Failure is an option
Thursday, April 06, 2017
Failure is a difficult pill to swallow. People don't want to admit they have failed at anything.
But failure can really be the start of something big and exciting — knowing you can restart after a disappointment. It's not the end of the world, but a true beginning.
"The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things he will try," management expert Peter Drucker said. "I would never promote to a top-level job a man who was not making mistakes ... otherwise he is sure to be mediocre."
It is OK to make mistakes, and this realization can help you to grow as both as a leader and a person. Failure can get you unstuck, and help you take responsibility for your actions.
It is more difficult to admit you were not successful at something. However, it should really be easier, because you can see how this letdown will benefit not only you but others.
In the above quote, Drucker was stating that the more mistakes you make, the better. You will be able to not only change the perspective of what you are doing, but also transform what you are doing to a different level of performance.
Failing is really making a difference in how you get things done. Learning and developing new approaches will inspire others to see that these slip-ups are for our own good. In fact, psychologist B.F. Skinner said, "A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying."
Are you afraid of failing? There are many who are so overwhelmed with fear that they give up and never want to try again. But it is in perseverance that one really excels. Imagine if Thomas Edison gave up after just one try in perfecting the light bulb — we may still be in the dark.
The case for learning from our failures is enormous. This is truth behind how you can begin the seeds of change, and it starts from inside you. There are many great lessons that can be discovered through failure — i.e., strength, knowledge of self, critical thinking, just to name just a few.
When you stop trying, you succumb to fear, and it can eat you up inside. Many leaders have surrendered to the anxiety of a situation and it not working out. In the end, this trepidation can make the matter worse.
Instead, leaders should take the time to understand why they failed and use this as a tool not only for themselves but also others. The team is looking to their leader as an example, and not always succeeding can teach everyone a lot.
Failure is an option, and it is one that all should try to follow.
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