Failing Upward

By Mark Inboden

Mark Inboden

Mark Inboden

Most everyone has heard that you often learn more from losing than winning. Many of our sports heroes and business legends have not been "superstars" from the start. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school team. Walt Disney came back from bankruptcy to forge one of the greatest brands in the world. 

The ability to "fail upward" is what I believe they have in common. I explained it this way to my son after a recent soccer loss. I said, "You lost today, but what did you learn from it? Did you go after every opportunity to get the ball, or let some go by with the hope that a teammate would get it? Are there any drills that you should be spending more time on after practice that could have helped you today? Did you really want to win, and tell your teammates that?"

You get the idea. The way we review our losses or setbacks paves our way forward. If we want to win, we must prepare ourselves to be better every day. "Phoning it in" does not work if you truly want to win. Take some time to review your current job, and ask yourself "what do I need to do to become the best?" It is easy to do "just enough" but you will never fail upward, as that takes a boldness to be the best. We are all capable of so much more, but sometimes it takes someone telling you so.

Mark is CEO and President of UCEC. 

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