How many of us have known failure? All of us right? We all fail at something, sometime in our lives, in fact most of us fail at some point each and every day. And failure is bad, it means we fall short in some area that we shouldn’t, we fail at relationships, in our job duties, in sports, no matter what we do, we are bound to fall short at least some of the time. It is a result of being imperfect human beings. As I think about failure, I identify 3 different types of ways we fail.
The first I call statistical failure, and the best example of that is a baseball batter, who even if a good one, will fail about 7 times out of ten. It is just a nature of the endeavor that the results will turn out that way, regardless of the effort put forth by the batter, about 7 times out of ten. We accept these types of failure rates because we realize that the reward of the 3 successes outweighs the 7 failures, and, we understand that without effort, we will fail 8 or 9 or 10 times out of ten.
The second type of failure I call failure of effort. As a manager, I find this type of failure completely unacceptable. To be confronted with a situation that could have led to success and to find we just couldn’t put out the effort drives me nuts and I have a very low tolerance for that. We should all feel that way.
The final type of failure I talk about is failure falling forward. It is the result of trying something we are not sure about, or we have not done before, or stretching ourselves past our normal boundaries. As unpleasant as this is, we have to have a little bit of this type. This is how we grow, how we learn. I never criticize this type of failure, I support it because it tells me I have someone who is willing to make a mistake, and has enough trust in me to do it in front of me. Give me that person any day over one who is never willing to try anything and especially over the one who fails because they just don’t try. My question for you this week is WHICH ONE ARE YOU?