Friday, May 3, 2013

Lean Quote: Success Requires Passion in the Face of Failure

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." — Winston Churchill


To err is completely human, so you should not be afraid of the mistakes you may make and of course, you should never hide them. Nobody likes to make mistakes. However, the simple reality of life is that at some point, all of us are going to be wrong. That’s just life. We are going to make mistakes.

Treat every mistake as an opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t feel stupid or doomed forever just because you failed at something. You can always find other opportunities.
A colleague of mine always said, “Learn to fail quickly.” Essentially, if you are going to fail you need to learn to do it quickly in order to get the data (results) that you can use to gradually improve. The faster you get at learning from unforeseen circumstances and outcomes, the faster you can find a solution that truly adds value.

If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not improving. Henry Ford said, “Failure is merely an opportunity to begin again knowledgeably.” Failure can be an inevitable stepping-stone to great achievement.

Fear of failure is a genuinely scary thing for many people, and often the reason that individuals do not attempt the things they would like to accomplish. But the only true failure is failure to make the attempt. If you don't try, you gain nothing, and life is too short a thing to waste.

But to have success, management must create an environment where it is safe to fail. Failure is an expected part of the process of finding solutions. If workers feel that they have to “hit one out of the park” every time they come up with an improvement idea, they will be reluctant to provide their ideas. In a Lean environment, failure and success should be met with the same level of enthusiasm and support.

The ability to go through failures without losing enthusiasm starts from a passion, or some form of inner fire. If that’s missing, then every failure is going to be a huge blow able to stop you. If you have passion, than it’s going to be a huge bang able to make you stronger.

Passion is literally the fuel that propels you toward success. Passion allows you to think, feel, focus, act, attract and create the events conditions and circumstances that you most desire to see you through difficult times. Passion is what propels you to begin taking the necessary action steps that will allow you to begin changing your current situation.

Results don’t happen based on what you want, but rather what you desire and a passion for achieving them.


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