By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to motivate you to stay the course and achieve your goals.
Rejected again. You didn’t get that job or that promotion. Your last “great” idea bombed. Customers didn’t buy it. And right now your self-worth is so low you feel about as needed a pant presser in a nudist colony.
When you’re feeling that low, that rejected, leaders re-frame the experience. They tell themselves they’re being EJECTED not Rejected. They think of themselves as if they were a computer disk ejected from the hard drive –not rejected.
Reject implies incompatibility to a given specific situation (i.e. the body rejects a heart). Eject implies versatility in finding a more supportive climate, much like a fighter pilot EJECTS when his plane is damaged.
Leaders facing rejection think of themselves as an ejected pilot. They know they will eventually land safely in an environment where they can thrive more than merely survive. The most effective leaders routinely reject rejection and eventually arrive at their Promised Land.
Here are a few examples of leaders who have turned a rejection storm of enormous discontent into an ejection norm of enormous content, brimming with opportunity and success.
Sylvestor Stallone was rejected more than 1,000 times by movie producers before Rocky became a multimillion dollar movie hit.
A high school teacher wrote on a 16-year old student’s report card “a conspicuous lack of success.” But Winston Churchill brushed off the rejection and became the Prime Minister who led Great Britain to her finest hour.
Albert Einstein’s dissertation was rejected at the University of Berlin for being “irrelevant and fanciful.” He brushed off that rejection and discovered the Theory of Relativity.
Walt Disney was rejected for a job as a cartoonist at the Chicago Tribune and the Kansas City Star. He brushed off that rejection and founded Disneyland and Disney World.
Two colleges rejected Dale Carnegie. He brushed off the rejection and founded the world’s most-taught public speaking course.
Michael Jordan Rejected From High School Basketball Team
Michael Jordan was rejected in his bid to earn a spot on his high school varsity basketball team late in his sophomore year, despite averaging more than 20 points a game for the junior varsity. Jordan went on to become the first professional basketball player to earn three straight Most Valuable Player honors while leading his Chicago Bulls to an unprecedented three straight NBA Championships.
And Johnny Unitas, the three-time National Football League Player of the Year who quarterbacked the Baltimore Colts to victory in what has become known as the Greatest Game Ever Played – the 1958 Sudden Death NFL Championship—was released from the first team that drafted him. The Pittsburgh Steelers rejected him. Even the hit television series M*A*S*H* –– named the top program in the first 40 years of television’s history by TV GUIDE magazine—was rejected by 32 producers.
Famous authors know the sting rejection. Jules Verne’s first novel Five Weeks in a Balloon was rejected four times. He went on to write 62 books. Mystery writer John Creasey collected more than 750 rejection slips before publishing more than 500 books.
Playwright Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, wrote 40 manuscripts before he ever sold one.
Theodore Guisel’s first Dr. Seuse book was rejected 23 times. Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull was rejected 20 times.
Walt Whitman’s most famous book of poems –Leaves of Grass—was rejected so often, he ended up self-publishing it. And the poetry editor of Atlantic Monthly rejected a pile of poems by Robert Frost with a biting comment that “our magazine has no room for your vigorous verse.”
Indeed, leaders reject rejection and eject themselves in new and different ways to keep their leadership thinking in mint condition.
Reject rejection to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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Filed under: Adversity | Tagged: Albert Einstein, Johnny Unitas, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Jules Verne, Kansas City Star, Michael Jordan, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rocky, Walt Whitman, Winston Churchill |