Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The face of failure

I work in Corporate America. I have been facing challenges in my job that have been very frustrating for me. I imagine I am pretty much normal in this regard. I would expect that everyone at some time or another has looked for a sign or more direction or something that will give me a clue as to what to do. It isn't always possible to develop a fact based decision tree to direct your actions. But somebody hired me and gave me enough rope to hang myself, er, trusted me enough to expect that I will make the right decisions.
Most people are afraid to fail. Throughout our lives there is a stigma attached to failure that is difficult to escape. No one wants to fail. And should a person fail, they frequently will try to hide that episode and not let anyone know about it. Why is that? Other than embarassment, few people find out what the penalty for failure really is. Chances are that for most of us, embarassment is the most we will pay for making a mistake. It takes quite a bit to lose your job for failing at a project. You aren't likely to lose your house or all of your possessions for a failed business.
While you shouldn't dwell on something that is not as successful as you had hoped, you should be able to learn from it.
The opposite side of the coin is that everyone wants to be successful. Can you be successful if you don't make decisions? A measure of success is making decisions that don't work out and how well you recover from them. By learning, you have a better chance at making a better decision next time.

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