June 2, 2011
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” (Winston Churchill)
You may have heard this concept before, “fail fast forward”, and it’s certainly one that seems to ‘click’ for me. I think it defines my own style, but also I see it as a solution for many leaders I see who feel constrained by red tape and organisational culture, or who are trying to make significant changes to their own life or their business but keep hitting roadblocks.
I’m not encouraging you to do just anything – obviously consider your actions and weigh up the risks. But if there’s a chance it might not go quite as you planned….. well, maybe that’s ok – as long as you’re doing SOMETHING towards achieving your goals. The journey to a destination in business is rarely achieved in a straight line. Sure, plan the straightest and sweetest course, but don’t be too disheartened when the needle kicks over into the next groove.
If you’ve ever watched a baby learning to walk, you see them try and fall over and over again. It never bothered the baby to get up and try again and again. I experience the same when I coach my girls in gymnastics – they understand that it takes practice to get things right, and most of them are prepared to try and try and try and make small improvements until they get it right. Where did we lose that patience with ourselves?
I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity. (John D Rockefeller)
You know, if you double the rate of failure, you will also likely double your rate of success. It’s all about taking action…. if you do nothing you’ll have no failure, that’s true. And you can equally expect a lack of success. This is where “the law of attraction” fails…. you can’t just wish that Ferrari into your garage. Even the most skilled “attractor” will need to do SOMETHING to make that happen. Whether it’s tell someone of your goal, start a savings plan, buy a raffle ticket or get yourself to the local Ferrari dealer and sit in the seat of the latest model. Action is usually a pre-requisite of success.
As one of my clients pointed out, it’s like the old adage, “it’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all”. So go and do it; try that idea. Do that thing you’ve been putting off. Get the evidence and knowledge to support it. Find that mentor. Do the Nike and “just do it”. And fail fast forward. Just keep moving forward, persist in taking action towards your goal and you will achieve great things in your life. You may not succeed–you could even fail miserably– but at least you would be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Oh, what the heck, at least I tried.”
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. (Walt Disney)
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