While we all want success, sometimes the best path to success is through failure.

Tom Peters popularized the idea of “Fail. Forward. Fast.” 

While we understand this on an intellectual basis, where it really becomes valuable is in creating a culture that values and rewards risk taking. There is no doubt that success is great but the problem with success is that we become emotionally invested in the particular way that we succeeded.

But we all know that what worked yesterday, may not work today, and is unlikely to work tomorrow.

Failure doesn’t have that problem. Failure is typically a cause for new action. We chalk that up to the “no” side and find something else that works.

And that is the real key to lasting success, is the ability to try new things and commit to making it happen, regardless of the setbacks. And that’s what they are, setbacks, because they’re not denials, just delays.

Keep in mind, however, that not everyone approaches failure in the same way.

The important thing to remember is that the meaning of that failure is determined by you.

Did that experience provide you with the exact experience that you needed to find a way to succeed or was that the last straw for you?

The choice is yours…choose wisely.

My recommendation is to view failure as feedback. Study it. Learn from it. Use it.


John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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