Sports is a game of failure.
Last week, my wayward golf shots – my “failures” – resulted in penalty strokes, awkward situations under trees, and a few sand traps. Especially in the latter, I needed to have the right tools and skills to be able to recover. In every “recovery” situation on the golf course, the player must not only have the tools and resources, but the vision to fond the best course of action based on experience and help.
Business is also a game of failure.
Failures in business include everything from lost sales, poor communications, failure to promptly respond, forgetting an appointment, and simply dropping the ball (sports metaphor for a reason). You likley experienced a few failures in business last week; I know I did. They are so common that we tend to overlook them as a cost of doing business and move on. While this ability to put mistakes in the past is often seen as good, let’s not forget learning from them.
Failure is a great teacher if we allow it. On the golf course, my failures are pretty apparent during the round. If some become trends, I know that in order to lower my scores, this must be a place of emphasis to improve through practice.
In business, the failures aren’t always readily apparent. If you are consistently losing sales, a review of the process should be done to see where the issues lie. If you’re not getting enough opportunities, this is a sign of a flaw in your marketing process. If injuries occur too often and cause challenges in operations and morale, these must be addresses to reduce the number.
We humans are prone to failure. Because of that, we need to surround ourselves with the tools, resources, and intelligence to recover quickly and effectively. If we don’t invest the time in procuring the tools, resources, and smarts to do that, then we are negligent.
Here’s your assignment: Review last week’s failures and how you (and your employees) responded. If you didn’t “recover” as well or as quickly as you’d like to, then find out why. What was missing? Keep track on a weekly basis to see if there are trends that need to be addressed.
While we all love the revenue growth part of the business process, the only way to assure we are able to continue that growth is through the ability to recover from calamity. I can’t afford to give away shots on the golf course because I landed in a few sand traps. Similarly, you can’t afford to give away money because you weren’t prepared to recover from your own traps that are littering your course to success.
Quote of the Day:
“Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.”
~ Samuel Butler
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