Born To Make Mistakes – Failing Forward

We get ourselves into such knots trying to run our businesses and trying to run our lives.  I see this every day both with clients I speak to and in my own deliberations about how I lead myself.

Asking “why” we would expect our business to run perfectly as a hallmark of success when we see our live do not is a great “can-opener question”.

In pursuing the argument  a bit further, I see that life not only does not run perfectly, it is full of what could be characterized as mistakes, misfires, false starts, even failures.  At least mine is.

I now see these so-called mistakes as part of the design of living, as inherent to growth and discovery now as they were when as a babe, I stood and fell hundreds of times in learning to walk.  These are the struggle points of growth.

As my business is part of my life, why would I expect my work to be absent these same so-called mistakes, errors and even failures?  In work too, these are natural signs of growth and building success.

The kaizan process-improvement teachers have a saying “fail forward, quickly”.  The message is to try, fail sometimes, learn and try again as step-by-step, the success accrues.


As a business coach, the one guarantee I can make is that in working together, we will make mistakes as certainly as we build greater and greater success.



Hometown Reality Check and Dreaming Big

I recently visited my growing up hometown back in the midwest for a family get together.

Late one night, I went out for a walk in the pleasant night air and found myself walking from the home where I had grown up to the grade school where I spent important, formative years in school.

If you have the opportunity to do the same, I encourage you to. You may well find as did I that along your walk, you meet a number of your dreams and intentions from being a youngster. Some could be from the ball field, some the library, some the park, some the neighbors house with your best friends.

At first, it seemed that some of the dreams had not been met. While I didn’t ever want to be a fireman, becoming a renowned scientist was on the list. That didn’t become a line I pursued.

As I continued the hometown walk, I realized the obvious, I had pursued dreams, some just different than the earliest ones but no less valid and no less successful.

In fact, some pursuits followed much bigger dreams than ever imagined before. I simply had never reached back into my memory stores to update the tally.

By the end of the hometown walk-about, I felt refreshed and at ease. My present and past much more congruent and without contradiction or feeling of loss that I hadn’t become what I thought I wanted to be.

I realized that I had become a much bigger something. I had walked into a much bigger dream.

Leaders need to have dreams not only for their work as leaders but most importantly for their life. It’s important to check in with your dreams and update what has and hasn’t changed since last viewing.

An effective leader is acting from the strength of the entirety of their life and the strength of dreams pursued whether entirely fulfilled or not is a powerful backing for their action.

Take your walk about reality check and realize how you too have bigger dreams in which you succeed.