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Posted by Lisa Hart Lasky on January 8, 2021.

There are things in life that are just, well, they’re just really hard. Like losing. Nobody likes to lose. Our natural inclination is to make excuses for our loss; to blame the other guy, the referees, the teacher for our bad grades –they didn’t know how to teach, or they made a mistake grading our paper. Maybe you didn’t get that job you wanted so badly. Clearly HR or the hiring manager got it wrong. They’ll see…you were the better candidate. They’ll realize it soon enough. Anyway, you get it. We’ve all lost something at some time in our life, and it hurts. It’s hard!

We teach our children to lose gracefully, or at least I hope we all do. Picture the little league teams at the end of the game, lining up to congratulate the other team, high-fiving each opponent as they walk in opposite directions. Congratulations, the losers say to the winners. Good game, the winners say to the losing opponents. Then they all go out for ice cream to either celebrate or ease the pain afterward. Ice cream seems to soothe the soul, no matter what.

It’s hard to do this, but it’s one of those life-lessons that’s critical for our development and among other things, contributes to our maturity. It teaches us grace and composure. It enables us to make friends, build trust and know that we are not always going to win but that’s okay. Without losers, there are no winners. You did your best. You’ll get them next time. Parents and coaches who don’t teach kids to lose are doing them a disservice. You’ve heard people who say, “not every kid deserves a trophy.” You’ve got to win to get the trophy, though. You can’t just say you won. Nobody likes a sore loser.

Well, now we see the biggest, worst example of gracelessness under pressure ever displayed. All the world’s a stage, and right there on center stage, for all the world to see is the biggest loser. The leader in chief, the President of the United States. Little kids all over the world look up to and want to be president someday, and yet, here he is, the great pretender. Pretending he won, when clearly, he lost. He has an opportunity to show the little kids of the world (and a whole bunch of adults) that there is honor in losing gracefully; and be an example for all to look up to. But this, most powerful person in the world has decided that he’s going to take the low road, shut himself off from the world, and pout on the golf course. Why pretend you won a job that clearly, you no longer want? What is revealed is a loser who is so tiny inside, so small and insignificant that he won’t tell the other guy, “Congratulations, good campaign.” On top of it all, he’s hurting the country that we all hold so dear. In his wake, he’s leaving a river of shit for our country – a pandemic, poorly managed, and roadblocks for the new administration to wade through. It’s kind of like, when the little league team loses, they run around the baseball fields flipping over and dumping latrines. Immature. Feckless. Sad.

When the game is over, it’s over. Victory is not achieved by any means necessary; to the victors go the spoils.

When the other team loses, they understandably feel the sting. So, to the losers: examine, evaluate and correct that which brought you the loss. It’s over and it’s time to grow up. Good campaign.

Good luck to you. You didn’t get the trophy this time. You lost fair and square. Better luck next time.

I think I’ll have some ice cream.

Author: Lisa Hart Lasky

Trusted Adviser to help business leaders hire, develop, engage and retain a high performing workforce. PXT Select Authorized Partner. Provide expertise, assessments, testing, technology and other tools to business leaders that improve their workforce and increase ROI.

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