HOW DO YOU handle a soul-crushing defeat if normally-reliable colleagues fall short? Strengthen the fortress and build up your teammates, don't divide and conquer.
After the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers fell short of reaching the Super Bowl, losing to the New York Giants on Sunday, they did not blame the young player whose turnovers played a role in the loss. They rallied around him, and rightfully pointed out that the whole team missed opportunities throughout the game.
Under new coach Jim Harbaugh, general manager Trent Baalke and their staffs, the 49ers' classy handling of defeat reflects their winning culture and season -- a success by nearly every measure. Corporate types can learn a lot about leadership from first-rate coaches and athletes, who handle more pressure in one game than most of us see in our entire careers. In short, act like real and selfless teammates, not self-serving divas. Easy to say, hard to do. Look at any workplace.