Want to Grow in 2017? Learn How to Fail!
Let’s face it, we live in a new world made up of new ways to communicate (think snaps and live video streaming) and a variety of generations—and it’s one that’s overloaded with information while moving at warp speed. I know the title of this post may raise some eyebrows as to what I am getting at. But the fact is simple: We must learn how to fail. Let me explain.
I did not say we should be satisfied with failing, but I do believe (learning to fail the right way) is part of the learning/growing process. Each day, in your organization, there are failures and oversights. The question is: Do you fail and learn from them? Do you have an organization that encourages people to try new things—even if it means failing?
Failures, in growth-oriented organizational cultures, are part of the DNA and continual learning process. These organizations and teams are comfortable with sharing this information across the organization. Such occurrences are not shared to embarrass, but for everyone to learn and improve. Think of it this way: It is likely that a “failure not openly shared” will happen again somewhere else in your organization, right? And how dumb would that be? Real dumb. Yet, we do it all the time.
In print, promo and related companies, I see common themes in my consulting work. I see sales and other staff members who have “quit learning” and are not producing at levels required for 2017 (and are not being held accountable). I see some people (at all levels) resistant to new ideas or change, thus slowing down progress. I see people who are unsure of where they want the company to go or what direction to head. I see people who cannot articulate why their organization or brand is unique. I see people who view marketing as one person’s job function, instead of a company-wide strategy. I see people who know they need to make time for strategic planning (i.e., setting a vision), but are unable to ever find time to get the help they need (and sometimes this goes on for years). I think you get the idea.
Other issues that often need to be addressed in many organizations include: leadership growth, marketing strategy, new sales development, brand differentiation, talent assessment and strategic planning. I see these day in and day out. Do you?
So, what do you do in a new year? I took some time off from writing and blogging to ponder this post. First, you must admit it is OK to fail and that it’s part of the learning/growth process. If you are average, you should desire to become good. If you are good, you should want to become really good. If you are really good you should seek to become great. And, if you are great, you should work harder than ever to maintain your edge as things WILL CHANGE and people will be on your heels. There is no such thing as complacency. (See Kmart, Blockbuster and Radio Shack.) Second, you must fully commit to making the changes (even when you are busy and when they are tough) you desire. Like my Garmin on my wrist: the journey of 10,000 steps each day begins with the first.
I challenge you to come on a journey with me and learn how to fail. Hey, let me admit to you that I fail all the time. But, that’s OK because I am not afraid to try new things and grow from falling short. I learn from each failure and get better. Now, how about you? Are you ready to embrace 2017 with me? Let’s attack failure/learning (done right) together. Please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (678) 825-2049.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com