“Ever tried, ever failed.
Try again, fail again,
–Samuel Beckett, Westward Ho!
Although this quote comes from a Samuel Beckett play, it could easily (albeit mistakenly) be attributed to Philanthropist & Entrepreneur Greg Hind. Greg successfully started 6 companies and filed numerous patents that have helped revolutionize the athletic sportswear industry. All of his business success, however, came with its share of failures – products that didn’t sell, materials that didn’t function and a partnership that went awry.
Most recently, Greg played an instrumental role in launching the newly restructured and redefined Spokes business model. And, like all new adventures, we’ve faced our share of toe-stubbing and stumbles as we learn to “walk” our new path. Greg, who was every bit as generous to Spokes in his mentorship as he was with his financial support, never let me become disheartened when we had a “fall.” In fact, he delighted in it. And, I’ll tell you why.
Greg once told me how, when his sportswear business was booming, every phone call he received was another organization asking him to be a guest speaker and share his strategies for success. And, yet, when the same business suffered a major setback, his phone was silent. He found it ironic that it was in the process of recovering from a failure that he truly honed his management skills. That was the moment when he had the most to offer other aspiring entrepreneurs, but no one thought to ask.
I think of that story often when I’m facing a challenge. Greg taught me not to let the stigma of failure keep me from what will be my best learning opportunities. It is a value that we have adopted for the entire Spokes organization and seek to extend to our members. And, so, with great excitement, I am pleased to celebrate Greg’s legacy with the inaugural publishing of our new HINDsight column.
In every HINDsight column, we will invite individuals to share a failure that they have experienced within their work, what they learned and how they recovered. Our goal is to remove the stigma attached to failure, share the wealth of learning and experience that exists throughout the members of the nonprofit sector and create a network of support to help each other recover from our stumbles.
We hope you will join us in honoring Greg as we break a few spokes, repair them and roll forward as better, healthier and stronger nonprofit professionals and organizations. The ride may be bumpy, but it will be inspiring!