Don't knock failure – it can be a springboard to better things

Comment

Opinion Digest: Winners and losers, the Pc Harwood trial and why companies can be run by mothers

LAST UPDATED AT 10:17 ON Mon 23 Jul 2012

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FAILURE CAN BE A VALUABLE OPTION
JAMES DYSON SAYS SUCCESS IS OVERRATED
Losing, whether on the sports field or the office, is under-valued, and can be a spur to much greater things, writes James Dyson in The Guardian. Sure, in school they teach us that it is the taking part that counts, not the winning, but you can bet that is not what most of the athletes at the Olympic village believe. Failure is "disappointing, shameful, definitive", and this is wrong. Failure, "coupled with perseverance" can be the springboard to much greater things. It took 5,126 attempts and over fifteen years to make the first bagless vacuum cleaner. Those failures were the spur to keep going, but "hard slog" in the digital age is often overlooked. We seem to avoid failure at any cost –with sports days having no winners and losers and exams seemingly impossible to fail. "The keen sting of failure should not be shunned" - think of the failures at this year's Olympics. They just might be pushed to gold in 2016.

BRADLEY WIGGINS IS AN INSPIRATION
BORIS JOHNSON ON THE TOUR DE FRANCE VICTOR
We can all take valuable lessons from Bradley Wiggins's inspirational victory in the Tour de France, which could even point a path back to prosperity for the United Kingdom, writes Boris Johnson in The Daily Telegraph. That there is a connection between winning a bike race and a healthy economy might seem far-fetched, but the "ethics of the Olympics are of huge importance" to our future – quite simply because ethics have been "unfashionable" for so long. Yes, the "legacy" benefits of the games are important, but it is the Olympics as a "pageant of achievement" that is critical. There will be no "woolly abstracts" and no culture of "all-must-have-prizes", just winners of gold, silver and bronze medals. The sacrifices the athletes make in the hope of winning, their strength of character and self-discipline - that's the "grand moral of the Games".

HARWOOD SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN UNIFORM
JOHN RENTOUL ON THE IAN TOMLINSON CASE
PC Harwood's acquittal last week for the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson was correct, as it is genuinely hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault caused the Big Issue seller's death, but the case brought to light other very serious issues, writes John Rentoul in The Independent. The case revealed previous allegations against Harwood of misconduct and the use of excessive force, and while this does not mean in any way that Harwood is guilty of manslaughter, it does beg the question as to whether he should have been in uniform on the streets at all. The officer avoided disciplinary action in 2001 by taking "medical retirement", but was returned to uniform four years later. He must have been aided and protected by his colleagues and superiors in this circuitous career path, and who knows what would have happened if the Tomlinson incident had not been filmed?

MOTHERS CAN LEAD BIG COMPANIES TOO
ELEANOR MILLS ON YAHOO'S NEW CEO
Last week's appointment of Marissa Mayer as the new chief executive of Yahoo saw a predictable round of "can-women-have-it-all" debates in newspapers and online, writes Eleanor Mills in The Sunday Times. This is depressing. Yes, Mills is pregnant, but that this should even be an issue after women have been in the workplace for decades is depressing. Thorna Arnorsdottir was pregnant when she campaigned to become President of Iceland earlier this year and there are 19 female heads of FTSE 500 companies, but mothers doing well in business or life still seem to provoke either patronising surprise or outrage. "Women have wombs and brains and there is no law against using both". Nobody raises an eyebrow when men with children become CEOs. And let's not forget that Mayer has a husband with whom to share the workload. She should be applauded and celebrated as part of the changing face of power in the world. · 

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