EppsNet Archive: Failure

10 Reasons Why Failure is Good, Except When It’s Bad

Once upon a time there was a startup, and the president of this startup, like a lot of people in the early part of the 21st century, celebrated failure — as a learning tool and as a precursor to success. He encouraged employees to celebrate failures on the company Slack channel, using the hashtag #fail. Legend has it that the… Read more →

Is Dignity an Obstacle to Success?

Sometimes life requires that we take jobs below our station until we learn skills, offer apologies even when we are wronged, suck-up to power when necessary, work long hours when we “deserve” some rest, risk embarrassment in front of witnesses, risk failure and humiliation, and get rejected by the people we hope to love. In that sort of game, the… Read more →

One Piece of Advice From T. Boone Pickens

If I had to single out one piece of advice that’s guided me through life, most likely it would be from my grandmother, Nellie Molonson. She always made a point of making sure I understood that on the road to success, there’s no point in blaming others when you fail. Here’s how she put it: “Sonny, I don’t care who… Read more →

Forget mistakes, forget failures, forget everything, except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day. — Will Durant

Why Do (Some) Smart Kids Fail?

A woman is telling me about her two sons . . . they’ve grown up to be fine young men, she says. It’s disappointing, of course, that neither of them managed to finish high school but it was really unavoidable because the older boy was much smarter than his peers and so he was always bored and academically unengaged and… Read more →

Great Moments in Government Regulation

To paraphrase President Obama: Look, if you’ve been unsuccessful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you were unsuccessful at opening or operating a small business, some government official along the line probably contributed to your failure. There was an overzealous civil servant somewhere who might have stood in your way with unreasonable regulations that are part of our… Read more →

“Am I a Success or Failure?” Is Not a Very Useful Question

To be overly preoccupied with the future is to be inattentive toward the present where learning and growth take place. To walk around asking, “am I a success or a failure” is a silly question in the sense that the closest you can come to answer is to say, everyone is both a success and a failure. — Karl Weick Read more →

My Family’s Guide to Failure

At a recent family gathering, someone whom I won’t name here recommended to my son, a high school senior, that he start looking for a community college to attend for a couple of years before transferring to a four-year school. “That’s a good idea,” I said. “Do you have any more good ideas? Maybe he should punch himself in the… Read more →

Middle Management

In most failing projects, there are a few people at the top of the organization who think they are in trouble, lots of people at the bottom who know they are in trouble, and a bunch of worried middle managers trying to keep those at the top from talking to those at the bottom. — Ken Orr Read more →

Failure is an Orphan

For centuries, historians have debated whether history is propelled by Great Men (and Women), human forces of nature who bend events and systems to their will, or by vast impersonal forces (communism, capitalism, globalization) that render even the most powerful of us a mere reed basket floating in a massive river. There’s no session on the subject at the World… Read more →