Around 15 years ago, I plowed through a search for a client, selected a candidate, and was ready to spike the ball and celebrate a touchdown.And then……a turndown.Ouch!I was devastated. I was the guy who fumbled at the one-yard-line.And so, I stumbled back to the bench, sat down, buried my head in my hands, and wallowed in misery.What would my client do? Would they fire me? Would my reputation suffer? Would I ever complete a successful search again?The unexpected turndown only happened to me twice in a 15-year career.But when it happened to me that first time, I didn’t know how to handle it.I tried to exercise away my frustration. But during spin class at the gym, my mind raced faster than my bike wheels. I couldn’t sleep. Other searches suffered. I was a mess.This lasted for days.Looking back 15 years later, I know exactly why I suffered, and I know how to keep it from happening again – for myself and my clients.The best approach: Minimize the turndowns. Don’t fumble that ball at the one-yard-line.Stay tuned for another email with tips on how to score more touchdowns – with fewer turndowns.For now, we’ll assume turndowns happen. So the question today is: What do you do about it?Here are the things I help my clients do know to move onward and upward from a turndown:Step 1: Vent. Turndowns suck. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen. Find a trusted sounding board and let it out. You’ll feel better.Step 2: Forgive yourself and move on. Don’t wallow in misery. Don’t beat yourself up. Turndowns happen. Your job is to move on as soon as you vent a little, aiming to learn from your failure and score the next time you have the ball. I spend a lot of time reminding my clients to do this.Step 3: Review every step of the process. Sure, it’s painful to rehash a failed journey. But you discover so much when you retrace your steps – with someone who can evaluate objectively and call B.S. on you when necessary.Step 4: Revise strategies and tactics as necessary. Fifteen years ago, it took me too long to complete steps 1-3. But I eventually got there. I learned from my mistakes. I revised strategies and tactics. That’s one reason I had only two turndowns in 15 years.If you want a trusted partner who can be your sounding board when things don’t go well, your no-BS advisor when you work to fail forward, and your coach as you revise strategies and tactics, let’s talk.

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