Leadership Information


Reinventing Failure: Designing Success


I am fascinated by problems. I like to think of myself as a solution oriented individual. However when problems creep into my life as they always do I know that I am in for a major learning experience.

I just finished reading a book this week that belongs on the bookshelf of every entrepreneur. It is called "Juice, The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors by Evan I. Schwartz." This book allows you to take a peek inside the labs of the brightest minds and better understand how they relentlessly question and discover the infinite number of ways that we can imagine and create solutions. The book is an awesome expose on how world class inventors on the planet search for problems, seek to understand them and develop solutions that can only come about by perceiving the problem in a different manner. Every entrepreneur should read this book! It is chock full of wisdom that we can apply to our business lives.

Albert Einstein once commented that the most fundamental question we can ever ask ourselves is whether or not the universe we live in is friendly or hostile. He hypothesized that your answer to that question would determine your destiny. I feel that most people have decided that the universe is hostile. In so doing their immediate response to any problem only compounds the hostility. However, the great minds always teach us that regardless of the problem there is a major lesson to be understood if we only learn to look for it. The history of the world is literally the history of transformative breakthroughs.

In the book ""Juice, The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors by Evan I. Schwartz" the author clearly demonstrates that the one factor that separates world class inventors from wannabes is that they celebrate the feedback they receive from FAILURE. The most innovative minds recognize that within every failure lies the true and genuine information that is required to learn how to better understand the problem and overcome the obstacles that it presents. They are fascinated by the feedback they receive and are consistently focused on experimenting further because of the feedback that will provide.

A powerful lesson for all of us! Failure is feedback and within that feedback is the wisdom of incredible success. Or as Dr. Wayne Dyer as stated, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

Take for example the story of Dean Kamen the inventor of the Segway, the two wheeled personal electronic vehicle that is revolutionizing transportation in our major cities. One day in 1990, Kamen witnessed a wheelchair bound man trying to navigate a curb en route to a shopping center. He followed the man into an ice cream store and was astonished at how the man struggled to reach for the counter and grab his ice cream cone. Within that experience Kamen was both outraged and inspired. The seeds of the Segway were born.

Two years later after numerous disappointments Kamen slipped on a wet bathroom floor and realized that the real problem he was confronting in his technology was one of balance. He and his team of engineers honed in on the enabling technology of electronic gyroscopes that could provide "automatic balance." It was only after years and years of failure and celebrating the feedback he received that they could focus on the successful introduction of the Segway prototype. Today, according to Kamen the Segway is the answer to the urban transportation problem. 43% of the world's gas is used by cars and almost 20% of individuals' disposable income goes to car payments and gasoline. The market for the Segway is several billion people! A fascinating creation brought about by someone who simply disagreed with limitations imposed by the status quo.

What is your greatest problem in life right now?

What is the greatest problem in your business?

The late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was fond of saying that, "When God wants to send you a gift he wraps it up in a problem and the bigger the gift that God sends you the bigger the problem."

If the Segway can be born by witnessing a wheelchair bound man in pursuit of an ice cream cone what are the possibilities that can occur in your life if you learn to seek the lesson in your problems?

An Nathan Myrhrvold, the former Chief Technologist at Microsoft Corporation has prophesied "There's never been a better time to have big ideas."

Eureka! When you reinvent failure you design your own success.

Be Careful What You Agree With!

Harald Anderson is the co-founder of Artinspires.com a leading online gallery of Motivational Posters and Inspirational Posters."When Art Inspires, Dreams Become Realities. His goal in life is to become the kind of person that his dog already thinks he is. http://www.artinspires.com.


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