Try. Fail. Try Again!

(Truth in blogging, the following was inspired by a recent failure. Yesterday along with my team at SynerVision Leadership Foundation, I attempted to integrate a new feature into our website as we prepare to launch. We figured out a lot, but it looked like a complete failure!)

If you have ever been part of the roll-out of any product or service, you certainly recognize the inherent failure of trying something new – it often flops. It might be better to classify that the first iteration of that new product or service flops. The product (whatever it may be) fails to actualize the image that you have held for it, its functioning is glitchy, and you have a hard time seeing people actually use it. With services it is often the unanswered question of how someone purchases it, redeems it, how do you market it, and make special deals on it.

If this is where we stopped, we would often have a whole list of failures that would make us want to give up. How many things are “perfect” on the first try? Quick answer – none of them (or as close to that as you can imagine)!

Why is it that we give up on the beauty of our dreams when failure happens? Is it the little voice sitting over us telling us “you’re not good enough for this to be a success”? Think about, Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” and more famously (and more disputed – if he didn’t actually say it, he should have), “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

So stop it. Get over your feeling sorry. Get back out there and try again! ImageThe world is full of people who have failed countless more times than you and are now referred to in reverent tones for their success.  Reggie Jackson has the most strikeouts by any Major League Baseball hitter in history, but more importantly is known as Mr. October, a Hall of Famer, a man who hit over 500 home runs, made it to 14-All-Star games and won five World Series championships, along with two Silver Slugger Awards, the 1973 American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, two World Series MVP Awards, and the 1977 Babe Ruth Award – yep, you can guess it, people don’t often talk about those strikeouts!

Go. Try. Fail. Come back, dust yourself off then try again! Not doing so is the only thing that would allow this learning to truly be failure!

If quick fixes worked, wouldn’t more things already be fixed?

Truth be told, they often make me laugh. Until they make me sad. Quick fixes have been the rage for generations. Think about it, if those get rich quick ideas actually worked wouldn’t more people be rich? If those weight loss programs actually helped people lose weight and keep it off, don’t you think more people would be slim and obesity wouldn’t be such an issue in our country?

It is attributed that Philip Stanhope, former Earl of Chesterfield, once said “anything worth doing, is worth doing well.” Yet, that bring so much of the quick fix, band-aid orientation of our present culture into question.

How many leaders are searching for 3 simple steps to huge turnarounds in their organizations? How many entrepreneurs are looking for the 5 things that will suddenly make them millionaires? How many church leaders have bought into the notion that these 7 things will suddenly transform your church into a mega-church? The answer is too many!

All too often we settle for easy when true success means extra work. We fail to ask the question behind the question. We aren’t willing to invest our time and energy in the things that really have impact and because of that we are constantly looking for the next silver bullet.

What goals do you want to accomplish this year? How are you working to meet those goals?