That got your attention, didn’t it? Brazil has lost to Germany in this year’s World Cup semi-finals, this isn’t a triumph but can we make it one? At Futureboard, we are ‘glass half full’ people. From experience, it takes a lot more energy to take positives, than it does to dramatise the negatives. Here are some of the newspaper headlines appearing today: “Brazil in Shock after World Cup Humiliation”, BBC; “Disgrace of all disgraces”; “Massacred tactically and technically”, The GloboEsporte. Lance, Brazil’s most renowned sports publication committed to a similar angle lamenting, “The biggest shame in history”. All of this combined with a Twitter record of 35.6 million disgruntled tweets sent during the 90-minute game followed on by a barrage of memes on social media platforms.
Apparently after last night’s games we now have a better understanding of the World Cup Design!
I spoke with Futureboard’s director, Katherine Travel, who spent last night watching the match in Berlin. “It was exciting to begin with; the Germans were very competitive and supportive of their team. Slowly but surely, the atmosphere flattened. It just became embarrassing, and didn’t really allow for a celebratory environment.” As a team, we feel the events of last night pose relevant questions we can relate to every day in our careers.
Brazil suffered a devastating defeat last night in the World Cup Semi-Final against Germany, but they are a squad with many wins under their belt. So it is reasonable to assume they will bounce back from this failure. (They have, after all, got four years to prepare!)
The following days and weeks will be tough for those players on the pitch last night, but I’m sure the pain will subside and they will start to look back and hopefully learn from the situation. We all know that great things can come from failure or adversity.
If you’re a graduate starting your career or the CEO of a multi-national, failure can be seen in different ways. You could let it stop you in your tracks or you could see as an exciting opportunity to test yourself. Without a mistake we would never progress, so let’s look at Futureboard’s top tips on how to respond to failure:
- Take time to grieve and then look to the future. Sometimes it is good to spend a bit of time mourning failure, it can help you release pent up stress and emotion before channeling energy into looking forward. Whether your failure was a personal one or shared with a team, it’s good to air your emotions and opinions but then start looking to what you can do to learn from the situation. It may be that you need to revisit your core purpose. The failure can still be a stepping stone to a greater success. Thinking about what your goals are will bring back passion, energy and enthusiasm that you no doubt had at the beginning of your quest.
- Re-frame the situation. This is the kind of advice your mum might offer, but the reality is there is always something good that you can take away from a failure. Look for the learning and keep reminding yourself and others, if you are in a team, of this learning. Use it to help clarify your purpose. Looking for that silver lining can help you bury negative energy and prevent you slipping into a deeper sense of insecurity or fear.
- Recharge. A failure gives you a perfect opportunity to sit back and reevaluate the landscape in which you are operating. In taking this time to gain perspective, you can potentially prepare yourself to jump higher the next time. Look at the failure but also remember to re-look at what you did well and remind yourself of your strengths. Recharge your strengths and look how you can address any skill or emotional gaps.
- Assume it will happen again. Failure is a fact of life! The more challenges you set yourself as an individual/team, the more likely you are to experience failure again. Hopefully not in the same form. Remember, with failure comes the potential of innovation, change, development, movement, inspiration, confidence. Your response to failure will help make you a more resilient person.
- Get some perspective. Let’s go back to the headlines of today: “World Cup Humiliation”, “Disgrace of all disgraces”, “Massacred”. Whilst the defeat may feel ‘devastating’ for the supporters of Brazil; it is no real tragedy (although some egos took a bashing). No natural disaster has wiped out its towns. No massacre has occurred. We have spent centuries developing language to be able to correctly define our emotions, achievements and goals so let’s not waste it.
- Take responsibility. Things won’t always go your way, but it’s important to recognise if it was an action on your own part that led to the failure. Many of Brazil fans booed the team as they sank further into defeat. Those involved should know today that their actions will have directly impacted their team’s ability to turn the situation around.
A quote Cervantes will hopefully resonate with you and the people of Brazil “The journey is better than the inn”. Brazil should celebrate on the fact they’ve been the host of what is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world! Brazil is often referred to as ‘The Football Nation’; and they will come back and defend their unofficial title as ‘The Football Nation’.
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