Good Wednesday morning to you, team. All right. So you guys are watching this and by the time you’re watching this, it will have almost been a month. I’m recording this today, the day after. About 16 hours ago, I had hernia surgery and it went off like a charm. Because here I am, I’m still working and loving life.
I actually didn’t sleep last night. Probably because I got that two and a half, give or take, two and a half -three hours of sleep while I was on the table and recovering from the anesthesia. So for whatever reason every time that happens to me, I end up not sleeping for a whole day. I’m crazy that way. I don’t sleep much anyway but because I got two or three hours of sleep in the middle of the day, I ended up with my body clock being all messed up so I have to get it realigned.
I wanted to talk to you this morning about failure and overcoming failure. Have you ever failed at something, at anything? At a task, at a job, at a relationship. Have you ever failed? Well, I’m guessing you have and I gotta be honest with you, I have too. I have so many times that for a while I thought shoe leather tastes a lot like popcorn because I was putting my foot in my mouth right and left.
I read recently Thomas Edison, some of you guys might know, the guy that created the light bulb. Turned electricity and put it in a little glass bulb. Well, Thomas Edison at 67 years old had his entire shop burned down and you know what he said? Do you know what his response was when that tragedy took place? He said, well, I’m glad that all of our mistakes burned up with the fire. If you know anything about Thomas Edison, you know that he literally tried like two thousand plus times to make the light bulb and failed two thousand plus times. He finally got it right because he didn’t quit and he didn’t give up.
He focused on overcoming failure.
You might notice that our core values have a little bit about some of that. We don’t give up, we don’t quit. We remain invested. We’re humble. We have resolve. We’re transparent and vulnerable with each other. We’re valuable because nothing less will do.
These are key characteristics but how do you handle failure? Are you overcoming failure? Well, much of the way your attitude is probably how you handle failure, and if you look back on your life like I have and that’s one thing about age. Age has a way of having perspective. That you put perspective on things. So the fact that I can look back more than a couple, three decades in my adult life, I can see places where I messed up.
And I didn’t learn and I messed up again and I didn’t learn and I messed up again. Same task but I kept messing up because I didn’t take time to evaluate and process. True enough, I didn’t quit. I dusted off, I kept moving, I kept growing but I didn’t learn from my lesson. It took me some time. I didn’t do a whole lot different each time in some cases. And then in other cases, I quickly evaluated, processed the information, and tried something different and I succeeded and I found success in that thing.
I was overcoming failure.
Maybe you were in the same boat and as we’re moving through and we’re now at the end of January. I want you to think about failure. I have had men and women come through Northwest Enforcement, young and old, that have exhibited failure and not grown from it. As a matter of fact, they were so embarrassed that they quit the company and they moved on. And I’m betting you that many of them ended up quitting another company and another company and another company because they’re constantly looking for something better someplace else and they’re placing the blame of the problem on somebody else.
Maybe you resonate with that. Maybe that’s been you in other places and other times. I have done that myself. Transparency is vulnerability so if I’m being vulnerable I gotta be able to admit that I’ve made mistakes in the wrong way and I’ve had to grow out of that. But quitting your job because you’re embarrassed because you made a mistake because you didn’t live up to a principle or a process or a policy.
It doesn’t really teach you anything.
All it does is create you in a new situation with a new group of leaders with a new problem that will be very similar. Different. The names will change to protect the innocent so to speak but the end result will be the same. You’ll be presented with a chance to change, to grow, to find out what you contributed in the relationship, in the problem, in the situation, in the incident that took place. That’s when you will have that opportunity.
So if you made a mistake some other place and you’re here, you’re bound to probably make that mistake again because the test will last as long as it takes to pass. Well, that sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? Comes from an old song back in 1995-96, I remember. Actually, I think it’s earlier than that. I think it’s like, I’m getting old, in 1991-92. Some of you weren’t even born yet but the test will last as long as it takes to pass. You’ll have to take the test again and again and again and again and again in life until you pass it. Some of us never do. I hope that’s not you.
You can be overcoming failure.
That you want to learn from your mistakes. You want to grow. That you want to be held accountable. You can make a change in 2022, positively. If you fall down, fall forward. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off. Find an accountability partner, someone that you can communicate with, and talk to. Focus on overcoming failure.
If your leader comes to you and shares information, listen. Don’t just get defensive. There’s probably gold somewhere in there even if they’re telling you something that’s hard. Even if they’re maybe doing it not in the best of ways. I’ve had plenty of leaders in my life yell, scream, holler at me, and not tell me in the best of ways but they were still right. There was still fact in there. And there was still gold somewhere in all that heap of crap that they were thrusting at me. There was some wrong too but I found the gold. I mined it, purified it and I rose to be a better person for the next thing
All right, happy Wednesday guys. Be valuable because nothing less will do. We’re moving into February. We’re almost there which means Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget to get that special someone something special. Talk to you later. Bye.