In any entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial venture, success never comes from a perfectly executed plan. It comes from having a vision for what you’re setting out to do; creating and getting after an initial plan, and along the way, being smart and humble enough to recognize the initiative’s short comings and getting things corrected in an iterative process. It’s not rocket science, but it takes courage and thick skin to know that you don’t have it all figured out and might have to change your plans several times as you test and ramp up your initiative.
Unfortunately, personal pride or fear of failure drives most people to quickly brush these iterative “bumps in the road” aside and say, “I’m not going to let that happen again” rather than taking the time to learn from each mistake so that you can apply the learning the next time around.
On the surface it’s tempting to subscribe to this orthodoxy (failure is simply a byproduct of trying new things). Meaning its okay to fail — it’s inevitable — but, shake it off and keep moving forward. This mentality has the potential to undermine the true benefit of failure – learning. Within any failure you can uncover valuable learning that, if understood and reflected on, could actually get you closer to your vision.
It’s embracing failure with that intentionality that will allow you to succeed far faster.
Photo licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 via Flickr user: sashafatcat