Category Archives: Adversity

Failure Isn’t For Failures

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to leverage the positive affects of failure. Reading time: 3:42

         Failure isn’t for failures. It’s for leaders who realize that failure is part and parcel of success.

    failure dead endYou can’t have one without the other. Success comes BECAUSE OF –not in spite of–failure.

        Rowland Macy founded the Macy’s department store in 1858 after failing at seven previous attempts to open a dry goods store.

       Louis Meyer founded MGM in 1924 from three companies that had failed, including his own.

       And Henry Ford built his first car 15 years after he failed at building a mechanical plow. Ford said: “Failure is not failure, but the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.” Continue reading

Turning Friction Into Polished Perfection

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you bounce back from adversity. Reading time: 2:46.

          The rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat snap of a polishing cloth seemingly fired like the rhythmic shots from a machine gun. A shoe shine professional led the attack on those leather shoes.  With passion. And pride in work well done.

         Those shoes, squealing under the siege of that polishing cloth, took a beating and came out beaming. Just like a leader.

         Next time you feel the friction in the marketplace, the next time you feel someone is trying to rub you out, take a look at the shine on your shoes and appreciate the value of friction.

      Instead of wearing you down, friction can rev you up.

        Consider the beating that Don Shula took in becoming the first pro football  coach to lose two Super Bowls in embarrassing fashion.

       In the 1969 season, his Baltimore Colts lost to Joe Namath and the underdog New York Jets in one of sport’s all-time upsets, 16-7, in Super Bowl III.

      And in the 1971 season, Shula’s Miami Dolphins set the Super Bowl record for the lowest score and for longest to be shutout in a game. Miami finally scored with 3:19 remaining in its 24-3 loss in Super Bowl VI to the Dallas Cowboys.

     But Don Shula battle back the next year in 1972 and coached the Miami Dolphins to the first unbeaten, untied 17-0-0 record in more than a half century of the National Football League and went on to win Super Bowl VII.

       Beaten, battered and bruised, the Miami Dolphins battled back stronger than ever before for  a perfect record that still stands 40 years later.

     Continue reading

Come-From-Behind Leading

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you stay the course against the odds. Reading time: 3:12

                Anything is possible.  At least that’s the message I like to tell myself every spring with the baseball season opener.

               Indeed all leaders need to periodically go out of their way to figuratively smell the freshly cut grass of their own version of a baseball diamond that seemingly exhilarates with a sense of renewal, a sense of rejuvenation,  a sense that anything is possible.

Boston Red Sox win 2004 World Series

               Recall the 2004  Boston Red Sox, losing their first three games and  on the brink of elimination in the best of seven games series, battled back to win the American League Championship Series over the New York Yankees — the same Yankees that had beaten them 19-8 in the third game of that series.

             Boston had to fight into extra innings in two of their four victories in this series against the 26-time World Series Champion New York Yankees. The Boston Red Sox would go on to win their first World Series Championship in  86 years– since 1918. Anything is possible.

           Pro football’s history too  is filled with great come-from-behind victories. The  Buffalo Bills battled back from a 35-3 deficit in the third quarter to beat the Houston Oilers 41-38 in the National Football League’s all-time come-from-behind victory.

          And  the Chicago Bears won the NFL Championship in 1940 over the Washington Redskins, 73-0, in the most one-sided victory ever in the NFL.  Just three weeks before the Washington Redskins beat the Chicago Bears, 7-3, in a regular season game. Anything is possible. Continue reading

Overcoming Injury Against Overwhelming Odds

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here are few inspiring stories to help you stay the course in adversity.

Ben Hogan battled back from a terrible car accident to win the US Open

           You’re driving on a two-lane highway in the predawn darkness. Suddenly you see four headlights beaming abreast of each other and heading directly towards you.  As you get closer, you see that the four headlights  belong to a Greyhound bus and a truck. The bus is trying to pass the truck when suddenly the hand of death SLAPS you hard! Painfully hard.

            You lie torn, twisted and tangled in a head-on collision with the Greyhound bus. You lie helpless, hapless and hopeless in your prison of personal pain. You lie virtually paralyzed –a whisper away from death’s door for four months.

          Suddenly. Incredibly. Miraculously. You recover. And just over a year later, you win one of the most prestigious and competitive sporting events in history. Sound farfetched? Who could defy death like that? Who could defy the odds like that? Who could defy destiny like that. Golf great Ben Hogan—that’s who.

        In 1950, just 16 months after his head-on collision with a bus, Ben Hogan amazed the sporting world with his stunning comeback. He won the US Open in a strenuous 36-hole playoff.  How inspiring!

       Whenever I find myself complaining about a flu bug or just plain feeling lousy, I think of leaders  like Ben Hogan and Continue reading

Crash the Pity Party: Become a Miracle Worker

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea that will inspire you to prevail in tough times.

              Woe is me! You hear that lament a lot these days.  The Pity Party is alive and well and threatens to rob you and me of our spirit, our conviction, our hope –in essence our leadership.

Anne Bancroft (left) and Patty Duke as Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker

           Not so fast Pity Mouth!   Let’s scan the history books to recall how other leaders prevailed in tough circumstances, in times of illness or injury. Let’s rekindle our fortitude in frustrating times.

         Whenever I’m tempted to attend the Pity Party, I think of Patty Duke playing Helen Keller in the Broadway play and later in the movie The Miracle Worker. What an amazing portrayal on screen and on the Broadway stage of a truly inspiring life. Helen Keller turned her personal adversity into a personal triumph. Consider the facts:

  1. As a two-year-old, Helen Keller lost her sight and hearing.
  2. By age seven, Helen Keller could not see, hear or speak.
  3. By age 25, Helen Keller spoke English, French and German. She read Latin and Greek and  she graduated with honors from Radcliffe College (in four years).
  4. Still blind and deaf, Helen Keller became the first woman to earn at Honorary degree at Harvard University.
  5. Helen Keller went on to write 12 books.
  6. Helen Keller became an accomplished public speaker for nearly 50 years.

    Continue reading