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  • Writer's pictureTom DeBell

Failing to Succeed




In my journey as a leader, I've come to appreciate the profound wisdom hidden within failures. While a more accurate title for this entry might have been "Failing so I Can Succeed", I like the play on words with what I’ve chosen.


Every individual encounters victories and setbacks, yet it's the ability to extract invaluable insights from failures that supercharges our path forward. Over the years, I've cultivated two key practices to harness the transformative power of failure: After-Action Reviews (AARs) and reflective journaling.


AARs serve as key moments for introspection, enabling me to dissect past events, discerning what worked, what didn't, and crucially, what lessons I can take forward. This examination provides me with a library of lessons learned to navigate future challenges with greater insight.


Additionally, I've developed a daily habit of revisiting my journal entries from the previous year. This retrospective exercise allows me to witness my growth firsthand, recognizing the progress made despite the setbacks encountered along the way. Some of my greatest wins have come from the lessons of my greatest failures.


Amidst these failures, the seeds of personal growth are sown. While I don't seek failure, I've learned to embrace it as an indispensable teacher on the journey toward excellence. Each stumble serves as a guide, leading me to greater heights. Failure isn't a setback; it is a stepping stone toward profound growth.


This is why I chose the title for this entry; I use failure to build greater success.



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