Success Is Determined By How You Handle Setbacks

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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Success

Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.

I was recently back in New Orleans. Bob Dylan once wrote, “There are many places I like, but I like New Orleans better.” He could not have written it or said it better. I have traveled the world, but there is no place like New Orleans. During my recent visit, I dropped by the Shops at Canal Place and was struck by a sign I encountered as soon as I entered the building. The sign simply stated, “Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.” And of course it was colorful and interesting just like New Orleans.

The city of New Orleans handled a setback like no other: Hurricane Katrina. The effects of Hurricane Katrina were numerous: 1,464 people dead, 80% of the city flooded, most of the city’s major roads damaged, the city’s levees breached in over 50 locations, and rampant crime.

Despite this devastation, New Orleans picked itself up. If success is defined by how you handle setbacks, then New Orleans is one successful city. New Orleans is one of America’s fastest growing cities, 14,000 jobs have been added since 2010, and entrepreneurial activity is 56% above the national average. And New Orleans is the only city where you can enjoy a hurricane drink, eat a muffuletta, and enjoy Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest.

Are you as resilient as New Orleans? How do you handle setbacks?

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