The Secret to Failing Well

Our children finished their Little League Baseball (LL) experience long ago. My LL experience goes back to the mid ’60’s but I still remember.

My first at-bat ever, I hit a home run. That solidified my role as clean-up batter. My last at bat I struck out. All these years later, I still remember those three swings.

I forget who was on third base but my friend Carl was on second. It was the last out of the last inning of the play offs and we were behind by one run. A decent hit would win the game. I smiled and nodded to my friend on second. We were excited to win.

I can still hear the baseball whistling past me and popping in the catcher’s glove, a fastball down the center of the plate. I swung late, strike one – no worries.

Two fastballs down the middle later and our season ended. I swung three times and missed three times. It still stings.

You succeed till you fail.

If you keep pushing forward, you’ll eventually fail. Continue reaching higher, you’ll eventually fall short. If failure isn’t meaningful your efforts don’t matter.

Do things where failure matters and when you fail think, next time. But, there’s more.

The Secret:

Use your failures as motivation to understand, appreciate, and lift others. People around you feel the sting of falling short. Perhaps they need a kick in the pants. If they failed due to neglect, go ahead.

On the other hand, there’s a world of beat down out there. Be unique by being an encourager. You encourage others when you believe in them. One of the sweetest expressions I hear from emerging leaders is, “Thank you for trusting me.” Belief expressed by you encourages others to rise above their personal failure-stories.

Who can you believe in today?

How can leaders express their belief in others?


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