[January 21, 2017] Those of us who’ve played on a sports team have been on the losing end of a game. And every athletic coach has had that “talk” with team members on how to behave when they lose. Their message is always clear; don’t be a sore loser. Sore losers show their immaturity and their weaknesses become more apparent.
Most of us work hard to win (or to accomplish a task) and the sorrow we personally experience in a loss (or failure) cannot be explained in simple terms. Good sportsmanship is what we’re taught from an early age and the point is that those who do show it are giving respect to their opponent, their teammates, and for the officials (in sports). Not being a sore loser is hard … really hard.
“The greatest test of courage on Earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.” – Robert Green Ingersoll, American Lawyer, Civil War Veteran, Political Leader
Yesterday, Barack Obama turned over the U.S. presidency to Donald Trump. Although he did not run against Trump, Obama’s legacy and actions while in office could very well be overturned. He has a huge investment in how Trump acts. Therefore, would Obama go out as a sore loser or someone showing respect for the office and Trump?
That was the question asked by many. Fortunately for the nation, Obama’s farewell address was no “sore loser” speech. For those who interpreted it as such, it just ain’t so! Good for him. Leadership is set by example. Obama’s actions in the future, in response to the leadership of Trump, however could very well be telling.
However, there were a number of politicians who did show that they were sore losers. At last count, 67 Democrats of Obama’s political party boycotted the inauguration because, as Congressman John Lewis said, he doesn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president.”1 Of course, that is not true but, typical of a sore loser, the boycott was designed to be insulting to the new president. Were those Democrats not taking failure well? Were they sore losers? Yep and yep!
Remember that leadership transmits acceptable means of behavior to us all and those Democratic Party congress members have said that disrespecting others is okay. Good leadership, however, means getting beyond it.
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