Producing Results Blog

Do You Own Your Failures?

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I’ve noticed two interesting things about average achievers; perhaps you’ve noticed them too. What I’ve noticed is this:

Their success are something that they achieved.
Their failures are something that happened to them.

You can always pick these people out of a crowd. They’re the ones saying:

“It’s the election.”
“It’s the economy.”
“It’s the market.”
“It’s the workforce.”
“It’s my unreliable suppliers.”

Are these things all factors? Sure they are. But given these exact same factors, there are some who succeed wildly and some who fail miserably. So what sets the two apart? Well, one big defining element is their attitude toward failure.

Look, successful people fail. Some of them fail quite a lot. The difference is that they take responsibility for their failures. They see failure for what it really is: the result of actions taken. Nothing more, nothing less. Success is all about producing results, and a temporary setback, or failure, is nothing more than a result.

After a failure, the successful person looks at the result and asks, “What actions can I take next time in order to produce a different result?” The average person looks at the result and asks, “Who can I blame for this?” Same result, same factors—completely different attitude.

When you ask, “Who can I blame for this?” you’re giving responsibility—and, therefore, control—to someone or something else. When you ask, “What actions can I take next time in order to produce a different result?” you’re taking ownership of the outcome. You’re in control.

Everybody fails. The truly successful people own their failures just as much as they own their successes. All it takes is a shift in attitude. It’s just a choice.

What choice will you make?

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About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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