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Glen Chapman

In this article we look at success and the leadership characteristic of courage,it reminds me of so many people who sit in jobs they don't like. But don't have the courage to make a change and don't understand the principle of failing for growth.

If we never stretch our own comfort zone, and risk failure, we will never grow. It is only by taking the risk of doing things differently that we force our selves out side our existing comfort zone and grow to new levels.

Failing your way to success

This is a term that applies to personal development, but can also apply to business growth and development. Through out our schooling and early careers we are taught that failure is a bad thing and that it should be avoided at ALL cost.

Failure should be a normal part of our growth process. With failure comes learning and with learning comes improvement. So when we have tried something that doesn't work...keep going. True failure only comes if we give up. As the old saying goes "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"

Just think of a small child learning to walk. As I watch my daughter each day learning how to deal with the world it reminds me of how we are designed to learn. When she learnt to walk it wasn't a decision she made one day and then got up and walked. It was a process of having a desire to get to something...a toy...the table...mum. So she pulled herself up on the edge of the table and then crept along.

The first time she fell, the second, third and maybe even the forth she fell. But each time her body learnt how to control the muscles so that she could maintain her balance. And those muscles developed so that they had the strength to keep her balanced. Eventually she walked.

Now if I had gone to help her every time she tried and held her body up so that her feet could move. Do you think her mind and body would have learnt how to balance itself?

The same happens with our business. We start out from small beginnings. We get a few customers, we service them how we think we should. Do we always get it right all the time. Not always. So we adjust and change slightly the way we do things. And we try again.

As we grow, the things we try become bigger. As our ability to recover (mentally and financially) improves we take larger risks, in the hope that we have bigger and better outcomes.

Business is an investment for us all. We invest our time and money into it and with any investment there is risk. Generally though the bigger the risk the bigger the potential return. When we invest into our business operation we need to look at the risk and try and manage it so that we can minimise its effect. However when failure comes....Don't give up...... Learn..... Adjust..... Change and try again.

"How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win." The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz

"Only those that dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly" Robert Kennedy

Recent articles on venture capital shows that many investors wont invest into new ventures unless one of the principles has had some failures. This is also true with executives. Why. Well if you wanted to employ someone into an operation to launch a new product or you wanted new ideas. Would you want to employ someone that has always succeeded and never had to recover from a venture, promotion or business that didn't work. Or would you want some one that has succeeded but has brought that success from a point of recovery after a failure. The ability to regroup and recover is an important business trait that we must be aware of our selves.

So when a disappointment, loss or failure comes our grateful for the experience and look at your Vision. Where is this taking you? What can we learn? And where is the next step?

 (© 1995 – 2007 Glen Chapman)