Goals- Iteration- Fail fast and move forward
“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” – Simon Sinek“
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” –Woody Allen
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki
Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
If you have not failed at something in one whole month you are in a dangerous rut. What projects are you undertaking? What new skills are we learning? We worship success but do not understand that behind any major success is usually unseen failure behind the scenes.
The first incandescent bulb was produced after 10,000 attempts. Your favourite movies and software are only end products after great retakes and retesting to iron out bugs. Your great novels are usually the 30th draft after it has been edited and re edited to get out the flaws.
The diamond you admire is only there after great pressure has been applied over time to produce that sparkling stone. This is the brutal and hard truth about life most of our greatest successes will only come about after we have failed greatly.
The Greatest of All Time (GOAT)
The greats practice till they get it. Michael Jordan. Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Gary Kasparov, the Beatles. If you analyse their practice sessions you will realise they put in the maximum hours possible.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ wrote about the 10,000 hours rule. This is a concept about mastery which delves into the number of hours dedicated to intentional and deliberate practise to achieve excellence in any field.
The key learning point is that the great are not afraid to do what it takes to push ahead no matter what it takes. They get an excellent coach/mentor and grind out the practise sessions diligently day by day without fail until they get it. This is what separates the great and mediocre in any area or field.
The best companies in the world train and re train in the key core areas of excellence until all their staff get it. They have best practices embedded in their sub conscious and conscious routines. The great sales machines of Coca Cola, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Wal Mart, Ford, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, the Ritz Carlton etc.
They are dedicated to building great systems that operate seamlessly and are ruthless about having all their staff embed these systems and procedures in their DNA.
Persist and Overcome
Goal achievement and learning will always come with failures and obstacles along the way. The great are willing to fail again and again until they achieve their targets. This is ITERATION and deliberate practice at its best.
Great achievers are asked how do they know they are making progress. They almost all answer by the number of mistakes and failures they have encountered. If you have had a perfect month with no single failure or obstacle encountered please understand you are not making progress.
Achievers detail their progress diligently day by day on all tasks. They critically breakdown their performance and analyse successes and failures. They are constantly seeking improvement in all areas. The Japanese call this system KAIZEN.
They are fastidious and meticulous about this process. They analyse their key processes and procedures seeking improvement until there are no flaws in the process. You do not need to reinvent the wheel study the greats in each area they have mapped out paths our only work is to iterate and improve on the processes.
What version are we today?
The opportunity always lies in us. Are we willing to challenge ourselves to improve constantly? Are we always seeking a better version 2.0 and 3.0 of ourselves? The world is not static and keeps on changing rapidly each and every day. We all have the ability to iterate and change our perspectives, skills and outlook each and every day.
We have still not reached the apex of our abilities. We need to be brave and move forward, have the ability to risk failure and rise up again and face each day head on.
Back home in my region we have models of excellence. Mobile banking has penetrated and advanced in East Africa far ahead of most regions and continents in the world. Safaricom in Kenya, MTN Mobile in Uganda are examples on how far reaching and pervasive this technology is and it’s effects on the population.
This technology has enabled financial inclusion in the most remote villages. The old, brick and mortar banks had failed to reach these areas but a leap of imagination has enabled the poorest of the poor to access vital financial services.
This was achieved through constant and never ending iteration to produce a world class service that is now been modelled by other regions in the world.Moving forward and testing our limits is what is necessary. We cannot afford to stay still and complacent.
Many great brands and individuals have been swept aside when they stop improving and iterating constantly. Pushing past our comfort zones daily is necessary. We have to force ourselves to look into the future and blast past our inadequacies. Embrace new technology willingly, practice till you get to know all the key core platforms.
This will be the difference between pushing ahead and staying behind. Follow the thought leaders and ask yourself constantly what I have done today to improve myself, my family, my business, my career. You have to be constantly pushing ahead and iterating to a better version of yourself each day
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big – Kind of the Story of My Life – Scott Adams
Failing Forward: Turning mistakes into stepping-stones for success – John C. Maxwell
From Failure to Success Everyday Habits and Exercises to Build Mental Resilience and Turn Failures into Successes By Martin Meadows