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Fail Or Forward Momentum - The Choice Is Yours

24 August 2015

Each and every one of us will have points in our business lives where we have to stand up and say ‘this is a fail’. At those points, we need to make choices. The first one is in choosing to say ‘this is a fail’, rather than failure, and taking it as a lesson. The second is in understanding that a fail is just a small step in our journeys, rather than permanent stasis.

The difference in this mindset is the difference between being a leader and being a follower – and the decision rests entirely within our own ability to adapt, and become a better version of ourselves.

James Dyson managed to ‘fail’ 5,127 times before he achieved what became the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner.

Steve Jobs ‘failed’ at Apple  – in fact, he was fired.

James Dyson now, as it was quoted in Forbes magazine, ‘owns more of England than the Queen’.

And Apple… well, there is nothing that has to be said there. Attitude, and the ability to think beyond the immediate sense of disappointment, fear, and bewilderment is imperative in making a fail into an act of forward momentum.

Think about getting on an escalator. If it breaks down when you have made it halfway, do you stop, turn around and go back to the start and find the stairs instead? Of course not; you use your own momentum and energy to continue your journey. So it is with a fail within business. You learn from the lack of movement. You decide not to let it freeze you, your relationships, your connections and opportunities into one place.

Instead, you push forward, treating the ‘oh no, I can’t believe this has happened to me’ as the chance to say ‘alright, so why did this happen to me?’

Raise awareness within yourself about what you can learn and do differently so that the same thing never happens again. What did you find out about your own and others’ behaviour? Were you, in fact, prepared for the situation? Did you have the right materials, technology, information, personnel in place?

It is easy to say ‘that’s it, I am done’ – and sink into the quagmire of self-pity.

But the hard drag of moving forward is so much more rewarding in the long run than a mouthful of chocolate and a day under the doona. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allow yourself these things – do it.

After you have, get up, shake the chocolate crumbs off, and get moving. Because a fail is just that – a fail.

Not failure.

The sooner we teach ourselves the difference, the sooner we understand just what leadership – and therefore success – is.

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