Success is Harder than Failure


This post began as an email. It’s my response to a person who shared their mixed feelings regarding unexpected success and opportunity.


I’ve been thinking about our conversation regarding the problem of success and opportunity.

Those who succeed in unexpected ways know that success is harder than failure. We are excited with opportunities but they also feel uncomfortable, like new shoes. We should feel more gratitude and less anxiety.

When views were in the hundreds, writing Leadership Freak was easier. Today, with views in the millions, writing Leadership Freak feels a bit like new shoes. Additionally, opportunities come my way that exceed my expectations.

Yesterday, the leader of a 2 billion dollar government agency shook my hand and said, “I’m a huge fan.” It felt great. I also felt like hiding under the table.


Someone told me, when Leadership Freak started taking off, “Trust Yourself.” This morning, I share that with you. Trust yourself.


Don’t get lost in opportunites. Know yourself. Take time to reflect on who you are. Let who you are guide what you do.


Bring yourself to challenges and opportunities. Don’t bring someone else. Just bring you. If you want stress, try being someone else.


The classic story of David and Goliath has important lessons for leaders who face challenges and opportunities. (I don’t care if you think the story is fiction or fact. The lessons relate.)

David, a young shepherd, saw the challenge, Goliath. Those around him tried to tell him how to face the challenge.

They said, “Put on armor; use this sword.” They wanted him to do it their way, even though they were unwilling to face the challenge themselves.

Ultimately David faced the challenge his way, with a sling and a stone. He brought himself.

Trust Yourself

Bring Yourself

Be Yourself 

I’m a man of faith so my personal lists begins, Trust God. Regardless of your faith, my suggests remain.

How can leaders face the challenges of unexpected success and opportunity?

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