It’s natural to fear failure in personal and business life. Online and offline gossip about friends, colleagues, competitors and others is often about failure, intensifying our own fear of failure.
Today, news of failure is amplified more than ever because of the ready access to the megaphones of social media.
My uneducated theory is that volume of gossip and talk by some about the failure of others reflects more about them than those of whom they speak. But that’s not what I want to write about today.
We need to embrace failure. Indeed, if we are to fail, we need to fail well.
By failing well, I mean we need to leverage value from the failure. This could be getting it right the next time, helping others from our experience, having fun with the failure or in some other practical and life lesson type way.
Every failure, large and small, presents the opportunity to fail well. Whether we do fail well is up to us. It is up to what we do as a result of the failure. We can choose to fail or fail well. My management advice today is for us to fail well.
This starts with us owning the failure.
Next we have to think about how to leverage it.
Finally, we need to talk about the experience with others, to share positives from the experience.
It could be that you have a dud product that you have brought into the business. Call it out. Have fun with it on the shop floor. I know of situations where this has been done in a fun way and the dud product has become a success. Think of some dreadful movie failures that have become cult classics and commercial successes.
If the failure is on a bigger scale, like a whole business failure, own it, walk through it, learn from it and confront every challenge head on. The best advice I can give is to look ahead and take a small step at a time … oh, and don’t listen to those talking about you.
Running and hiding from failure denies you the opportunity to grow and others the opportunity to learn from your experience.
As for those who enjoy talking about the failure of others, ignore them for they live in a sad world.