Sunday, December 8, 2013

I Fail to Understand

After enjoying a delicious meal at a local Chinese restaurant this weekend, I cracked open my fortune cookie to be amused by the content as is usually the case. But rather than the typical nonsense, my little white strip had words on it that made an awful lot of sense. It said something we have heard or read many times before.

Good people learn from their mistakes.

Whether great inventors like Thomas Edison, famous sports figures like Wayne Gretzky, US Presidents and their wives, or the granddaddy of all fortune cookie sayings, Confucius, you can find an endless variety of quotes that inspire people to try and espouse the value of failing.

All too often as leaders, managers, coaches or parents, we only focus on the negative, condemning the actions of an individual who may have tried but did not succeed.  This will dampen excitement, diminish enthusiasm and eventually reduce the motivation to take any risk at all..

Of course, we cannot reward stupidity, nor should we tolerate laziness. But allowing people to experiment, try new things and find the one in a hundred that actually works will lead to more innovation, creativity and ultimately a wiser person.

Captain Joe

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