David Sable: What lessons do you learn from adversity? Well, so many. So many. At the end of the day we all have faced adverse situations and we’ve all failed.
David Sable: I’ve lost clients. I’ve lost pitches. I had a business and a partner in ’96 that I thought was going to be the greatest in the world. We were early in the internet and we went boom bust. It happens.
David Sable: And so the question, “What do you learn from it?”. I think that the biggest learning comes back to what we were saying before about leadership and self-awareness. If we don’t have self-awareness, we can’t learn from an adverse situation. You have to really deep down inside yourself. You have to look deep down inside of what happened and be able to say, “Okay what did I do wrong? What didn’t I do right? What did I miss?” Sometimes it’s not you did it wrong, sometimes you missed something.
David Sable: Sometimes by the way, it is political. What is serendipity? What is pre-determined? All kinds but not always. I’ve had those issues in my life and those hurt when you can’t learn anything because you just look at it and say, “Wow, I got screwed.” It happens but it doesn’t happen every time.
David Sable: The problem is too many people will just take that view every time instead of looking deep and saying, “What did I do wrong? What didn’t I do right? What more could I have done?”
David Sable: Frankly, I have had that. I’ve seen it happen to myself. I’ve seen it happen to other people. What do you learn? You learn to a) make sure you never do that again. Maybe you didn’t pay enough attention. Maybe you didn’t listen correctly or you didn’t “hear”, it’s probably more to the point. You didn’t hear what was being said. You weren’t sensitive enough to the whole picture. Maybe you were just focused on what you were doing. You didn’t sit in the shoes of your client or whoever it is you’re trying to be successful with.
David Sable: Maybe you didn’t deliver. Maybe you just didn’t work hard enough. You thought you had two more weeks to do it and they didn’t have that time. Maybe you took the order and they didn’t really want you to take the order, they wanted you to recommend more and you didn’t pay attention. It happens. What do you learn? You learn first of all to look deep, second of all obviously you need to fix those things and make sure you don’t do that again. But I think the biggest thing is you just got to learn to pick yourself up.