A Losing Day

Lessons learned from good leadership on a bad day

In every job — especially when I think of my years in politics — there are times when you win and times when you lose. But there is really no business like the consulting business with it’s fast ups and downs and crucial focal points called pitches. In my professional life I was several times on the winning side and often enough on the losing side. And — as long as there is no severe impact to your overall business — you learn to cope with both. Of course loss hurts, but the more experienced you are, the water gets only a short time to your head.

A year ago there was a losing day and this is, what I learned:

1. Don’t blame.

If you lose, it is your fault. You should never blame another one for it. Not the competitors and not the client. Learn from the situation and make it better the next time.

2. Don’t be a sorehead.

If you can’t win the clients money, win his heart with professional communication. There is always a second chance and you should provide an environment, where the client can come back to you without losing his face.

3. Keep calm and deliver on.

Perform like a professional and give premium work to the client every day. You cannot undo a decision, but on the long run you can prove it wrong.

4. No whining!

If you have given your best — like an athlete — you can achieve astounding goals and lose simultaneously. And the only way to win the next time is to focus on your strengths.

5. Be a role model to your team.

Communicate fast when you win and faster when you lose. Name the bad things and the good things. Be thankful, positive and make the team feel safe.

Looking back on a bad day. (Credits: Jason Charles Hill)

At this time I had an extraordinary leadership above me with great management and communication skills and I am very thankful, that I was able to learn this lesson by a good example.