Have you often wondered what makes a successful person successful? You might be surprised to learn that it is their FAILURES that links them together. It doesn’t matter who you point to — Abraham Lincoln, Donald Trump, or Michael Jordan — it is their series of failures that made them stronger and more successful in the end.
So as you look at a person who FAILS, what do you think? The adjective that comes to mind is LOSER. But that is not really who they are.
FAILURE IS NOT THE PERSON. It is the event.
There are many benefits to failure and we need to ACCEPT failure as the ultimate path to SUCCESS.
Here are 4 reasons you want your teams to fail:
- Failure promotes risk taking.Where would we be without risk? In a world without computers, electricity, and much, much more! We need to cultivate risk taking within organizations and let individuals know that we still “have their back” even when it does not yield the results our organization is looking for.
Years ago a young software engineer at IBM lead a team to develop a $10 million hardware solution that never went to market because of quality and manufacturing issues. He was called into the Chairman’s office thinking he was going to be fired. Much to his astonishment the Chairman gave him great accolates for his efforts. When the engineer asked why he wasn’t fired, the Chairman said, “Son, you just made a $10 million dollar mistake. Learn from it.”
- Failure cultivates new ideas.Mickey Drexler, the CEO of J. Crew, said it best, “Every good idea was originally a bad idea.”
The more ideas you try, the more you fail, learn, and eventually succeed. Asking questions and working with others on unortidox ideas allows for breakthrough thinking.
- Failure equals learning.Think about when you learned to ride a bike. You had a support person there to guide you through the steps and it was scary. And if you were like me, you probably fell down a lot in the process. But eventually through the falls, scrapes, and scaredness you learned how to ride a bike. Each time you fell, you learned something new. Something to do or not do.
Same goes with everything in life. We need to learn from whatever went wrong and move foreward not to repeat the same mistake twice.
- Let Failure mean “NEXT.”Sometimes even though we have learned in the process and tried different angles, we just have to abandon the idea and move on. After so many attempts to develop a product, processes, or new service, perhaps your team or client base just isn’t ready to accept it. Or your idea isn’t market worthy. Whatever the reason, after several attempts and adjustments, sometimes it is just better to say I tried and yell, “NEXT!”