I recently had the privilege of spending a day with a small group of leaders, engaging in a mastermind session filled with coaching, sharing, and learning from our past failures. The theme of our day was L.O.S.S. (Learning Opportunity Stay Strong), a reminder that even setbacks can propel us forward.

We asked ourselves:
“What have we learned?”
“How did we overcome challenges?”
“How have we applied these lessons?”

The day was uplifting and inspiring, a reminder that the road to success is rarely straightforward. Instead, it’s more like the unpredictable path of a ticker-tape stock market or a carnival ride with unexpected twists and turns.

Case Study: Thomas Edison’s Resilience

Consider Thomas Edison’s reaction to a devastating event in his life. On the evening of December 10, 1914, a fire broke out in Edison’s West Orange, New Jersey plant, engulfing ten buildings in flames. Despite the best efforts of fire departments, the chemical-fueled blaze was unstoppable.

Edison’s son, Charles, expected his father to be devastated. Yet, Edison’s response was remarkable. He told Charles, “Go get your mother and all her friends. They’ll never see a fire like this again.” He then remarked, “It’s alright. We’ve just gotten rid of a lot of rubbish.”

The next day, Edison demonstrated his resilience: “Although I am 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow.” True to his word, within just three weeks and with a sizeable loan, Edison had the plant operational again. His employees worked double shifts, and their efforts paid off handsomely. The following year, Edison’s company generated $10 million in revenue.


Stay strong, and here’s to your L.O.S.S.!

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About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.