Hall-Of-Famer Beth Brooke On Owning Your Failures

In this edition of our Corporate Competitor Podcast, Beth Brooke sat down with longtime Sports Illustrated Associate Editor, Don Yaeger, to discuss how sports shaped her leadership journey.

In a world where finger-pointing and playing the blame game has become second nature in many organizations, Beth Brooke offers a unique example of extraordinary achievement precisely because she owns her failures. Flipping that script landed Brooke on the Forbes “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list eleven times and in 2015, she was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

As a celebrated high school hoops star who averaged a double-double over three consecutive years, Brooke missed the final shot in a game that would have propelled her team deep into the Indiana State championship tournament. She turned her disappointment into a life-changing discipline: lose, learn, get better. “You don’t crawl up in a ball and die. You go back to the gym, study game film, and work on your quest for perfection,” Brooke said. Her approach earned her a place in collegiate hoops history as a member of the first class of women recruits to receive a basketball scholarship to Purdue University. There she graduated top of her class and earned the top score on the national CPA examination. As an executive at Ernst & Young, where she oversaw operations in 150 countries, she applied the lesson of “ownership” by successfully steering the firm through its worst public relations fiasco ever: the HealthSouth scandal of 1999.

Recently retired, she now devotes herself to bringing her prodigious team-building and problem-solving expertise to numerous boards, including The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the International Women’s Forum. This episode of Corporate Competitor Podcast illustrates in Brooke’s own words how communication, diversity and inclusion, and a culture of constructive feedback can help employees think more like owners.


5:00   Beth’s best childhood memories with her father.

9:00   How to use failure to become a stronger competitor.

12:00  How to seek constructive feedback.

25:00  The power in protecting part of your day.

40:00 Why diverse teams outperform homogenous teams.

Check out the full Corporate Competitor Podcast interview archive and subscribe to new episodes.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    We are in a period of rapid change. Customer needs, technologies, competitors and internal capabilities require companies to review and update their strategies for the new realities. In this workshop, strategy experts Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison will show you a systematic approach to strategic planning to help you refine or redefine your business strategy and approach including:

    • Learn what you need to know to develop an effective strategic plan. Put the right players on the strategic planning team.
    • Develop strategies that leverage your company’s unique position in the marketplace. Lift your management team beyond “business as usual” thought processes and activities.
    • Translate your strategies into action. Achieve your vision for success and generate superior financial results.
    • Identify exactly what you need to do now to position your company for future success.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.