An Employee Workshop for Aspiring Experts

Unconventional Workshop 15

Use Failure as a Platform

Individual work-process 10

1) Foster curiosity
2) Initiate activity
3) Gain relevant information
4) Discover possibilities
5) Strategize
6) Commit to a project
7) Create ideas
8) Realize ideas
9) Test ideas, find success or failure
10) Use failure as a platform for new and better ideas
11) Repeat part or all of the process
12) Eventually, find achievement
Bonus – Ultimately, gain some level of mastery

As human beings, we have the potential to become experts. As experts, we have the potential to greatly benefit the human kind.

The importance of the rebound
Being able to fail at something and bounce back for another try is one of the most important aspects of an advanced work ethic. Everyone reacts differently to failure and each of us will chose a response.

Do we quit all together?
Do we try again, using the exact same parameters?
Do we make adjustments and try again?

One thing is consistent, being able to overcome failure and move forward is necessary for success. Historically, there might be a small hand full of people who became successful on their first try at something; and that something couldn’t have been very complex.

Wishful thinking within failure
What is the reason people quit after failure? Many times, it is wishful thinking within the attempt. People have high and hopes that their efforts will produce a worthwhile return. When it doesn’t, they simply move their wishful thinking on to another hope. It needs to be understood, one major benefit of failure is its ability to crush wishful thinking. The world around us will not change because we wish it to, it is always our expectations than need to meet the realities of the world. Failure will always be around to teach this lesson so the sooner we learn it the better.

We all have heard support in the following of our dreams. There is a fine line, however, between reality based work that leads to expert-level skills and daydreams that support delusions of grandeur. As we face challenges, we need to weigh reality against wishful thinking and keep ourselves moving in productive directions. When we fail, we need to adjust our expectations and use the information that we gain from failure to benefit our next steps.

The definition of insanity
Albert Einstein wrote, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Certainly, failure has a way of bringing one back to the drawing board. If adjustments are not made, there should be a good reason for it. In marketing, an extremely small response to a campaign is often considered successful. Sometimes, success turns into a numbers game and keeping everything the same is part of the calculation.

The emotions of failure
Nobody likes to fail and it’s never a good practice to expect failure, from a glass half empty perspective. Failure, however, should be accepted as a part of the process. It should not be constantly judged as bad, but a part of the process that is necessary to find good.

Risk and failure
Generally speaking, entrepreneurs take big risk for big gains. Given the failure rate for new businesses, most successful entrepreneurs will have a lot to say about failure, especially when they first started out. Once businesses find success, there is no guarantee that it will continue. Sometimes s market changes or competitors force failure. To rebound, entrepreneurs will often make a sizable change to their business plan, referred to as a pivot. This might mean a major change to a product, service or customer reach.

When an employee works for a company and reaches failure, that failure may not hit as hard, as companies generally eat loss. When working for an employer, it is important to share information regarding project risks, potential losses and all changes and adjustments along the way. Company leadership must fully understand what they’re paying for and be ready to share the down sides with the up sides.

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