abe-lincolnNew leaders need to be able to practice in an environment where they can “fail with dignity”. Camp offers that opportunity to be coached & grow in new skills. We practice this with our SALTers in our Skills And Leadership Training program. Our SALTers have the opportunity to learn lots during their time at Widji and part of that is in the third week of the program they participate with the campers in leading cabin devotions, leading in chapel and camp games. We want them to try out their leadership in a safe environment.

When he was 22, he failed in business. When he was 23, he ran for the legislature and lost. When he was 24, he failed in business again. When he was 26, his sweetheart died. At the age of 27, he had a nervous breakdown. When he was 29, he was defeated for the post of Speaker of the House in the State Legislature. When he was 31, he was defeated as Elector. When he was 34 he ran for Congress and lost. At the age of 37, he ran for Congress and finally won. Two years later, he ran again and lost his seat in Congress. At the age of 46, he ran for the U.S. Senate and lost. The following year he ran for Vice President and lost that too. He ran for the Senate again and again and lost. Finally , at the age of 51, he was elected President of the United States.

Who was this perpetual “loser”? ABRAHAM LINCOLN

You’ve failed many times, although you may not remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim, didn’t you? Did you hit the ball the first time you swung a bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also strike out a lot. English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs. Don’t worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.

I once spent $1500 on a hot dog roaster and bun warmer for a Tuck shop I was running and it failed, totally. The next year I put in a proposal to spend $10,000 to buy a frozen yogurt machine and Flurry machine. I was granted the purchase and it paid itself off in two years instead of the three I had proposed.

It’s not easy to fail in front of people and face it; if we’re leading, then that’s where we’re going to fail. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had leaders above us that allowed us to fail with dignity and then move on to bigger and better leadership opportunities?

Failure is not a permanent condition. We can move on and succeed. 

4 thoughts on “Failing with Dignity

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