When is Losing an Option? – Lessons not Taught in B-Schools

I once read a famous man remark victory and defeat are two impostors and one should treat both the same. However, when you go to business school you are taught, how to make a winning strategy, how to win a negotiation, how to win a simulation, and finally how to win games. It seems almost losing is never an option, but if winning and losing are two sides of the same coin then shouldn’t one learn about losing as well? This idea made me think about when is it good to lose.

After two glasses of tea (due to the unavailability of beer in the college) this is the best I could come up with. When someone comes up with an idea better than yours, it is better to lose than to win. When your team needs to succeed, it is better to lose your individual ego than to win. When your goals conflict with the welfare of the people you love, it is better to lose your goal than to win. When your pursuits make the friendships that you cherish to be lost, it is better to lose your pursuits than to win. When you’re single-minded focus takes you away from the vision that you had for yourself, it is better to lose your focus than to win. When your loved ones want to win, it is better to lose than to win. When your defeat provides comfort and relief to the people around you it is better to lose than to win. Above all when your thirst for winning takes hold of your true identity, it is better to lose the thirst for winning than to win.  Having said all this, there is only one situation, where winning really matters, it is to keep the people you love and cherish with you through any struggle. Although I learned much about winning in business school, my process of self-realization (luckily without any alcohol) has taught me losing is what makes anyone complete.

JBF

Author