British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan says Sir Clive Woodward's Lions failure will help him in his new role as elite performance director.
Woodward (R) was appointed by the BOA earlier this week
Woodward, who led the Lions to a 3-0 series loss to New Zealand in 2005, has also just ended a troubled spell with Southampton football club.
"We would love somebody just to be associated with success throughout their career," Moynihan told the BBC.
"But you only get that success if you learn from the tough days."
Moynihan added: "He has learnt a great deal from that and that learning process, brought together with his unquestionable ability to deliver success, is what any athlete would want to associate with.
"I think it is a strength and not a weakness."
We will make sure that Clive has a good team around him
Woodward will take charge of performance input at the BOA in a wide-ranging job with the aim of improving Britain's medal prospects.
The 50-year-old famously led the England rugby team to World Cup glory in 2003 only to resign less than a year later.
After the Lions disappointment last summer he left rugby union to join Southampton as their technical support director.
He left that role less than three weeks ago but Moynihan believes that Woodward's attention to detail will transfer to all sports.
"What he brought to rugby was a detailed review of what makes a successful team work in any sport," added Moynihan.
"There are common denominators in every sport, things like preparation, motivation, the right physical approach and building the teams around athletes.
"These characteristics are as important to the boxers as to hockey players.
"He will listen and learn from the specific experts and be able to respond by giving good advice to lift that individual performance one step further to medal success."
Woodward masterminded England's World Cup triumph in 2003
Woodward is known for insisting that no expense is spared in giving his charges the best possible preparation and coaching structures.
And Moynihan believes that Woodward will have enough money to deliver for the BOA.
"We don't stretch to big budgets," he said. "BOA raise all the money from donations so we are not in a position to offer him what others might have been able to.
"But we will make sure that he has a good team around him.
"He already has a strong team and if necessary we will strengthen it further, to make sure that that central support structure is of gold medal standard."
Moynihan, who won a rowing silver medal at the 1980 Moscow Games as the cox to the men's eight, was appointed as the BOA chairman last October.
And he believes Woodward can play a massive part in helping Britain's Olympians reach the target of finishing fourth in the 2012 medals table.
"To reach that goal, we need the best people as well as the best structures and support services in place," he said.
"Bringing out the best in an athlete on the day is something which Clive is probably one of the world's leading experts in.
"If Clive had given us a motivational talk the night before the Olympic final in Moscow, I am sure we would have performed better than we did on the day."