The Secret of Failure

On a bright sunny morning a group of kids in the neighbourhood found an open field inviting for a game of football.  However, there was an issue—they didn’t have a football kit.  So, the kids decided that each one of them would bring one item to build the kit.  One brought the football, another got the corner flag, and the remaining brought goalkeeper gloves, marking chalk, goalposts, etc.

Everyone gathered on the ground as it was now time to make two teams.  But soon, an argument broke out due to lack of consensus on who gets to pick the teams.  The kids then determined that the person who had brought the most important item to play, will get to decide the teams.

Time passed by and they were still unable to decide the most important thing.  Finally, they concluded that they would just start playing with all the items that were brought and then get rid of items one at a time to see which is the most important item left in the end to play the game.

And so, the game started.  The first thing they got rid of was the whistle because they felt the referee could shout instead of whistling.  Then, the goalkeeper removed his gloves and started saving the ball without them.  Moving forward, they replaced the goalpost with a couple of bins on each side.  Eventually, they replaced the football with an old tin and continued to play.  Then after some time, with no proper kit or team formation, they got tired of playing a listless game and it was called off.

Often, in today’s world, we become so competitive that our aspiration to be a leader compromises our ability to even be a good team member!  Our competitiveness, without collaborative spirit, is counterproductive.  Sure, we may succeed to a degree without team effort.  But the degree of that success is equivalent to winning a football game being played with tin-cans! 

Team initiatives, on the other hand, help us win games that are of consequence!

Collaboration, Team


  1. apparently in this stated example team effort was there. They actually rebuilt the team. They replaced the worthy (football here) with their own home-made solutions (resources)…for various reasons- cost, favoritism, etc.

  2. Words fail me to express your writing abilities. Coincidentally my thoughts about Rajiv are the same. Well written blog as always Arun👍👌

Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Secret of Failure - Arun Nathani Blog