Those who know me know that I’m a list maker. Whether it’s a grocery list, scrum backlog (list of project requirements), vacation packing list or a chore list for the kids, I rely on lists to keep track of what needs to be done. I know that prioritizing the list is important too, so I stay focused on the important items first. Still, I’m always beating myself up for what I don’t get done on my to-do lists. Mayer’s suggestion that there is an extent to which we should be proud of what we don’t get done is interesting and something I will have to keep in perspective going forward.
I attended the Leadership Resources Celebration of Success this morning. Among many good take aways stands out a short session I participated in with Deb Buhro from Oxbow Animal Health called “Fail to Succeed—How Failure Holds the Secret to Success.” Deb talked about how important failure is to achieving success, relaying some of her personal professional experiences. As professionals (heck, as people) none of us wants to fail. It feels bad and costs us time, money and energy. The mind blowing realization here is that, by simply viewing failure as an investment instead of a waste, we have much to gain from failing (as Ms. Buhro adeptly pointed out during our session). We can turn our perception of failure on its head.
In a karmic coincidence, when I turned to Netflix over lunch to finish a documentary I’d been watching on Steve Jobs, I restarted movie at the point of Jobs’ ouster from Apple in 1985. He was so bitter that he’s sold all of his Apple stock at a low point for the shares. He could have taken his millions and moved to India to study Zen. Of course, we know the story that follows: Next Computer, Pixar, return to Apple, joy and billions of dollars ensue and the world becomes “magical” while Apple’s products become “insanely great.” Learning to fail successfully (or “Fail Up” as David K. Williams puts it in this article) is a hallmark of successful people.
Thanks to Leadership Resources for hosting this great event today and for providing effective, focused and approachable leadership training for the city of Lincoln.