《失败了又如何？》（So You Fail, So What），这是二十年前我给《财富》杂志（Fortune）撰写一篇封面报道的标题。这篇报道影响深远（今天还有读者会向我问起它），并且现在比任何时候都更契合时代主题：各种创意和资本在全球自由流动，任何人都可以开展创新、测试、失败、重振旗鼓、再次出击。
实际上，如果你不曾失败过，那你可能就算不上是个领导者。在我每周一为安永公司（Ernst & Young）主持的网络直播节目《赛而为赢》（Playing to Win）中，一群明星运动员出身的商界女强人表达了这样的观点。
2013年，在安永公共政策全球副主席贝丝•布鲁克的领导下，该公司创立了“女运动员商业圈”（Women Athletes Business Network），旨在帮助杰出运动员转战商业圈。她说：“挫折只是一种学习经历。胜利无法教会一个人如何恢复元气，东山再起。恰恰只有挫折、失败才有这个功能。而深知如果自己训练更刻苦、时间更长、更加自律，明天就会做得更好。
So You Fail, So What. That's the title of a Fortune cover story that I wrote two decades ago. The story still has legs (readers ask me about it to this day) and is more relevant now than ever: The global flow of ideas and money enables anyone to innovate, test, fail, pivot and try again.
If you haven't failed, in fact, you may not be a leader at all. That's what a cast of star athlete-businesswomen said during Playing to Win, a live webcast that I moderated for Ernst & Young on Monday.
"A great champion deals with setback with a comeback," said Donna de Varona, who was a gold medal Olympic swimmer in the 1960s and knows from experience. De Varona set a world record at age 13, lost it at 15, got it back at 16 and retired at age 17 because back then, little funding existed for girls like her to train and compete in sports.
So, de Varona left the pool and went to Congress to push for Title IX, the 1972 legislation that changed the game for women by requiring equal opportunity for girls to pursue sports and other activities in any educational institution that receives public funding.
"Setbacks are just learning experiences," added Beth Brooke, EY's global vice chair for public policy, who led the 2013 creation of the firm's Women Athletes Business Network to help elite performers in sports pivot into business. "It's not the winning that teaches you how to be resilient. It's the setback. It's the loss," Brooke explained. "It's the knowledge that if I work harder, if I practice longer, if I'm more disciplined, I will do better tomorrow."
Summer Sanders, who won two gold medals for swimming in the 1992 Olympic Games, agrees: "If you don't fail, you don't know who you really are at your worst moment."