“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”

This quote by Thomas Watson tells a true story.  Failure means you are alive, thinking, and doing things. Good mistakes are measured when you look inside yourself say – Oops! – laugh and try again.

When I was teaching combat tactics as a helicopter flight instructor in the Army, I would have students flying along looking for the landing zone in the make-believe battlefield. They would get confused – freeze – and just keep going, flying right over the make-believe enemy and ending up make-believe shot down.

The really good students would say – Oops! – laugh and try again. The rest flunked.  I would tell them all, “If you are going to be guilty of something, be guilty of commission not omission.” I would tell them,  “Try and fail, try and fail. You will learn so much in the process.”

Are you making mistakes? If so, are they forward or backward mistakes? This is where your freedom to choose comes in. When, not if, you make a mistake, you can choose to learn and grow forward from it or retreat and go backward into the proverbial closet, never to be seen again.

Clearly you do not want to move forward in a reckless manner. Risk mitigation is there for a reason but at the same time, you cannot freeze in place and think you will have progress.  You won’t.

Are you building a culture in your organization that promotes taking responsibility and initiative and then criticizes failure?  You better re-evaluate that.