As a sponsor for the recent John Maxwell Leadership Summit in Columbia, six Murphy & Grantland attorneys joined professionals across industries to learn “How To Receive A Return On Failure.” 

According to Maxwell, he regularly asks successful leaders,  “what is the most important lesson learned on leadership?” Almost unanimously, the answer is, “how to handle failure and loss”.  Maxwell explained the importance of keeping failure and success together, not separate, to stay humble, courageous, and optimistic instead of arrogant or discouraged.

Attorney John Gardner resonated with Maxwell’s statement, “you will impress with success, but impact by sharing failure”.  For Erich Crowson (COO), he had two main applications for both his professional and personal life: embrace the hard and learn how to fail well. 

How do you fail well? According to Maxwell, don’t stop – keep moving, keep adjusting, keep believing.” Maxwell outlined his process in five steps: test, fail, learn, improve, re-enter – with a new level of experience and understanding.  The language Maxwell used to reframe failure provided Crowson with a renewed perspective and valuable tools to know how to keep moving when failure does occur. 

According to Maxwell,everything worthwhile is uphill and you can’t go uphill with downhill habits…the dream is free but the journey is hard….prepare for the uphill climb by being intentional.” M&G’s core value, diligence, reflects Maxwell’s philosophy. The favorite example M&G highlights in the leadership development training is Thomas Edison, who made 1,000 attempts with the light bulb before the final success. 

For Crowson, he is “thankful to work at a firm that invests in its people and wants them to become better leaders in the workplace and home.” For more information, visit or email for leadership training opportunities.