WOW Word-Of-the-Week #457: Failure

May 8, 2013 by  

Failure a person or thing that is unsuccessful or disappointing.

Do you see failure as a negative? Have you ever turned a failure into a success by learning from your mistake? Would you find it embarrassing to share your failures publicly?

I saved a January LA Times article written by Nita Lelyveld titled, “A boss’ convincing fails pitch.” She writes, What if you were asked to write your failures on a wall, in indelible ink, for everyone to see? Would you make a confession? Would you bare your soul? What if the person doing the asking was your boss?a failure

Jeff Stibel, chief executive of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., likes to keep his Malibu headquarters hopping. He came up with the Failure Wall one night late in 2010 when he was having a glass of wine with his wife. They were toasting a business success. Stibel said he found failure more fruitful.

He said, “I love celebrating successes – we do it all the time – but personally they do nothing. I can never tell whether it was lucky, whether it was the right time, whether it was an accident. But when I fail, I always know why I failed and I usually don’t make that mistake twice.”

He started his Failure Wall late one night with the help of his assistant. They started by stenciling quotations from famous people on a white 15’ X 10’wall. “Then, with a permanent Sharpie, Stibel scrawled what he deemed a personal failure: He’d waited too long to start having kids. Others soon followed.”

All disclosures are signed. That’s part of the idea. To grow from mistakes, you have to own them.

This week’s focus is on fruitful failure. How would it feel to keep track of your failures like you do your successes? Could you openly bare your soul to your boss? Have you ever had a positive experience as a result of a failure?