Failure is the first step

“I never failed once. It (success) just happened to be a 2000-step process.” Thomas Edison
(Quoted when interviewed by a reporter about why it took him so long to develop the light bulb.)
There are many similarities between you and Thomas Edison, which is why you will launch your success to greater heights as you implement the practical engineering process he used, a process I’m going to show you throughout this (Re-engineering Management) book. ~ Cate Todd

This picture is a picture of a step in my house.  It has some scuffs on the walls and there have been some kids rough-housing on theses steps.  But these steps, just like our failures (which are the scuffs) are functional, critical and lead to success…if we view them as such and consider the scrapes and the scuffs as part of the journey.   Let me explain how you are like Thomas Edison and how you can re-engineer your workplace and those around.  You will become a high-octane manager and leader. Thomas Edison actually failed many times, but this practice of trying again and again taught him to re-engineer his approach again and again.  One time, after noticing how inefficient the congressional voting process was, he invented a device to effectively tally the votes without the wasteful practice of calling out the votes, but upon presentation to congress, they immediately rejected the idea [Fobes, Furr, Jun 11, “How Failure Taught Edison to Repeatedly Innovate.”]

Thomas Edison wasn’t always successful in school, like you might think. Thomas Edison was said by teachers to “be too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventer, he made 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. He was given a hard time for his multiple failures, however when asked by a reporter about how many times he failed in working to invent the light bulb, he said the above quote, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” And as the other quote says above, ‘success is a 2000-step process.” In the same way, you are on your 2000-step road to your goals as an amazing manager and leader in your workplace. How? We’ll get to that shortly, but as we do that, the first step is failure.

Think of whatever plagues your mind about a recent failure in your work that get’s you down.  Now think about how you can rebuild that into a success.   I’ll share a personal story about a flight simulator experience I had in the next lesson.