Thursday AM August 6th, 2009

Failure can be a learning tool. A new book explains how leaders should embrace the power of failure to improve their organizations and achieve greater goals. Ed Mayberry reports.

Celebrating Failure: the Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big book coverIn his book Celebrating Failure: the Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big, author Ralph Heath says “positive failures” are necessary steps on the path to success.  Heath says when he ran his advertising agency, he noticed that his biggest successes often followed his most monumental failures. 

“Take it and hold it up to the light of day, rather than sweep it under the rug.  Go back and have at it a second time, and hopefully this time you’ll make it.”

Ed:  “And it’s okay if people hear about it.  I mean, you’re talking about it in the book.  They were turned into learning experiences.”

“Well, that’s the thing that you really have to overcome.  I think it goes back to when we were little kids, you know, and how we turned in that math paper and the first thing we were greeted with was a red check mark and three wrong.  It just got us conditioned that making mistakes was wrong.” 

Heath says recognizing and understanding failures can encourage greater freedom to take risks.

“In companies, in order to succeed and do great things, you need to take risks and not have a fear of failure.  So it gives you a bold swagger, if you will.  You’re not afraid of failure, you’re not afraid to take chances.  So you’re continually thinking of new ideas and throwing them out there.  And when you embrace failure as a positive thing — as a badge of honor — you don’t have the fear anymore and you’re thinking all the time about better things you can attempt.”

The trick is to apply each chapter of life’s lessons and eliminate the fear of failure that can hold you back.  Heath’s book is out on Kindle from Career Press.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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