The integrity of failure

29 05 2015

“Success is not built on success.  It is built on failure.  It’s built on frustration.  Sometimes, it’s built on catastrophe.” ~Sumner Redstone

You’ve heard about the post-it notes that were invented because 3-M engineers created a glue that “wasn’t sticky enough”?  Failure brought success.  Pearl Harbor was, by all counts, a catastrophe, but it woke up the will of America to go overseas and kick some aggressor butt!  I wonder what the world would look like if Pearl Harbor hadn’t happened.

So when you, as leaders, fail, don’t let it hurt your ego.  Learn from it, share the mistakes you made, and what you learned from them, and move on.  Next time you, or someone you shared it with, are in a similar situation, you or they might make a different move, and succeed on the shoulders of your failure.  It’s how we can help each other be better.  That’s why I get so upset when a team member makes a mistake and hides it from me.  Not only are they not showing any integrity, but they’re not allowing someone else to also learn from their mistake.  Show me someone who doesn’t make any mistakes, and I’ll show you someone that never tried anything worth trying.

Speaking of frustration


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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