Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Post: "Our Failures Dont Define Us, What Does Is..."

This week has been extremely busy for me, and
it has changed what you will read here today.
I have had many ideas for what to write,
but little time to develop the ideas further and to edit them.

I am blessed by God to have many thoughts to share,
the struggle is often which to develop and dig into.
Today though, I write about failures...
then I show you what someone else says about them.

Our Failures Dont Define Us, What Does Is...
What we do next.

Will you sit and complain about the person who contributed to your failure?
Will you blame an entire group for your demise?
Will you grow angry and curse God.
Will you call it “fate”, and take it as part of life?
Maybe you will react to your shortcoming with all of these, and more...
but the important thing is what you do next.

Will you learn from it?
Will you strive to overcome?
Will you re-define your goals and find a new way to live?
Will you seek help?
And will you turn to a higher-power than yourself-
for the helpful guidance you need most?

And then, when life seems to have improved,
what do you do next?
Teach someone else.
Share your knowledge and experience.
Admit your flaws and mistakes,
then tell the story of what you learned on the process.

I like what Regi Campbell has to say about it,
so I am copying his letter in this week’s post below:

6 Reasons Mentors Tell 'Failure' Stories (and why mentees listen!)


I’m a leader. Not bragging. Didn’t really set out to be. But through fifteen startup companies, five CEO jobs, a couple of church starts and a few other ministry launches, I’ve been cast as a leader. Years ago (thirteen to be exact), I bought into the idea that more time with fewer people yields greater impact. I began mentoring eight young leaders each year, spending three hours each month pouring what I’ve learned, i.e. ‘what’s in my cup’… into theirs.

I sometimes do this by telling stories. And I’ve noticed how much more intensely young people listen to the stories of my failures than those of my successes.

Why are mentees drawn to failure stories over victory laps?

1. Authentic - When I talk about winning “High Technology Entrepreneur of the Year”, I sound like everyone else. But when I tell them about being a 35 year-old MBA, making a naive decision about how to expand his company and burning through all his cash, that sounds different. They want to hear more…what I did wrong, what I learned, what I would do different next time. They can’t get that kind of information anywhere else. And because they see me as real and authentic, they’ll listen and learn other stuff from me too.

2. Approachable – If you feel like you’re around perfection, you’re going to be quiet. Walk softly. Project yourself to be as close to perfect as you can. But when a mentor demonstrates humility by sharing his failures, he’s more approachable. More accessible. And more helpful.

3. Emotional – All decisions are made at an emotional level. I believe most meaningful learning happens when emotions are engaged. Hearing and feeling the pain, embarrassment, or remorse of a situation gone bad brings the mentee into the mentor’s circle. Hearing about a mentor’s passionate resolve to recover and learn from mistakes can galvanize a younger leader’s penchant to ‘go for it’, even if ‘it’ fails.

4. Valuable – Sometimes, it looks like good leaders find success effortlessly. It seems to come cheap. But the lessons learned through mistakes and failure are expensive. They take the skin off. Leave a mark. Young people know the value of lessons learned from painful experience. Wisdom comes from experience. Experience from mistakes. Mistakes are costly, thus valuable.

5. Believable – We can spin the stories of our success to a level no one can believe. They don’t see how they could ever get to where we are or emulate what we’ve done. But when leaders share their failures, their successes become more believable. More doable for younger leaders. The ‘cookies’ appear to be on the bottom shelf where they can be reached by mere mortals…like them.

6. Challenging – When a young person sees a leader he looks up to share his failures and shortcomings, he may start to believe in himself. “If he can succeed, I know I can”. He sees his own potential. He sees the chance to stand on the shoulders of one who’s gone where he wants to go.

Mentors…open up! Loosen up! True strength is revealed in vulnerability, so tell your mentees where you’ve screwed up. Let them learn from your mistakes. They’ll make others, but maybe not the same ones.

That last sentence sums it up nicely, “Tell others where you have screwed up, and let them learn from your mistakes.”
And that is why I wrute this blog...
to share what I have learned in overcoming the struggles of my failures and mistakes.

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