Celebrating Success on International Day for Failure
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Maybe you already knew that October 13 was Yorkshire Pudding Day and Train Your Brain Day, but did you know that it’s also the International Day for Failure?
Started in Finland in 2010, the International Day for Failure is a new international holiday to rethink, share and learn from failure. This year the campaign has, perhaps ironically, been a big success and gone global with Day for Failure events in over 17 countries around the world, including Germany, Greece, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
To be fair, Finland is hardly a failure. Just this week the Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index , declared Finland the second best place on the planet to run a business (Singapore ranks first. The U.S., meanwhile, slipped to 10th).
The organizers of International Day for Failure are trying to create a cultural shift in how people think about risk-taking and entrepreneurship by acknowledging that not every endeavor is a success, however, it does open the door to the next great thing.
In Good Fail, Bad Fail: What Made Caterpillar And Unmade Enron, FastCompany looks at two business leaders and how they approached mistakes differently.
“Mistakes are part of taking healthy risk. They provide us with new ways of thinking and give us new insights into how we can improve as leaders. Real failure doesn't come from making mistakes; it comes from avoiding errors at all possible cost, from fear of taking risks to the inability to grow. Being mistake-free is not success—in fact, it's not even possible. Still, we often avoid risks and ignore (and sometimes even hide) our mistakes. We don't like to talk about our mistakes and bring attention to them. It feels safer to look the other way or sweep them under the rug. But doing so stifles growth and dooms us to repeat our mistakes--it's why so many have the same struggles over and over again.”
Without failing, you’re not living, according to this Seattle Post Intelligencer story which talks about a young lawyer who racked up a string of personal and professional failures before he became the 16th President of the United States.
But perhaps Chamber Executive Vice President and COO David Chavern said it best when he recently wrote:
The fact of the matter is that this nation was propelled forward by extraordinary people who were willing to do extraordinary things. We should applaud the risk-takers and the dreamers who are willing to stand out from the crowd and create the wealth and prosperity that we all enjoy. “Rather than denigrate what these people have done, we need to encourage more people to be like them.
Curious about some other famous “failures?” Check out this inspiring video.