There’s something happening out there that I’m starting to call a “failure fad.” Social media is being flooded with quotes about how great failing is, and how much it can teach us. Quotes like: “Failure is success if we learn from it” by Malcolm Forbes or “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. It’s ok to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing” by H. Stanley Judd. I don’t disagree with their sentiments. Learning from
Business, nonprofit, and church leaders across the country invest in new projects everyday. The level of risk varies, but one thing is common to all – at some point, the leader needs to make a decision to stay in for the long haul, or cut the losses and call it quits. The problem is – how do you know if your project is in trouble? What are the key indicators that something serious is going wrong?
I’m constantly reading quotes from famous people about the importance of failure and rejection. Learning from it, turning rejection into action, owning it, and more. The problem is, failure and rejection are HARD, and while everyone tells you it can be a good thing, very few people tell you how to handle it. To that end, here’s a few thoughts that might help you handle rejection the next time you experience it:
“Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.” -Brian Tracy, personal success coach. Whenever I feel my dreams losing steam, I always think of Booker T. Washington. Born a slave in 1858, his childhood years were anything but pleasant. The family’s farm cabin had no glass windows, and any opening to let in light also let in the freezing wind in the winter. The floor of the cabin was dirt. The life of slave was back-breaking work that started before the sun came up and continued long after it went down again. His childhood was also lived out during the Civil War, which created turmoil, fear, and uncertainty in the lives of Southern slaves and added additional pressure to an already hopeless state of affairs. But in spite of that desperate situation,
After a great interview on “The Cycle” today on MSNBC, I was reminded that years into a career, it’s way too easy to get caught up in office politics, paying the bills, and the daily grind. In fact, we often forget the reason we decided on a career in the first place, and that’s a big part of the reason we bounce around from job to job. Chances are, you had a dream back at the start, and the question is – was that vision ever accomplished? Are you actually on the road to the destination you set out to achieve? In my experience, the vast majority of people I know who fail, do it because of two reasons:
It’s much easier to quit when you’re winning than when you’re failing. Take gamblers for instance: When they’re on top, it’s much easier to walk away from the tables. But when they’re getting creamed, it’s really hard to walk away. The fight instinct tells us “I can just win it back.” But this isn’t a blog about gambling, so what’s the point?
I’ve been reading the eulogies about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs with great interest. There is no question that he was our Edison – a brilliantly gifted and visionary leader. But as most of these stories focus on his remarkable success, I’m much more drawn to his failures. They were public, and they were big. Remember the Apple III in 1980? Probably not. It was Jobs first attempt at a business computer. It was rushed to the market with so many issues it was abandoned a few years later. How about Lisa in 1983? It borrowed elements like the mouse, windows and menus from Xerox’s famous Palo Alto Research Center. But at $10,000, no one could afford it. After getting a humiliating boot from Apple, he launched a new company called NEXT in 1988. They created a machine academics liked, but still,
Google isn’t just about search, it’s about reputation management. The river of information that flows online is a tsunami, and whatever failure you’ve experienced in your past will show up in a Google search. So get used to it. Today we need to embrace our pasts and live more transparent lives than ever. Even more important, we need to stop
One of the most important – and difficult – tasks you’ll ever learn as a leader is to delegate. You know how to do a task, and you can probably do it better and faster than others, so the natural tendency is to just do the job yourself and get it over with. But when you’re not delegating and training others to assist you, everything rests on your shoulders, and you’re setting yourself up to become
On Friday, I was interviewed in Dallas on the Daystar Television Network about my new book “Branding Faith.” One of the questions host Marcus Lamb asked me was about failure. As we attempt to be original and innovative in trying to communicate our message to the culture, what happens if we fail? Is it OK? I responded with a resounding “Yes.” In fact, I told him what I teach our staff at Cooke Pictures. I tell them to “fail big.” I want my team to fail because they dreamed big, stretched too far, over-reached, or tried something new. I don’t want them to fail because