I failed…

I remember listening to Sara Blakely, CEO of Spanx talk about how her father would ask her each day at the dinner table what she failed at each day. He didn’t ask what was great or exciting, or what she learned, but what did she fail at. She said that he wanted her to fail because when we fail, we learn so much faster!

I remember being super energized and excited to finally begin interviewing leaders in my network to air on “Life in the Leadership Lane” podcast, and was now scheduling weekly recordings. I had just published my first episode with Kevin Dawson, host of “Leaders and Lagers” podcast and I was set to interview workplace culture expert and keynote speaker, Greg Hawks, for episode 2. Greg had started a new feature called “weekly huddles” which was all about connecting people to network and share ideas or challenges presented to collaborate with others in the huddle. I was anxious to talk to Greg about the program and its success. My goal was to learn as much as I could and share it with the world through the podcast recording to help others.

As I began the interview, I hit record button, or at least I thought I did! Greg is a high-energy guy and we were having a great conversation about how he got started in business. About 15 minutes into the recording, I looked up and thought, “Oh no, the podcast isn’t recording! What do I do?” Greg is a busy leader and I knew my time with him was limited. As he was talking about culture, I had to interrupt him to let him know that I didn’t hit the record button and that we would have to start over. Ugh! It was really embarrassing, but thankfully Greg understood and allowed me the time to start the conversation over. I failed! Since then, I understand the importance of checking the recording button before beginning the show.

I share this story because most everyone that lives Life in the Leadership Lane has experienced success through failures in life. In fact, most leaders will share stories about how failure has led them to where they are today. We all fail, and it’s our choice to decide if we are going to stay down, or get back up to embrace the failure and use it as a learning experience. I believe Life in the Leadership Lane is about a never-ending pursuit of becoming more by learning and growing every day. In fact, I call these days my “Growth Day”. We can all learn so much when we approach our every day as a growth day. It’s not easy and most always uncomfortable… I enjoyed hearing Vice president of Human Resources, Nicole Roberts share in episode 59 about the importance of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable… That’s where the growth is!

We can grow in so many ways, by listening, being curious, being present, or through our experiences of failure. Senior Vice President of Employee Experience Erica Rooney in episode 57 talked about how it’s about having a growth mindset over an “I already know that” mindset. The best part is the more we grow, the more we can help others grow. Have you ever failed at something and ended up better because of it? What was it that helped you overcome failure?

Here are just a few areas I failed…

  • Getting a promotion early in my career
  • Under-estimating a move for customer
  • Promising great service and delivering poor service
  • As a husband
  • As a father
  • As a son
  • Not keeping a commitment
  • Not making the cut at the US Open
  • Following up with a client
  • In personal relationships
  • Achieving my goals
  • Passing a certification
  • Speaking at a conference
  • …and more!

Many times, we not only fail, but also struggle to get past the failure. However, getting past our failures is a key to driving in the leadership lane. We often find the easiest way to bounce from failure is to surround yourself with people that lift you with encouragement and share a sense of belief. If you find yourself failing, you are in good company… Most people that have experienced success will share failure as part of their story.

…and if you are currently struggling with getting past failure today, change your space as Vice President of Human Resources, Shawn Storer shares in episode 58… or change the station and listen to the voices of encouragement. Set some new goals and make each day a growth day… where learning and growing is part of your everyday!   

Quote of the Day: “I don’t care if we are failing as long as we are moving forward.” Chase Massie, Human Resources Manager on OKHR Leads Podcast

Call to Action: What have you failed at lately? Share with someone and see what you can do to learn from it to grow and make it part of your growth day!

This is “Move to Inspirewith Bruce Waller! For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page. Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com to review my leadership book “Find Your Lane” and journal “Milemarkers” both available on amazon. Be sure to subscribe to my YOUTUBE channel for weekly messages to encourage you and others in the workplace! Looking for a Podcast? Check out “Life in the Leadership Lane” on APPLE PODCAST as I talk to leaders making a difference in the workplace! Interested in a book club? Join our book club “CLIMB” on Facebook.

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