I had the privilege of being in the room for an in-person, one on one interview with the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, and it was an hour I’ll never forget. Regardless of how you feel about anyone (I have a lot of respect for him), there is so much to be learned from people who have held office in high leadership roles. You cannot understand the burden of leadership until you are in the position yourself and the closest you can get to understanding is to listen when they share their experience first hand.
You may not always agree with decisions leaders make, but you can learn anything from a life lived, especially one of tremendous influence.
The interviewer asked the former president about how he handled losing in politics. George W., who joked in this interview like a stand-up comedian who’s Netflix special I would watch over and over, relaxed his smile and thoughtfully wrinkled his forehead in a way only he can, and then responded with this,
“My Dad lost three times in Texas and he always used to say to me:
When your goal is power, losing is a crushing blow, when your goal is the fulfillment of your God-given purpose, it is merely a moment. So for me, my losses have only been moments.”