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The Lost Art of Losing

Chris Nichols

Chris Nichols

By Chris Nichols

Monday night on my flight home from the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear meetings in Washington, D.C., I noticed that the flight was offering free satellite TV and it just so happened one of my favorite shows was on – Survivor. I have been a fan of the show for all of its 22 seasons, and every season ends up practically the same, with the finalists sitting in front of the jury (aka: losers) enduring all sorts of attacks and personal jabs from those who wish they were sitting in the finalist’s position.

This led me to recall recent events in game 4 of the NBA Conference Semifinals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were just 2 minutes away from being swept in the series when frustration took over and Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom committed two of the most flagrant and classless fouls in the history of the NBA, leaving an indelible mar on the coaching career of Phil Jackson, not to mention a bad taste in fan’s mouths across the country.

Both of these events then reminded me of the meeting I had just attended, where the Board of Directors for the National Association of REALTORS® had just passed a $40 dues increase to fund a Political Survival Initiative. The tweets and social media comments that sprung up as a result of this vote passing were much like the jury on Survivor and the frustrated Lakers, full of animosity, name calling and all around unprofessionalism.

So this raises the question – have we lost the art of losing?

In today’s world where we don’t keep score at kid’s sporting events and give everyone an award for simply showing up, have we forgotten how to lose? There’s a difference between losing a game or a vote, and losing your dignity – just ask the jury on Survivor and the Lakers. It used to be that we saw winners being poor sports about their victory, now it seems that we are seeing losers being even worse about their loss…

I certainly don’t want to leave you on that note, so let me share two quick stories of how I handled losses that eventually ended in victories.

First story – several years ago I applied to the LeadershipUAR (Utah Association of REALTORS®) program. I was stunned when the interviewing body chose to flat out reject my application and not even invite me for an interview. I’m not going to lie, it hurt, but I bucked up and applied the next year for the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy. I was accepted and had an incredible experience. This year I am serving as the Dean of the LeadershipUAR program, the very program that rejected me! Now, imagine for just a moment if I had been a poor loser, gotten angry, said or done things I would later regret. Due to this experience I am not only the Dean of that program, I am also a FPC (NAR’s Federal Political Coordinator) to a U.S. Senator and I sit on two key NAR committees.

Second story – a couple years ago I had a listing that just wasn’t selling, and unfortunately the seller did not have the option to short sale the property. When a rental opportunity came along the seller took it and I graciously gave up the listing and lost that business… or did I? Since that time, this seller has referred three different closed transactions to me, each of which were greater than the transaction I had “lost”! Imagine again if I had been that proverbial poor loser…

Sometimes how we lose speaks more about our character than how we win.

Chris Nichols is a REALTOR® with Prudential Utah Elite Real Estate in Orem, Utah. Learn more about Chris at: buysellinvestutah.com, utahrepro.com or @utahREpro.

Comments
  1. Kathy Roberts

    Chris:
    The old saying I remember is: Win or lose, it’s how you play the game. Sportsmanship carries over to our daily lives, just as much as it does in sports. I’m heartened to see a young leader express such profound thoughts, and only wish that you were a member of our association. Whether we supported the dues increase or not, we will make the best of it. I believe that NAR protects us from many things of which most members are unaware. Just think about trying to sell property to buyers who would no longer be able to deduct their mortgage interest or could not purchase a home unless they had saved a 20% down payment. Thanks for speaking out.

  2. Thanks, Chris.
    Nice to read something from a class act!

  3. Great thoughts from one of NAR’s Leadership Academy Grads!! This is a timely topic, Chris. Thanks so much for putting your thoughts on paper and sharing them.

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