Failure Is an Option. Make Sure It’s Not Your Last
What does space technology and heavyweight boxing have in common?
This was a question I’ve pondered over the past several days as I embark on this new venture as principal strategist and founder of MIssioStrat Global Consulting, LLC.
My purpose for this inaugural blog is to highlight two international cultural icons that I’ve recently drawn inspiration from. Each has ascended to the top of two distinct industries: space technology and heavyweight boxing. Both are visionaries and share a distinct indispensable characteristic that MissioStrat will need to persevere—fortitude.
On Friday, April 28, 2017, TED’s Head Curator, Chris Anderson, held a forty-minute conversation with CEO of Space X, Tesla Inc. and Neuralink, Elon Musk. Articles abound that provide excellent synopsis’ of this rich discussion. You can view the full interview it here. (WARNING: Be aware of the TED Talk binge! I did it! I avoided a typical TED Talk binge and only watched this one recording. So, you can you too.)
Musk defines SpaceX rocket booster’s goal: reusability. He states: “Reusability is only relevant if it is rapid and complete.” According to SpaceX, reusability is “the key to making human life multiplanetary. On March 30, 2017, Space X made history. The company successfully launched and landed a previously used rocket booster. In short, reusability was achieved. Notably, during this interview, Musk notes that ultimately there where up to nine previous failures that led to this first successful reflght. Herein, lies a truth regarding the path towards success: failure is an option. Make sure it’s not your last. In all, Musk’s fortitude, clearly a required trait for effective leadership led SpaceX to this historic success.
On April 29, 2017, heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, fought former 10-year reigning unified champion, Wladimir Klitschko for the retention of his IBF heavyweight title and for the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles. This clash between modern-day gladiators took place in front of 90,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium in London, England. This bout was historic. Brian Mazique, a sports contributor to Forbes, wrote: “First and foremost, the fight was great…I still believe it was the best heavyweight title fight in the past 20 years.” This sentiment is shared by many—including me.
Though the sweet science of boxing is to hit and not be hit, knockdowns are a part of the sport. Joshua, gracious in victory during his post-fight interview, reflected on being knockdown and having to dig deep stated:
“This is boxing. I’m only going to improve…sometimes you can be a phenomenal boxer but boxing is about character and when you go to the trenches that’s when you find out who you really are. In this small little ring here, there’s nowhere to hide.…as I said from the get-go, it will be a boxing classic and the best man will win…Find what you believe in and what you’re good at and just give it a go…and keep on digging, digging and digging…I come out and I won. That’s how far I had to dig..I come back and I fought my heart out and that’s what I’m about.”
In short, Joshua got up from being knockdown at the six-count and dug deep to ensure that his momentary lapse was not his last moment. This was fortitude. Have you triumphed after failure? Are you rising from a previous knockdown? Take note of these examples and persevere.
In all, Musk and Joshua are remarkable. They did not give up until they succeeded and neither will MissioStrat Global Consulting, LLC. What does space technology and heavyweight boxing have in common? Fortitude.
We look forward to your partnership and know that your mission success is our strategic aim.
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 YouTube, Ted Talks, The future we’re building—and boring, May 3, 2017, Timecode: 31.51