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Buzz Knight

The Art of Defeat

by Buzz Knight
Whether it happens in our life, our business or sports, we will all at one time or another have to experience the excruciating feeling known as losing.
The restless nights.
The depression.
The confusion.
The anger.

In life weve seen how a tragic event can tear a family apart while at other moments weve seen the unit come together and get stronger. In sports here in Boston, the Patriots just succumbed to a season ending Super Bowl loss. Time will tell how their organization responds to the loss and what lessons it takes from the experience. In Radio losing is difficult to deal with when your livelihood is connected to a few rating points.

Some radio stations begin a slow downward progression after a bad rating book, while others learn, grow and ultimately come out stronger. As the Patriots learn to accept their loss, here are five parallel lessons on the art of losing and the best way to accept defeat and potentially come out stronger:

1) Keep instilling a strong core belief in the team despite what has just occurred.
The Patriots know they have a strong organization and they know they worked hard to get where they got. If your radio station has experienced a bad monthly or a bad quarter keep your head high knowing you have a great organization. At a time of losing, all eyes are on you as a leader and you have to keep your strength and grace under pressure.

2) Find a lesson from the loss that can benefit you in the future.
It doesnt have to be a major piece from a big loss, but there has to be some positive lesson that can be drawn from the hard work. In radio, sometimes the blame game is the first lesson that is extracted and thats wrong for the long term strategy.

3) Dont get caught in celebration mode after a defeat.

4) Admit the mistakes so you can learn from them and not repeat them.
Mistakes were critical in the Pats loss. Game film in football has a way of drilling the lapses down to Zapruder film detail. In radio take a candid approach to what has just occurred with your brand, evaluate it and fix it.

5) Move forward with positive internal moves that may have already been in motion.
The Pats already had Josh McDaniels waiting in the wings to officially become their offensive coordinator. Even in the wake of their loss, they knew it was the right thing to formally move forward with their plan. The loss didnt dissuade them from moving forward. If youre in a similar situation with your radio team, dont be afraid to move forward despite the recent loss.

Extra point

6) Keep your high performers feeling great about their talents.
After a while, the Pats knew the loss would sting but their coach Bill Belichick praised them to the very end. In radio, when times are tough, you should ask the tough questions of yourself and your team but you should always try to ask the questions in a positive manner to confirm the persons self worth and value.

 Winners know how to win and leaders thrive on winningbut they also know the art of accepting defeat.

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at Knight was named among Best Programmers by Radio Ink Magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.

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