By Linda J. Gray
Failure. What a concept. The very word can make the most successful people cringe. It carries with it the implication of negativity, of weakness and of remorse. But here’s a crazy thought: what if failure was promoted, embraced and even (dare I say it) expected in your work and in what you are doing? Now, let me be clear, I’m not defining failure as not following laws, FDCPA regs or any process necessary to do our jobs well. I’m defining failure as those ideas, thoughts or experiences that we are afraid to entertain simply because we might fail. With this disclaimer in mind, I ask you again, what if failure was promoted, embraced and expected in our work? What would happen?
Think about it for a minute. I’ll wait while you noodle on that……………………
Ready? Ok. Give. What have you pictured in your mind as the impending doom that we would experience with the worldwide acceptance and promotion of failure? Is it the collapse of the world as we know it? What if I were to say that the ONLY way to grow professionally and personally is to fail. That’s right. Flat out, full face-dive failure. I know, I know. Oh, I can just see the faces of some readers right now. I can picture the rolling eyes, the shaking head, and even the “what planet is she on?” comment. I’m okay with that. I understand that it goes against the grain of the typical corporate culture. After all, many successful businesses were built on the practice of being precise, exact and error-free. And certainly, acceptance of failure was not a concept taught in our society or in our collective childhoods. So, it is not lost on me that some may dismiss this concept of growth by failure to be too foolish to read on.
But for those who are still hanging with me, I ask you this: how liberating would it be to know that you could try any new idea, improve any old idea or conjure up any outrageous idea no matter how extreme or ridiculous it may seem? No backlash, no embarrassment, no retaliation. How endless are the possibilities if the handcuffs were removed and you were free to experience failure in all its glory? How many new ideas and new ways of doing business would be born? How much more successful COULD we be?
My challenge to you is this: “Don’t let failing to fail be your biggest failure. If you haven’t failed in the past 3 months, then you are not fully engaged in what you are doing.” – David Zinger (yes, that’s his real name)
Now go out there and fail. We’re counting on you. Because through failure, we discover new ways of being great.
Linda Gray is the Manager of Talent Acquisition at Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA. She can be reached at 216.739.5728 and firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.weltman.com or www.facebook.com/wwrcareers.