I just finished reading Why I Hire People Who Fail and am reflecting on my own past learning moments. I had a manager at IBM who I was trying to convince that a project I was working on was destined to fail and his words are still with me, “yes it is not needed but think how much you will learn from designing and producing it!” He was right on both counts, it didn’t sell but it was so intricate that years later I am able to use what I had learned effectively at that time.
The author states, “If you’re not failing every now and then, you’re probably not advancing” and there is the key learning moment for me. To fail and/or to advance you must make a decision and that is a lesson I work on constantly. I don’t want to fail (not on purpose!) so I strive to be accurate and make sure I have researched, evaluated, and talked to others to glean guidance. However the key is to not be caught in the analysis paralysis conundrum, sooner rather than later one must make a decision. It is a culture this author creates to make the decision, and failing is a part of the path to long term profits, to long term success, and to long term growth. That is a culture I wish for those close to me to grow and live in – to choose action rather than passive waiting. The idea might not work the first time however I will look to the new year with not a fear of failure but with the choice to learn and grow. An old Irish proverb states, “Nodding the head does not row the boat” so shall I put my back into action!