Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Success in Failing

Are young people (and by young I mean 30 and I'm no longer considered young) today taught about the need to fail? And why is it that we even need to "teach" such an idea. I'm sure my grandparents never were "taught" how to fail...their parents let them fail plenty.

As a Recruiting Manager I see a lot of failure. The associates who succeed in the end don't let that failure stop them in their tracks. The ones who see the temporary failures as permanent will never make it any further. It seems that a lot of younger, and sadly some of the older associates, that we hire see failure as a bad thing.

I understand that failure can be a letdown and an impediment. In reality, we need to see "failure" as an opportunity to learn. Why did that approach fail? What could I have done differently? What can I learn and do different in the future?

One younger associate came in dejected recently because of a particularly hard business loss. Could it have been avoided? Possibly, but probably not. It affected him and another, slightly older, associate. Guess which one picked himself back up and kept on going?

Yup...the older guy.

Failing doesn't make you a loser. Quitting after you fail does.

I'm sure Bill Gates or Steve Jobs failed a lot. A LOT. As did Thomas Edison, the man who's invention is now being outlawed, and who found 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb (aka failing) before succeeding in giving us the miracle of electric light.

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

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