FailureIs there anything more embarrassing at work than outright failure? No one wants to be viewed as the person who can’t do their job, especially by their boss. But it’s important to remember that there are different types of failure. Some failure is good, some failure is bad. It’s important to know the difference.

Bad Failure
Every job has basic responsibilities. From a Vice President to an individual working on the manufacturing floor, we all have certain tasks that we were hired to do, and do well. This is why the company pays us a salary or an hourly wage. It’s the most basic agreement between an employee and an employer. You do these things and we will pay you this much. And this is the area where failure can be a problem.

Imagine a sales person that doesn’t sell, or an accountant that has problems adding. These failures can only lead to problems within a department and ultimately an entire company. Failure to perform your most basic duties is the bad type of failure.

Good Failure
Did you fail because you were trying something new? or maybe you were trying to improve a process? or perhaps you trying to get something done before your competitors? This type of failure is not only good, but it should be encouraged. There are many quotes that apply to this type of good failure.

“It’s better to be 80% correct today than 100% correct tomorrow.”

“If you aren’t failing, you probably aren’t trying.”

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time simply more intelligently.”

“Failure is actually success if we learn from it.”

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.”

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”

Companies that encourage good failure, and hire employees that are comfortable with this type of failure, are some of the most successful in the world. These companies are the innovators and their “failing” employees are the driving engine behind their success. Learn to fail the right way and you will be a tremendous asset to your company too.


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