Shot of Leadership
The Audacity of Dunk
Trill or Not Trill?

I just had a reflection on the fear of failure. I was watching this attempted 360 dunk by an American basketball player Demar Derozan during an exhibition game for the upcoming Summer Olympics. It failed. He missed the jam. But the audacity of even trying this move —(for context this sort of degree of difficulty trick dunk is something people either do in a dunk contest, or on a fast break in an all-star game, when no one is in front of them, rarely in competitive game, and absolutely never with someone standing there), is the kind of risk required to be great. If he wasn’t willing to fail spectacularly, he would never have had an outside chance to be remembered for the greatest dunk ever. (which might belong to another former Toronto Raptor and Olympian) Are you prepared to fail in search of greatness?

When asked about the dunk attempt Derozan said,“What the hell was I thinking? I have no clue, from start to finish, what I was trying to do. I’m used to doing the (360) layup. Before you know it, I’m just hanging on the rim. Even if I would’ve made that, how crazy that would’ve been. When you do something, you really don’t realize in the moment, or the time, the magnitude of it. Even with a miss, it’s talked about like it’s a made dunk, so it’s crazy.”

It didn’t work out , but I see why this guy is an all-star elite athlete. Whether he knows it or not, he’s also got an all-star elite mentality. Your legacy will be built not simply on victories but on the back of many defeats. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this man and his audacity to do try something so inconceivable, bold, and thrilling that it might have become the most replayed sports highlight ever had it worked. Dare to fail big. Eventually you’ll win big.

Recognized by USA Today and Fox News as one of the top young leaders in the country, Bert Gervais a.k.a. “The Mentor Guy” is one of the nation’s top high school speakers on mentorship and using a positive self-image to help students obtain a higher education. His Number 1 best-selling book Who’s in Your Top Hive? has garnered critical reviews and has been translated into a curriculum for high schools, mentoring programs, and nonprofits.