UNCOMMON leaders fail fast.
Did you know that half of all tackles made in the NFL are by guys who have already fallen down?
An ancient proverb says, “But the righteous falls seven times and rises again.”
Oscar winning director Andrew Stanton who helped bring Toy Story to life and directed Finding Nemo and Wall-E is known around the Pixar offices for saying things like, “Fail early and fail fast…be wrong as fast as you can.”
He equates failing to riding a bike – you’d never learn without a few scrapes and crashes.
Failure is never final. Most leaders will tell you failure is just another step towards success. Inventor Thomas Edison, when asked about how he endured so many failures while creating what would become the lightbulb, said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Listen, we all will get knocked down. We don’t have perfect line of sight. Our opinion isn’t always right. We will believe strongly about the wrong things. What will you do with your failure? Flounder or flourish?
Maybe failure teaches us what success cannot. Think about it, you tell stories about what went wrong far more than what went right. I’m not sure what you think about the Bible, but unlike many ancient books, it never sugarcoats the failures of its leaders.
Considered the Father of three faiths (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), Abraham demonstrated great faith, but to save his own skin, hid behind his wife’s skirt. Moses parted the red sea, but also had a murder rap sheet. David felled a giant and then fell for a married woman. Peter, nicknamed the Rock, looked more like Pebbles when Jesus needed him most.
Though Peter pledged he’d endure prison and death for his friend, when confronted by a servant girl, he pretended like he never met the guy. I’m sure Peter’s denial hurt Jesus, but it didn’t surprise him. Jesus predicted as much: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32).
What if our failure moves us toward success. Get up. Try again. You are one more attempt from the light coming on.
Written by Brian Goins