By Marc Innegraeve
Not long ago I received an unusual request from a friend who is a manager in a subsidiary of a large corporation. One of his staff members kept repeating to him that he – the staff member – was nothing but a failure. The staff member did make mistakes, but not more than any other of the team members. It wasn’t a problem of attention seeking either. This staff member genuinely had a big problem with the mistakes he made. The manager asked me – as a request from a friend – if I could give him a hint on what to say tot his employee. So I came up with these 10 quotes.
“Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn't work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.” Roger Von Oech
“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? Double your rate of failure...” Thomas J. Watson
“Try not to be a man of success but a man of value.” Albert Einstein
“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” George S. Patton
“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
“If you enjoy the process, it's your dream. ... If you are enduring the process, just desperate for the result, it's somebody else's dream.” Salma Hayek
“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas A. Edison
“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo
“If you wait until all the lights are ‘green’ before you leave home, you'll never get started on your trip to the top.” Zig Ziglar
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” Theodore Roosevelt
I ended my note to the manager with a question and dilemma to ask to his staff member: What if – with everything you do – you tried to fail?
A couple of weeks later I got feedback from the manager. The quotes were obviously not a ready-made solution, but give him a base to discuss with his staff member. They talked things through based upon these quotes, and the staff member was doing much better, gaining self-confidence and producing much better results.