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Failure is a Good Thing

Failure…the F-word to some. It is often suggested that we learn from our failures. However, it is often our successes that are celebrated. The question is: Are we truly learning from failure? And do we fear failure too much?

In many cases, the answer is yes…to both questions. While inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison was famously quoted as saying: “”I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.” How do we embrace failure in a positive way as a learning experience?

This month, Harvard Business Review (http://hbr.org/) features a series on failure. It provides some good insight on the subject.

HBR: Failing Toward Success (http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/mcgrath/2011/04/failing-their-way-to-success-a.html)

HBR: Why Leaders Don’t Learn from Success (http://hbr.org/2011/04/why-leaders-dont-learn-from-success/ar/1)

Looking back, what have you failed miserably at? Are there examples where you have failed over and over again and eventually got it right?

Hopefully we can push forward to think differently about how to learn from our mistakes, make forward progress and change our paradigm when needed.

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