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Embracing Failure

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Success or Failure?

Successful business leaders tell us over and over again that they had to fail to get to where they are. In fact, it is precisely those failures that led to their success. 

Look at Steve Jobs. When did he come up with the iPod? After he had been kicked out of Apple!  When you think of him, do you think of his mistakes? Probably not. You think of his successes: the Macintosh, the iPod, iTunes.

Arthur Rock, one of Apple’s board members, said, “The best thing ever to happen to Steve is when we fired him, told him to get lost” (Isaacson 2011). The tough love gave him the opportunity to become wiser and more mature. At Next (his subsequent company), Jobs made a series of magnificent products that were complete market flops. These brilliant failures helped him create the great successes he had when he came back to Apple. Steve Jobs is a legendary example of a resilient man.

Having worked with business leaders for a long time I have found that the best leaders have had failures and learned from them. They are also open about their failures, rather than covering them up.

The key is to embrace and learn from your failures to propel you forward vs. allowing them to drag you down.

For example, I saw the CEO of a biotech company give a presentation at a leadership conference, and he started out the talk by telling the audience a little bit about himself. He said he had started out as a lawyer at a law firm, and it was a mutually beneficial decision for him to move out of law and into business. In other words, he was saying he wasn’t the best lawyer.

I’ve known other people who have gotten law degrees and were not well-suited to be lawyers either. Unfortunately, they fled the profession and had a sore spot about it ever after. They made a mistake and were not able to overcome it, learn from it, and move on. Instead, it weakened them.

Successful people not only learn from their mistakes, but are willing to take risks and make mistakes along the way.

What kinds of risks are you taking? What kinds of mistakes have you made? What have you learned from them?

Let failures propel you forward – don’t allow them to drag you down. tweet this

 

Joanie ConnellJoanie B. Connell, Ph.D., is a talent management expert and career coach for people across job levels, ages, and industries. She works with companies to attract, develop, and retain top talent and she works with individuals to improve their success and happiness in their careers. Learn more about Joanie and her new book, Flying without a Helicopter online at flyingwithout.com

photo credit: Crossroads: Success or Failure

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Willian   |   10 November 2015   |   Reply

Good stuff. How we respond to sseccuses and failures is so critical to our spiritual and emotional well being.Wins are often times forgotten or moved on from too quickly while failures seem to linger and stir things in the depths of our hearts.I pray I learn from both and walk through both in a Christ honoring manner.

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