hitch – one in which you “won”.

Cam’s still young – he’s still a “beginner” in the NFL – so we’ll cut him some slack. That reminds me of something I read recently on the Internet (so it must be true): “Do you want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” Be the master your clients deserve – don’t just talk about it!

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