Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Will You Deal With Failure?

Google celebrates failures (Eric Schmidt's Video) and they do in a big way.  Even Microsoft has failed many times as it is evident from its past search efforts until Bing.  Failure is good if it teaches you and makes you better.  Microsoft improvised and came strong on their recent products like Bing, Kinect, Windows Phone 7.  So is Google improving their search efforts to make them more social.

One thing world cultures should incorporate in their DNA is embrace and celebrate failures.  The best place to take inspiration is from silicon valley, where entrepreneurs talks about their failures openly.  Silicon valley hires people who have failed in their previous startup efforts because they bring something to the table. They have learnt something.  They not only know what to do but they know what not to do.  The fear of failure has to be eradicated from our memory chips.  In Indian culture and many cultures route for success and race to the top.  That makes us more guarded and closed, which is not good for entrepreneurship.

One of the best advise from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, said, "A Leader should know how to manage failures"(See this video).  In past two days I have seen dozen's of interviews of CEO and presidents of some great companies available for free on YouTube.  It is so amazing to hear how they learned from their failures.  What I am learning about failure is that it happens to everybody right.  We fail everyday and at different levels and perhaps at different times.  That is not important, in fact that is good.  But more important is how we deal with failure.

I feel we should deal with Failure like this.

Step 1.  Recognizing Failures
Step 2.  Embracing Failures
Step 3.  Diagnosing Failures
Step 4.  Taking Corrective Action
Step 5.  Prevent it from happening it again.
Step 6.  Make  your learning available to everyone.
Step 7.  And I am open for suggestions.

Previous Posts on Failures:
1.  Why Failure Is Not Included In Our Curriculum?
2.  Success And Failure Credits
3.  Fail Frequency