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Thursday, April 22, 2010

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Failure Can Be A Step On The Road To Success

Not everyone who's on top today got there with success after success. More often than not, those who history best remembers were faced with numerous obstacles that forced them to work harder and show more determination than others. Next time you're feeling down about your failures in a career or in sport, keep these famous people in mind and remind yourself that sometimes failure is just the first step towards success.

Business Gurus

These businessmen and the companies they founded are today known around the world, but as these stories show, their beginnings weren't always smooth.

1.Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn't an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.

2.R. H. Macy: Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn't always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.

3.F. W. Woolworth: Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores. Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.

4.Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbours, finally started his own business.

5.Akio Morita: You may not have heard of Morita but you've undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony's first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn't cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn't stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.

6.Bill Gates: Gates didn't seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn't work, Gates' later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.

7.Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

8.Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.


While some athletes rocket to fame, others endure a path fraught with a little more adversity, like those listed here.

1.Michael Jordan: Most people wouldn't believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn't let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

2. Stan Smith: This tennis player was rejected from even being a lowly ball boy for a Davis Cup tennis match because event organisers felt he was too clumsy and uncoordinated. Smith went on to prove them wrong, showcasing his not-so-clumsy skills by winning Wimbledon, the U. S. Open and eight Davis Cups.

3.Babe Ruth: You probably know Babe Ruth because of his baseball home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."

4. Tom Landry: As the coach of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, Landry brought the team two Super Bowl victories, five NFC Championship victories and holds the records for the record for the most career wins. He also has the distinction of having one of the worst first seasons on record (winning no games) and winning five or fewer over the next four seasons.



Service is a value of Positive Leadership.

‘I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: The ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.’ Albert Schweitzer

Here are some reference materials which speak to this value: