"Celebrate Failure"
Your Success Thought for the Week of October 4, 2006

Gary Fish, President and CEO of Deschutes Brewery shared his ‘Top Ten Lessons Learned in Business’ during a symposium I attended last week. Though I loved all of them, one in particular stood out: “Celebrate Failure.”

I’ve both experienced and stressed this concept with my clients for years. Unless you try something and allow for the risk of failure, how do you know it works? Safety does not equal success. Calculated or even miscalculated risks can bring amazing results.

“We should all have an adrenaline rush to wake ourselves up a bit. I read a study where they found that the rats that take the most risks usually live longer. Basically, when you take risks, your heart rate goes up, you’re more excited, and you have a greater existence on this earth” says Daniel Craig, daring to be the new James Bond (aka sexiest man alive) in the 10/1/06 issue of Parade Magazine.

Walt Disney didn’t start with Mickey. Prior to the cute little mouse, he dared to introduce ‘Oswald’ the Rabbit and went bankrupt. What if Walt would have allowed this one failure to stop him? Have lesser failures stopped you? According to Disney: “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Stephen Spielberg had a tough childhood, bad grades, and was unpopular growing up. He faced numerous rejections early in his film career. Did this stop him from filming that next film? Spielberg is said to have ‘transformed every rejection he faced on his path to filmmaking into an alternative route to success.’

Then there’s Lance Armstrong who certainly didn’t win every race except his renowned race with cancer; Oprah Winfrey who overcame early racial prejudice and sexual abuse; James Earl Jones who triumphed over a severe stutter that would have held most people back from trying anything that had to do with speaking. Who doesn’t know the Michael Jordan story?

All of these people dared to fail and eventually won. Each risked being heard or being seen doing something of which they were unsure. This took diligence, confidence and courage. Are they more diligent, confident or courageous than you? Perhaps at this very moment, but this doesn’t have to be the story of your life. You can change. It all begins in your mind.

What specific area of your life jumps out while you're reading this? Is it in personal relationships? Work, health or speaking your mind? One business I know of actually offers rewards for the ‘dumbest idea’ at each week’s staff meeting to encourage associates to speak their mind. Oftentimes these ‘dumb ideas’ turns into something big.

As you progress through your week, look for one area in which you can reach out, be more than who or what you’ve been in the past. Take that risk, feel the sensation of that increased heartbeat. If necessary, celebrate your failure as it indicates what doesn’t work. Now, look for what does.

Keep those stories coming - I love receiving your feedback on how these weekly notes play out for you.

Enjoy your discoveries and have an amazing week.

Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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