Failure and Taking on the Next Big Challenge

Sep 24, 2017

Recently, I had a big failure. It was really pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but for me it was big.

It all started in early 2016 when I decided to be a runner. Not a marathoner, I just wanted to run 5Ks and run them faster. I had run a few in the past, but nothing serious. My best time prior was around 27 minutes. After a few months of training, I finished one in under 25 minutes and decided to set a goal of running one in under 22 minutes.

After months of training, I set my sites on the recent City of Roses 5k. I’ll spare you the full details, just ask me if you want to know, but I ultimately finished in a really disappointing 26:40, which is basically my pre-training time.

Look, this isn’t my first failure and not even close to the biggest. And yes, I’ve grown from the journey, but ultimately this whole experience made me think about failure on a much broader scale in my world. Specifically, what are the roles I’m playing in business and as a parent in creating a culture where those around me are willing to fail. Where they are excited to tackle a big challenge, knowing it might not work. Am I there at the end condemning them for getting something wrong, patting them on the back saying “it’s OK,” or instead cheering for them and saying “that was awesome and look at what we know now.”

And that’s my challenge to you, how are your words, actions and reactions contributing to your employees, co-workers, children, even your own willingness to take on the next big challenge?