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Failure and other victories
Moving on and ahead
In the early aughts - the exact date is hazy now two decades hence - my firm had the opportunity to pitch for a large and highly sought after assignment. A very high profile organization in serious business trouble. Or so the conventional wisdom went at that time.
It was true that they were bleeding revenues and clients, and being vilified in the business media for, well, being what they were: an established company that had not yet figured out how to swat away the pesky start-ups who claimed to be the new, new thing. (Narrator: they weren’t.)
My group was the lead on developing the strategy and recommendations. We told the prospective client to play to their strengths and focus on how those strengths will help build the future version of what they would be. Show people how you were going to respond strategically and operationally. Like, actually have a busuness solution and show the work. It wasn’t sexy, and it would take time to take hold.
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” - Marcus Aurelius
Which was exactly what they didn’t want to do or hear. Our presentation went over like the proverbial lead balloon. I do remember it was snowing outside, which matched the chill inside.
Needless to say, we didn’t get the assignment. It went to an arch competitor. They wanted an immediate PR fix, and bought what they wanted, rather than what they needed. Our competitor told them what they wanted to hear.
Fast forward: my corporate career ended that day, though it took a while for that to actually happen. The prospective client’s management got fired too, as did the the firm they hired. Under new leadership that organization is thriving. It invested billions of dollars in new technologies, processes and people and is widely considered one of the most successful companies extant. The pesky start-ups have vanished into the mists of time. It could not have turned out any better for me either. There are indeed happy endings; successes emerging from failures.
It could not have turned out any better for me either. The road to here started then and there.
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” - Epictetus
When I started writing these posts, I did so to help myself work through challenges and issues I saw in front of me. Writing helps me cogitate. It helps me learn, by exploring within and without.
I think I have accomplished what I set out to do, at least in this form. So, as I start a new circuit around the sun, it feels right to let something else emerge in this space. I know not what that will be. Yet.