By pa360, Jan 4 2015 09:34AM
No-one chooses to be identified with failure. A former manager of mine described it this way "success has a thousand fathers, but failure is an orphan". That simple seven letter word 'failure' speaks volumes and implies so many things about us and our capabilities. For example, it can suggest poor judgement, indecisiveness, inadequate planning, ineffective implementation and much more.
The cumulative effect of all these things is reputational damage. Yes indeed, reputational damage - that great slayer of brands. Failure has the ability to destroy a reputation in an instant. A loss of reputation means a loss of credibility, loss of confidence and a loss of trust. The greater the failure the greater the damage.
Notwithstanding, the undeniable truth of failure is that if we have the courage and resilience and presence of mind, failure can be the making of us. In my view and experience, the most effective way to deal with failure is to own it but not allow it to become your identity. To own something it is simply to take responsibility for it. However, by not allowing failure to become your identity, you are able to see beyond it to the thing that you are really want, which is success.
Clearly, it is easier to survive failure if we have a strong brand and well established reputation for credibility and competence. I remember a few years ago not long after Apple launched the iPhone 5, reports began to surface of problems with the product. Yet, despite those problems, Apple did not suffer any lasting damage to its reputation or brand standing. Why was that?
I believe the answer to this question can be found in Apple's ability to use its powerful brand reputation to draw upon the loyalty of its millions of consumers. In other words: if you trust us to get it right, you can trust us to put it right. Clearly no brand is perfect and all brands experience failure at some point and to some degree. But the ability to draw upon the trust of others to correct error, when it occurs, is an important factor in establishing the quality and reliability of a brand.
Fear of failure is unhealthy and irrational. To fear failure is to limit our ability to acquire the skills knowledge and understanding that will enable us to learn, develop and survive.