Levels of Failure and How to Master Them

Master them? Why should I master a failure? Because failure is your best friend. Each time you learned to ride a bicycle; your falls taught you more than the miles you cycled. Each time you got into a relationship; your break-ups matured you more than the relationship ever could. Each time you make a mistake, your reflections teach you more than your actions.

F.A.I.L can either be Forget Everything and Identify yourself as a Loser or Face Everything and Identify yourself as a Learner. All the Googles of the world did not become the mega-successes they are today due to their successes, but because they removed the FEAR of Failure from the equation. People in these organizations are encouraged to fail and learn from their experiences, value them as a part of their identity and talk about them as nuggets of wisdom and eventually learn from them.

Of the many hats, I’ve worn, I’ve seen three kinds of failures for myself, and then I noticed a recurring trend among others as well, I call these the Three Levels of Failing Forward.

Level 1: The Failure of the Why? –
This is the failure when your vision is clear but the direction to that vision gets blurred, primarily because of three reasons:

Too hasty in choosing the direction

Inability to adapt while on that path

Incompetence to identify the right people

What can you do to safe guard yourself from these failures? Well, I leave it on you to brainstorm and write to me if you wish to discuss further.

A quick tip: Pick the right tribe that just doesn’t blindly agree with you but feels free and safe enough to challenge you!

Level 2: The Failure of the What?
This is the failure due to a wrong or inadequately thought-through strategy. The other day I was speaking to a Sr. Project Manager from a retail brand, and he kept talking about taking a lot of time to learn about the project and how can he shorten it. He waited with the hope of getting some smart advice from me. The only suggestion I had for him is not to shorten it and plan the learning time as part of the project plan. He now takes time to learn and start well, rather than just starting and struggling every minute on the project.

Level 3: The Failure of the How?
This is because of 2 reasons:

Saying yes to everything

Following to-do lists instead of task lists

How much you do may be important, but what you do is more important, followed by how you do it.
Prioritize means your ability to focus. Not really! It means your ability to keep your priorities straight and not get side-tracked.

In Conclusion: Well, here is a little teaser for you. See what you resonate the most with and write to me as to what more and how else I could support your learnings and professional or personal journey.

Signing off

Prof Vikas Agarwal

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