PERSPECTIVES ON FAILURE

One of the good things about dealing with failure is that you have lots of company.  Every person alive today has known or soon will know failure.  Therefore, having a strategy for dealing with it is crucial.

Dealing with failure also depends on your perspective.  Your perspective is influenced by your context and your worldview.  For example, James Dyson (billionaire and founder of Dyson) is always involved in inventing things.  That means he first has to create a lot of things that do not work until he finally creates the thing that does work (“Ask A Billionaire: James Dyson” Bloomberg Businessweek, 3/10/14–3/16/14, p. 79):

99 percent of my life is failure, because we’re building prototypes all the time.  We’re trying out ideas, and they all fail.  You then have to try and make it work, and that requires hundreds or thousands of prototypes—all of which are failures—until you get the one success.  So we’re totally used to failure.

Dyson points out that he knows much more about failure than success.  That should make most of us feel better!  Failure is a guaranteed part of life and business.  Dyson goes on to emphasize how valuable failure itself genuinely is:

Failure [is] fascinating.  It’s much more interesting than success.  And it’s what . . . we build our lives on.

Success is great!  Nevertheless, failure can be greater—if we ruthlessly, meticulously, and diligently extract its lessons.  That demands some hard work and deep soul searching.  Not everyone is willing to do that.  I hope you are.

Ultimately, it is the proper dissection of our failures that will launch us onto our successes.





About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger.

I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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