“In today’s society, we move from headline to headline with dizzying speed. Today’s failure is tomorrow’s obscure Google search result. But just because the coverage has moved on, that doesn’t mean the impact of the failure has lessened. Failure leaves deep scars on leaders, and those scars can be tough for leaders to heal and move on from.”
These are the words of Ivy Sprague. Ivy is the Manager of Operations for Ellipsis, as well as the Marketing Communications Manager for Miles AG and its affiliated companies like eaHELP, MAG Bookkeeping, Render, and others.
Ivy recently wrote a great post on the dangers of celebrating failure. I felt her insights were important enough for everyone to learn from. Let’s continue with her thoughts.
In the startup community, failure certainly doesn’t get a bad rap. In fact, it’s practically a badge of honor. It’s almost celebrated. Entrepreneurs are rarely taken seriously unless they’ve had a train wreck or two in their leadership rearview mirror. Most leaders (and investors) accept high failure rates among startups because there’s such an enormous payoff when an entrepreneur really does succeed. But according to this piece we read recently, for every Instagram or Uber there are 99 other companies that are either dead or dying. And celebrating that percentage can lead us down a very dangerous road.
- Failure burns capital. It may be your capital, or investors, but somebody is going to pay the bill financially for your failure. If you’re financing your startup yourself, it’s quite literally your money on the line. Celebrating failure devalues the investments you and others have made in your business, and makes it that much harder to embark on a second startup effort.
- Failure burns opportunity. No matter what your mutual fund disclosure documents tell you, past results are the best predictor of future behavior. If your past behavior contains a failure that you’re seeing as (let’s face it) really no big deal, investors and future team members are likely to think you’ll handle future startup endeavors the same way. Not only that, while you’re focused on your failure, you’re missing valuable opportunities to either revive your failing startup or capitalize on market movements.
- Celebrating failure contradicts everything we’ve learned. What’s one of the most enduring lessons you learned as a kid? “Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep trying.” We hold up examples of leaders who’ve persevered through setbacks and opposition, and when we celebrate failure we’re contradicting the lessons that we’ve learned around the power of endurance and perseverance. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep trying and keep getting smarter about your business.
- Failure lasts. In today’s society, we move from headline to headline with dizzying speed. Today’s failure is tomorrow’s obscure Google search result. But just because the coverage has moved on, that doesn’t mean the impact of the failure has lessened. Failure leaves deep scars on leaders, and those scars can be tough for leaders to heal and move on from. Treating failure lightly doesn’t do the emotional damage on leaders justice, and can damage their leadership for years to come.
We’re not saying never to fail. You absolutely will—and we have, several times, in the services we’ve tried to launch that just didn’t work. But rather than camping out on those failures or somehow celebrating them, we’re managing them and learning from them to make our successes that much stronger in the future.
How do you handle failure?
I also encourage you to check out MAG Bookkeeping if your church or business needs virtual bookkeeping assistance. They are the best out there!
This is a guest post by Ivy Srague of MAG, and originally appeared HERE on their site.
Click HERE or on the image to the left and as a free gift for subscribing to this site, you can receive my new Ebook 1269 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2016’s Top Christian Leadership Conferences. Featured are the Johnny Hunt Mens Conference, ReThink Leadership, Orange and Leadercast Conferences among others. If applied, these insights will make you an exponentially better leader. Enjoy!!!