– Tanveer Naseer
Treat failures as part of the process to achieving your goals
As guests across Montreal called in to talk about the goals they set for themselves in 2016, a common thread could clearly be seen amongst the stories shared over the span of the hour-long radio show. Regardless of whether the goal was for their professional or personal lives, the one thing they all shared in common was how the underlying drive behind them was the desire to improve; to be better than we are today.
Indeed, this is also the reason why many leaders set up goals for their organization – not simply to maintain an established operating approach or status quo, but instead to find ways to better address the changing dynamics both within and outside their organization. Of how we can be more effective, more responsive, and basically more successful in achieving the shared purpose that defines why we do what we do.
Of course, in that pursuit to find a way to do things better, there is an understandable anticipation that through the process of achieving this goal we’ve set for our organization, we will become more resilient, more competitive than we were before.
The irony is that the very motivation that drives us to push ourselves to change is also what makes it hard for us to accept failure. Indeed, the challenge we face with failure is how it exposes our frailties under the harsh light of change In those moments, we can see our weaknesses and blindspots with such clarity that it can seem scary why we were unable to see or anticipate that it would rear its ugly head in our direction.
But this is where many of us get this part of the process wrong – in thinking that these moments of failure reflect a sign of weakness or inability on our part to actually achieve what we set out to accomplish.
What we need to understand is that in pushing ourselves to be better, we will inevitably discover areas where we need to learn more, to understand better and to operate in a manner different from what we did in the past.
Interestingly, this is at the very heart of the change that drives so many of the goals we set out for our organization to achieve this year. After all, no one creates or defines goals with the purpose of maintaining the status quo; to keep things static or unmoving. Rather, all of us want to see things improve; the only difference being how do we define what that improvement will look or feel like.
And for us to improve, we need to be open to learning about our current limitations, to better understand what those around us and those we serve require from us to be successful, and what we should be doing that better reflects both our current and future reality.
That’s why we shouldn’t shy away from failure, but rather recognize it for what it is – a signal that we are in fact pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone. That we’re challenging ourselves to affect change that will hopefully lead us towards the vision or purpose that binds our collective efforts together.
Indeed, it’s in these moments where the real learning and growth happens because we’re forced to challenge our assumptions of what’s real, and even at times what’s possible. That’s why when it comes to achieving our goals, our failures are nothing more than success in progress
Ultimately, when it comes to understanding what it takes to succeed at achieving our goals, it’s important for us to understand that this involves charting a course to explore our collective potential – of what we’re truly capable of achieving when we work together towards making things better than they are today.
And perhaps most importantly, to better understand what inspires those we lead to bring their best selves to the work they do by bringing a greater sense of purpose to the contributions our employees make to our shared purpose