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What Would You Do if You Knew You Could Not Fail?

A little inspiration in the attached article to keep you going in the face of perceived failures.  Sometimes we need a reminder of how invaluable failure can be.  He writes in the article that if you haven't failed, you're not pushing yourself - you're not really trying.  As a leader, how can you create the culture he created at his company?  If people are afraid because the office dynamic doesn't allow people to fail and learn from it - you're not going to get the best out of them.  They'll only do enough to get by and stay out of trouble.  

Every twist & turn, and what we learn along the way, is part of what makes us unique.  I've made my fair share of mistakes, and there are some more than others that I wish I could get a "do-over" on, but the reality is that they're part of what makes me - me.  As a manager, I would always pass on someone I interviewed that would either blame problems at the last company or project delivery failures all on things that were outside their control.  Don't get me wrong, I know there are things outside our control like this but isn't that life?  All of life is this way if you think about it.  You have to learn from your mistakes, adapt to what life throws at you and get creative (I've also found keeping my sense of humor to be invaluable).  Certainly my company wasn't without its challenges and obstacles. Our team didn't need someone that was passive, that would throw up their hands and point at all the reasons why we couldn't succeed as the challenges and obstacles mounted.  Sometimes we get to this point without realizing it...we get tired, run down, feel beat up & have days where we feel defeated.  There is often so much negativity floating around us on any given day and we don't even realize this is the negative, draining vibe we're sending out into the world.  We must know when to rest, reevaluate, rejuvenate and then come at it again with fresh eyes.  Remember that the setback is only temporary.  Ask yourself, what is the gift of insight to be had here?

When I have a difficult choice to make I ALWAYS ask myself the question "What would I do if I knew I could not fail?"  And whatever my gut response is...I know that is what my heart says is the right choice for me.  THEN I go about creating a strategy to deal with the logistics, risks and realities a leap of faith requires.  

There are things that I perceived as a terrible "failure" at the time, but when I look back now I think, Thank God it worked out the way it did.  Other mistakes I just had to learn from, forgive and make a pact with myself not to repeat them.  What about you, do you have any "failures" that you're thankful for?  Any mistakes that in the end you know have made you a better person?  Bet you do.  See...failure isn't so bad, it's all about perception.

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/12/why_i_hire_people_who_fail.html