As the pastor of a church, I say this because I believe failure does at least the following 4 things:
- Gain needed wisdom. Good decision making today is usually the result of poor decisions made in the past. The truth is we don’t learn as much from our successes as we do our failures and the more we fail, the more we will succeed.
- Shows consistent innovation. I push our staff to try new things. Some will work, some won’t. That’s okay. I love Facebook’s slogan on this issue: “Move Fast And Break Things.” This phrase is painted onto the walls in their facility. I don’t want to negate our past experiences (see #1 above), but I also don’t want our staff’s thought processes to start with what they’ve seen. We want to think about our context, our people and then work toward something unique to those that will help us move forward.
- Keeps us humble. Success doesn’t necessarily mean we will become arrogant, but I’ve never seen success develop humility the way I’ve seen failure do it. When a leader has failed in the past it produces humility and wisdom. Someone who has not failed a lot is going to lack both.
- Develops team. Failure makes us realize that we need others around us. We realize the beauty of inviting people to speak into situations and ideas. Most of all, over time we realize that people have better ideas than we did. This is when leadership is developed and team atmosphere becomes exciting.
Do you think you are failing enough?