10 Dumb Decisions That Lead to Foolish Failure
All failures aren’t the same.
4 components of responsible failure:
- Good intentions.
- Considered decisions.
- Maximum effort that doesn’t succeed.
Leaders who punish responsible failure never exceed the glory of the past.
Leaders who tolerate irresponsible failure squander talent, resources, and opportunity.
In praise of failure:
If you aren’t failing once in awhile you’ve accepted the status quo. If you aren’t falling short, you aren’t reaching high enough.
Honor your talent by stretching it. Occasional failure is inevitable for all who stretch themselves.
10 dumb decisions that lead to foolish failure:
- Choosing an all or nothing approach when stakes are high, results are public, and options are limited.
- Quickly closing your mind to alternative viewpoints and constructive dissent.
- Moving forward without exploring how decisions impact others.
- Choosing to disregard patterns of poor performance. Be frustrated with yourself, not others, when you’ve tolerated patterns of poor performance.
- Ignoring tough conversation in the hopes that difficult issues will resolve themselves. Step back if there’s progress. Step in if the room is full of ostriches.
- Failure to prepare, including procrastination.
- Using, ‘We’ve always done it that way,’ as reason to keep doing the same thing.
- Failing to explore contingencies. It’s irresponsible failure when you didn’t consider what might go wrong.
- Choosing to repeat plans or strategies that failed the first time. Failing once is a learning opportunity. Failing the same way twice – in the same way – is neglect, laziness, or lack of self-respect.
- Throwing untested managers into the deep end of the pool and walking away.
Don’t validate dumb decisions by saying everyone makes mistakes.
Learn from mistakes and move forward. However, dumb decisions – from those who know better – call for accountability, commitment, and improvement.
What dumb decisions lead to foolish failure?
What are the marks of responsible failure?
Really a great post Dan. Aversion to mistakes is a huge topic for many organizations. But smart failure is the only way to new discoveries.
Thanks Jay. Love “smart failure.” Much appreciated.
I appreciate the failure is important to success. It makes us realize the ways not to fail. Repeated failure may prepare us for bigger goals. But making repeated excuses for failure is sure sign of our resistance and not learning. Every one makes mistake and nothing is wrong in doing that as long as we learn from it.
I think, foolish failure is defending oneself and responsible failure is accepting what we learned from our mistakes. As long as we open to accept our failure, it is responsible failure. I also feel that once we accept our failure, we gear up with greater zeal so that we can surpass failure. Lack of enthusiasm on account of failure is sure sign of desperation and it is foolish failure.
Great post! How do you truly know success without some smart failures along the way. And those failures help us bettter understand the pursuit of success isn’t about our greatness, but about how we enable and lead others to their successes.