One of the things I’m noticing about the people I’m interviewing on The Other Side of Potential is that there’s always a great story behind every successful leader. That story usually involves huge wins and losses.
The wins come with very hard work, but what about the losses? What purpose do they serve?
What we know about developmental growth is that the losses also serve their purpose when we allow them to do so. The difference I’m seeing in today’s successful leaders is that they instinctively know how to recover after a hard fall.
In other words, they make meaning from what’s happened. They don’t just look at the loss or failure through a single lens. They reflect on their part in the failure. They intentionally look for the growing edge that lies beneath the pain and suffering. They adapt and change accordingly.
In some instances, it’s almost as if the loss catapults them to the next level of success.
I’m becoming increasingly curious about why this is so.
One Leader’s Story
In a recent interview with CEO RJ Nicolosi, he spoke about having a $50M company with 350 employees. RJ had it all, but well into his journey of success, he found himself divorced and bankrupt— all within one year.
Up until that time, RJ had seen himself as a great husband, father, and entrepreneur. When the avalanche hit, he had to dig himself out and ask some hard questions:
What did I miss? How can I become a better person?
It’s been a ten-year journey for RJ, but he didn’t wait for the next opportunity to find him. He created it. He’s now the CEO and Founder of Catapult Leadership. Among other things, he’s also the Chairman of the Board for Gimbal, Inc. More importantly, he’s devoted his life to helping other CEO’s avoid some of the pitfalls that caused him so much pain.
According to RJ, you have to be aware of your own weaknesses and how they play out or things can get dangerous.
What I love most about RJ is that he’s humble enough to share his own story on behalf of the growth of others. It’s what I like to call, collaborating for greater wisdom. RJ does it well.
When he founded Catapult Leadership, he knew that he wanted to offer executive coaching and consulting opportunities for high growth leaders in the $1M to $50M range. The mission of Catapult is to create a community of leaders that offers multiple pathways to success. One where shared knowledge and wisdom is available to every leader.
Shared Spaces of Collaboration
This idea of collaboration among CEO’s is different than what we’ve seen in past generations. Yes, CEO’s have always come together in one form or other, but they often did so from a competitive stance. Back in the day, the only way to rise up the ladder of success was to hold your cards close to the chest and out perform your competitors and colleagues.
In today’s new economy, however, most leaders are subject to a rapid-fire climate of technological, economic, and societal change. It no longer makes sense to withhold knowledge, power, or information from a competitive stance. No one person can be expected to have all of the answers. Operating in shared spaces of collaboration is the norm. When great minds come together, amazing things happen. Greater profitability is the result.
So, I have a few questions for you today?
- What’s the greatest learning point you can extract from your own story of adversity?
- How has that story made you a better leader?
- Where do you need the greatest support to take your business and your life to the next level?
- What would collaborating for wisdom look like in your world? With whom?
- What do you need to let go of in order to get to the next level of performance and profitability?