Tag Archives | failure

Don’t Fail At Failure In 2016

Failure sucks. If we set a goal, we’d much rather achieve it than not. But whatever you do, don’t fail at failure. Huh? Read on.

I read famous quotes about ‘failure being the key to success’ with some scepticism. I kind of understand. You have to ‘have a go,’ and often you’ll land on your bum. So, pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Go again. That’s how champions do it. Still sucks though.

Unless, that is, we get much better at one aspect of failure. The only place I see it done brilliantly is at the Olympics. It’s there that failure is embraced. And that’s what we should do.

Learn This Secret To Fast-Tracking Success

I encourage you, please, to make mistakes. Here’s the twist. I only want you to make a very specific style of mistake- the sort smart people make. Here’s the magic. Read on.
Good Man Mark was inspiringly positive after a major career setback. I was sharing my experiences of shaping a new career direction. He was most hungry for insights on what not to do. “When I trained as a pilot, my instructor made this one rule: ‘You will not have a prang unless it is an original one.’”

I loved that! It reminded me of the advice I got recently from a Sydney business leader:

To Quit Or Not To Quit?- Here’s The Answer

The insight I share this week is about failure, and is a bit controversial. Some will love it; others, like me when I first saw it, might reject it out of hand. But with time, it grows on you. I now like it a lot. What about you?

Business is changing so fast that we don’t have time to stick with mistakes. We have to keep facing reality, trying new things, making sure we are putting our focus and energies behind what is delivering the returns…for our employers, clients, careers. It’s not an easy path to follow. It requires real discipline.

And it is with that in mind that I loved (on reflection) the quote from the crusty old Brigadier in Evelyn Waugh’s “The Sword of Honour Trilogy”, who said to his leaders this about the first rule of attack. It is a startling insight for each of us, every day. Here is it:

How To Achieve Your Goals – But Don’t Tell Anyone This Secret

I have let myself down badly- again. I look in the mirror and shake my head in dismay. How could you do this Chris? And then I read the answer… in the autobiography of a British Hollywood actor of old. It’s a wake up call, for me, and for you – perhaps. Here it is.

David Niven is long dead. His autobiography, “The Moon Is A Balloon,” was a gem to read en route to Los Angeles and with Hollywood to be explored. He tells about time spent with Winston Churchill during the gloomy early days of the Second World War. Churchill kept reassuring Niven about “…when the Americans join us…” Suddenly, Pearl Harbor happened, and the Americans joined the Allies in the war effort. “How did you know this would happen?” an incredulous Niven asked the great man. “Because, my boy, I am a great student of history.” Point is, Churchill knew reluctant bystanders usually get drawn in to the conflict. History predicted it.

And in that statement I suddenly realized why I keep failing, time and again, on some simple personal goals. Here’s why.

Do You Have The Courage To Answer This One Question- And Share It?

This is a very short and sharp Possums post. It’s designed to get you thinking. And (I hope) to share your response. I am sharing mine. Tell me yours. But beware- this might scare you. Do you have the courage to tell the truth? I wonder……

All my life I have been handcuffed by insecurity and self-doubt. I have tried to compensate by being ‘extroverted’ and, to many, I appear confident and strong. But it’s a façade. Just under the surface is a frightened person- of failure, the unknown, risk, ridicule. Seriously. Fear has underpinned most of what I have done, and haven’t done, in my life.

I am a little better at it now. But still got a shock when confronted with this one, very simple question. Incredibly hard to answer, truthfully. But I am giving it a go. Here’s the question.

Have Courage-Do This One Magical Thing For Your Business And Your Life

One of our leaders took what many would say was a big risk last week. He asked us to an ‘urgent’ meeting, where he then outlined why his business was in ‘deep trouble’. We left the meeting delighted. Huh? How can that be? Bad news and we were thrilled? Here’s why. It’s a powerful message for business, and for life- if you’ve got the courage.

Actually, as CEO Mike and I walked across town to our next meeting, we concluded this business was NOT in deep trouble. It was underpinned with strength and vitality, with great people and deep specialization. But it had simply drifted away from its ‘heartland’, from what it did best. By playing again to its strengths, it would thrive.

What excited us most about the meeting was the pace of progress made in the discussion. This was made possible by all in the room doing one very simple thing. It’s very hard to do, but if you form the habit, incredibly refreshing and invigorating. Here it is.