How to Fail

Image: Wikipedia Commons
Seeking opportunities where failure may occur seems counterintuitive to a successful career.

But it isn't.

If you are innovative, failure will occur.

If you are an IT leader, Innovation is now part of your job description.

If you don't encounter failure, you aren't stretching enough.

You don't have a big enough vision.

It's not whether or not you fail, it's HOW you fail that counts.

Thomas Edison was a master at failure. Take a lesson from him.

Use your favorite search engine and type "Thomas Edison quotes".  You can't help but be inspired.

Was he an easy person to get along with? Was he a workaholic who had sometime unscrupulous business practices?

No, and yes.

I'm not saying you should emulate Edison in these areas. But in spite of this, Edison really grasped the concept that to do new things, you will sometimes, and perhaps many times, fail to get the results you anticipated.

On the way to a goal, failure is a mechanism of learning.

Failing doesn't mean you change your expected destination, it means you change your tactics on how to get there.

If you fail and don't learn from it, it is incompetence. (Harsh word, but true)

Failure as a result of rushing madly off in all directions without a clear understanding of desired outcomes is not failure, it is incompetence.

Know your destination.  Know where you want to go.

Expect a few challenges along the way.

You will be a better leader for it.

My favourite quotation of Edison's?
"I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them."
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If you are not willing to risk, you are not willing to win.


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