Letting Go of A Bad Idea


A growing leader must let go of this important misunderstanding—they must let go of bad ideas. It’s an enormously flawed notion only  success is of any value.

The truth is that one of the most “successful” things you can ever learn is how to profit from a good failure. Let’s face it, reality teaches us that failure is inevitable. Since this is the case, we had better learn how to accept failure and make the most of it.

Everybody makes mistakes, including great leaders. Nobody—repeat, nobody—normally gets it right the first time and most of us don’t get it right the second, third or fourth times either. Winston Churchill said it best: “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” This was born out of Churchill’s own life and in his political career in Great Britain when he blew one assignment after another. Finally, as prime minister during World War II, he faced the greatest leadership challenge of his career as he tried to hold together a struggling nation under the constant threat of bombings, lack of provisions, and fear. Having learned from past mistakes, he rose to the occasion and saved his country.

Consider the record of several successful people who maintained great enthusiasm while failing repeatedly:

  • Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times. He also hit 714 home runs.
  • R. H. Macy failed in the retail business before he got it right with his department store in NYC.
  • Abraham Lincoln failed twice in business and was defeated in six state and national elections before winning the presidency.
  • Theodor S. Geisel (Dr. Seuss) had his first children’s book rejected by twenty-three publishers in a row. The twenty-fourth accepted the manuscript, and it sold well over 6 million copies.

Why is it that with all that is written about the benefit of failure so many leaders struggle to allow their people or organizations to “fail successfully”?

There are several reasons and I’ll post them in my next Blog…

Why do you hate to fail?


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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