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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Benefits of Failure

  1. Before you can have a breakthrough, you often need a breakdown.
  2. Failure acknowledges an ending, which is also an opportunity to start something new.
  3. The prospect of failure concentrates the mind, inspires creativity, focus, fear.
  4. Outwitting failure builds confidence, relationships, esprit de corps.
  5. Failure can cause you to examine your reality more closely. I often find some things have changed while I wasn’t paying enough attention. These days that happens often.
  6. Fail Forward Faster. 

I read a social science paper calling for a new social contract. Actually, I got about halfway through before I had had enough.

What I read was an unfundable perennial “good idea.” Especially now, Uncle Sugar’s bounty is finite, and I don’t know about you, but I usually have more wants than resources. Worse, was ignoring some fairly predictable unexpected consequences.

This wasn’t a new concept, nor were there improvements in how to provide. What was new was the writer’s  outrage we hadn’t implemented his solution. This is a lingering, 60 year fail, because it has never been polite to admit it doesn't work. 

Better to admit the failure, define why, and then, as you can, find ways to correct. 

I was working with an angry project manager. She explained that the problem was she was never given enough power and authority to do her job. I think Alexander the Great was one of the first to notice that, or maybe it was one of the cave painters. If there is enough power and authority, we’re not needed.

Question - What do you call someone who can complete a job with available resources?

Answer -  Successful.

How fuzzy would life be if we didn’t have paying customers willing and able to fire us for insufficient performance? How would we gauge our contributed value? 

Check reality frequently. Fail Forward Faster.

Sales Lab Resources – Other Things You Might Want To Know


Unknown said...

Your golf game will improve from what you learn from the bad shots - if you pay attention. If not, you just keep playing bad golf.

Breakthroughs often occur from failure - yellow sticky notes resulted from a chemist failing to create a batch of permanent glue which proved to be sticky but would not bond.

Learning to ride a bicycle usually requires some skinned knees to get past the wobble and crashes.

Failure is a part of mastery, just as much as practice is.

Thoughtful post!

Thoughthebrowser said...

Failure is as much a part of mastery as practice.

Now that's worth reading!

Jennifer said...

Failure gives you a story to tell. You can face it on your own or share it with others to identify ways to make improvements.