How to turn around failure and win like a Brand Champion


There’s no way to get around it.

Brand Champions hate losing.

There’s also no way to get around the fact that mistakes happen at every company, from small startups and mom-and-pop shops to top ranked sports teams and international corporations. People are human, and mistakes are a fact of life; but accepting that doesn’t mean we have to lay back and let life carry on without us. President John F. Kennedy once said in a speech: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” I would add that an error doesn’t have to happen in the first place if a Brand Champion acknowledges the situation and takes the necessary steps to head off disaster.

It’s like the recent train accident in Philadelphia. Some situations are like accidents waiting to happen; like a train rushing full-speed down a track that needs someone to read the speedometer, see the inevitability of disaster and take control of the situation. In every company, Brand Champions need to be able to recognize disastrous situations and stop the train before it crashes. Look at your own organization. Do you have a Brand Champion at your company that can recognize problems and fix missteps before they become mistakes? If the answer is no, you’ve probably faced more than a few completely avoidable mistakes.

In the aftermath of a company crash, difficult questions must be asked. Why didn’t anyone step up and fix the situation? What needs to change? Who on your team has that killer instinct to make sure that the same mistake never happens again?

When people lose, whether that’s in business, government or sports, they have to come to terms with the reality of the situation and conduct a post mortem with the following steps.

  1.     A Brand Champion steps up to the podium to accept responsibility for the situation.
  1.     As a group, the team addresses what happened and identifies the lessons learned.
  1.     Going forward the team clarifies the process, clarifies who owns it, and puts in place specific measures to make sure the mistake never happens again.

Losing hurts. It causes outrage and frustration and affects your whole team. But learning from your losses makes you a better, stronger and more capable Brand Champion. It allows you to take your next speeding train situation and turn it into a win.

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