CEO David Alterman takes a moment to reflect on dignity in defeat
I watch a lot of sport on TV and I am usually emotionally engaged in the outcome. (If we had had a swear box in operation during the England Wales rugby match last week, I would have filled it by half time.)
And that is because I care, and the pleasure that I get from seeing my team winning has a disproportionate, (ridiculously disproportionate) impact on my state of mind for days afterwards.
And the downside of caring is that when we lose, I have to work assiduously to stop frustration at what happened in a stupid game ruining my day.
But a strange thing happened on Tuesday morning. I woke up to find the England cricket team had lost a 5 day cricket match to New Zealand by one run. The closest margin possible. One that has only occurred once before in over two thousand matches.
So that should have ruined my day, as usual. But it didn’t. in fact quite the opposite happened. It was a brilliant game. Both teams played well. The players knew they had been part of something special, celebrating together after the game in the knowledge they had both contributed to amazing entertainment.
Which is the point of sport. Isn’t it?
Matthew Syed in The Times reflected on this match and referencing Rudyard Kipling enjoyed the players’ ‘ability to win with courage and lose with grace’.
Well what if more of life was like that?
Could I show the same equanimity if we just missed out in a competitive pitch for some business but we knew we had done great work.
Good work will get its rewards in the end and we will win the next one. So let’s celebrate the quality of the work, not the vagaries of the outcome.
There’s a challenge for me – I’ll let you know how I get on.