Have you ever set out with huge enthusiasm to accomplish a goal, and fall flat on your face? If the answer to that is yes, then great! You are moving in the right direction. If the answer to that is no, then you don’t have a very good relationship with the truth and thats a whole other blog. The reason I say you are moving in the right direction is not because I am pro defeat or like getting it wrong, but because I understand the process of success.
Everyone wants to succeed. No one sets out to fail. Ive never said, “alright guys, we are going to take on this project and my whole objective is to miserably fail.” That would be crazy. No one would ever follow my leadership, or want to work with me. Its not in us to want to fail. However that does not change the fact that sometimes we fail. Probably far more often than we would like to admit.
One of my pet peeves is when organizations talk about their road to success, and act as if they never got it wrong. We walk away feeling like, “wow, I’m not even sure if they know how to get it wrong.” As if everything they have ever tried worked perfectly. I would rather see the bumps and bruises. When they went way over budget taking that risk and then it didn’t work. When they hired someone who was supposed to be the best at what they did, only to find out, they were only good at talking about how great they were. When they had that “sure thing,” and it was sure alright, sure to fail. As I write these things, I’m laughing because I think I’ve done each one of these things.
Why would I rather see the bumps and bruises? Is it because misery loves company? No, Im not miserable. I love what I do? Is it because I’m negative? No, I’m a positive person. I see hope and potential in almost everything. So, WHY THEN? BECAUSE IT’S REAL.
Lets face it, people who succeed, do it, on a trial and error basis. If you are a real leader, you are not risk averse. You’re willing to take a chance, and by the way, if you’re not, you may have some success but it won’t be much and definitely not big.
The reason they call it risk, is because it might not work. Thats why we learn to take calculated risk. We don’t want to go willy nilly into projects acting as if it doesn’t matter and calling that adventure. Thats not adventure is just plain stupid. It doesn’t change the fact, that no matter how well you’ve planned, or calculated or thought it through it could still fail, and in some cases will fail.
Failure stings! Its not fun. Its painful, and its foolish to act like it isn’t. However thats what makes it such a great learning opportunity, because Your motivated to figure out what went wrong, and what you could do better, and what needs to change, by the desire to not get stung again.
My wife is forevermore hounding me to put sun tan lotion on when we are out in the sun. If she’s said it once, she has said it a thousand times. She tells me I’m going to get burned, I tell her, I tan very easily, she tells me thats not the point, and in my stubbornness I go without. Then without fail Hello Mr. Lobster. Now, I have to say that was when I was younger and Ive gained some wisdom, most of which is, I LISTEN TO MY WIFE! I am motivated now to wear the sun screen, not because of the incessant appeal from Janae, but because the last time I got burned it was so bad it made me sick. the pain of that motivated me to learn what needed to change.
So Failure is a part of success. As a matter of fact the more people I read after especially biographies, I find that great leaders allow their mistakes to be their education. They learn, from failure.
“Failure is just the opportunity to begin again, except this time more intelligently.”
There are things we should let failure do for us, and things we can not allow it to do.
Steal our confidence. If we look at failure as final or fatal, it will explode in our life as insecurity.
Paralyze our purpose. If we see failure as an obstacle we can’t overcome it paralyzes us. Stops us in our tracks.
Lose faith in ourselves. Just because something you have done fails, doesn’t mean you are a failure. Just don’t quit, or you will be.
Teach us new ways to try something.
Produce creativity and innovation…ie. Thomas Edison.
Be stepping stones to our goal.