Is it Failure, or Opportunity?

Is it Failure, or Opportunity?

04/17/17 Laura Gibbons

Do you remember the opening scene in the movie Jerry Maguire with Dicky Fox who said, “To be honest, in life, I failed as often as I succeeded?” It’s a good reminder that failure may be part of the journey but it doesn’t define us, and often gives us the insight to reach our potential.

How does your workplace perceive failure? A fear of failure may hinder innovation and make employees resistant to trying new things and taking risks. If you maintain a culture that criticizes failure, then will you reach your potential?

Maintaining the status quo might seem safe and not a perceived failure, but it also doesn’t mean success. Are you doing your best to serve your clients/customers? Do you proactively try to improve your processes and programs? Are you willing to change course when you realize you are going down the wrong path?

Failure should not be defeating, but revealing of new opportunities. Each failure provides a learning experience, and each learning experience becomes a building block to a more successful outcome. Success is usually not easy, endures setbacks, and requires persistence and determination. Essentially, the real failure is not trying.

If you reassure employees that mistakes aren’t failures, but opportunities to grow and learn, how will that change your workforce? If you preach that failure is our greatest teacher, how will that get employees to move outside their comfort zones?
Failed ideas not only show initiative, but could be the catalyst to your next big idea – your next success, if you will.

When we fail, we aren’t starting at zero. We now have more information, feedback, and new direction. As Henry Ford shared, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

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