BA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo was extremely disappointed. After a tough battle, his number one seeded Milwaukee Bucks had just been knocked out of the playoffs by the eighth-seeded Miami Heat and their own superstar, Jimmy Butler.
And then the question came from The Athletic reporter Eric Nehm:
“Do you view this season as a failure?”
What followed was an amazing, impassioned, and brilliant response. It teaches lessons in leadership, emotional intelligence, and how to bounce back from frustration and disappointment–and it holds invaluable lessons for small-business owners everywhere.
“You asked me the same question last year, Eric,” replied Antetokounmpo. “OK. Do you get a promotion every year? On your job? No, right? So every year you work is a failure–yes or no? Every year you work, you work toward something. Toward a goal, right? Which is to get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family, to be able to, I don’t know, um, provide the house for them or take care of your parents. You work toward a goal. It’s not a failure. It’s steps to success.”
And there it is, the eight-word formula that you must remember when you suffer disappointment:
“It’s not a failure. It’s steps to success.”
Below, you’ll find the clip of Antetokounmpo’s reply (and a full transcript at the end of this article). I strongly recommend you listen to the whole thing; it took him less than two minutes to deliver, and it’s one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard. (By the way, if you enjoy this article, you might want to sign up for my free course, which uses real-life examples like this one to help you and your team build emotional intelligence.)
“Michael Jordan played 15 years, won 6 championships. The other 9 years were a failure?"
-Giannis' passionate response to if he considers the Bucks' season a failure pic.twitter.com/G5VtwnGXYq
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 27, 2023
I love this response for so many reasons. It’s real. Raw. Authentic. Antetokounmpo gives interviews the same way he plays basketball–wearing his emotions on his sleeve.
Antetokounmpo’s response is also a perfect example of emotional intelligence in the real world–the ability to understand and manage emotions. Antetokounmpo understands the game of life better than most; he realizes there’s no advantage in sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. No advantage in throwing a pity party, in reveling in disappointment. You have to move on.
And, just as an NBA team shouldn’t view a season without a championship as a failure, neither should you consider your setbacks, your disappointments, your frustrations as failures.
For example, when I had to leave a job I’d held for 13 years, I ended up on welfare with my wife and newborn baby. It was one of my lowest moments. But having my back up to the wall helped give me the courage and motivation I needed to start my own business. That was over a decade ago, and I’ve never looked back.
So, strike the word failure from your vocabulary. View stumbling blocks as speed bumps, learning experiences. Accept that “there are good days and bad days,” and that “some days it’s not your turn.”
Then, as Antetokounmpo says, try to come back. Try to be better. Try to build good habits. The only way to move forward is to pick up the pieces, learn from your mistakes, and try again.
Above all, remember:
“It’s not a failure. It’s steps to success.”
Here’s the transcript of Antetokounmpo’s reply:
“You asked me the same question last year, Eric. OK. Do you get a promotion every year? On your job? No, right? So every year you work is a failure–yes or no? Every year you work, you work toward something. Toward a goal, right? Which is to get a promotion, to be able to take care of your family, to be able to, I don’t know, um, provide the house for them or take care of your parents. You work toward a goal. It’s not a failure. It’s steps to success.
“You know, and if you’ve never … I don’t know. I don’t want to make it personal. So there are always steps to it. You know?
“Michael Jordan played 15 years. Won six championships. The other nine years was a failure? That’s what you’re telling me. No, I’m asking a question, yes or no?
“Exactly. So why did you ask me that question? It’s a wrong question. There’s no failure in sports. You know, there are good days, bad days, some days you are able to be successful. Some days you’re not. Some days it’s your turn, some days it’s not your turn. And that’s what sports is about. You don’t always win. Some other people [are] going to win. And this year, somebody else is going to win. Simple as that. We’re going to come back next year, try to be better, try to build good habits, try to play better. Not have a 10-day stretch with playing bad basketball. You know, and hopefully we can win a championship.
“So, 50 years from 1971 to 2021 that we didn’t win the championship–it was 50 years of failure? No, it was not. It was steps to it, you know? And we were able to win one. Hopefully, we can win another one.”Πηγή: inc.com