“The only true failures are situations in which we fail to learn.”
Failure gets a bad rap. We’re raised to succeed, to be winners. Because of this, failure isn’t often associated with positivity or good vibes. But failure is one of those topics that I’m hopeful is starting to take a turn to the better.
Because, there are upsides of failure.
What are the benefits of failure? Learning, growth, and accomplishing great things, all wouldn’t be possible without risk-taking and failing.
Remember earlier this year when Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in less than 2 hours, proving it’s possible? Let’s not forget he attempted that feat once before – and failed (although, running a marathon at 2 hours and 30ish seconds is hardly a failure but you see my point).
A personal story, I never would have achieved my dream to run the Boston Marathon without being brave enough to fail at running a qualifier time – which I did…twice before I finally succeeded. (Anyone looking for tips to run a Boston Marathon qualifier, I have a few pieces of advice to share).
Still, let’s be real – nobody wants to fail. There are no high-fives, praise, or awards handed out for failing…or are there?
I was reading one of my PR newsletters this week and found another vote of positivity on the topic of failure and that there is, in fact, an award out there that celebrates failure.
Coca-Cola Co. was highlighted because it takes permission to fail to new levels. The company has an innovation award that celebrates projects that fail.
The Celebrate Failure Award. It’s a real thing that Coca-Cola does every year, taking the fear out of failure and instead, encouraging the out-of-the-box thinking and risk-taking behavior that often leads to greatness or innovation…or, sometimes, a complete failure.
Not only does this encourage employees to go for it and try new things, without fear, the company turns their failures into opportunities for success.
Learning from Failure
I think there’s something we all can learn from this celebration of failure. I’m not expecting everyone to welcome failure and actively seek it out. But I think this is a good reminder that we need not fear failure.
What do you think about Coca-Cola’s celebration of failure? Do you believe it’s a great idea or takes things a bit too far?
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