Ted and I met sailing so when I coined J.I.B.E. as the acronym for Joy In Business Everyday I thought – how appropriate.
In plain English, when you’re sailing and turn away from the wind it’s called a jibe. If you aren’t ready for a jibe, you can find yourself overboard and the boat upside down (ask me how I know). Not fun, but when done correctly, a skilled jibe can give you just enough of an edge to win a race.
That’s what business is all about, right? Trying … falling overboard, righting the boat, bailing out the mess…and trying again until you get it right. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. If it’s happened to you, then it’s probably happened more than once. So the J.I.B.E for this post is: FAILURE
Wieden + Kennedy (W+K) considered one of the most innovative advertising agencies and (the agency of record for NIKE) has a mural in their lobby that says, Fail Harder – a quote from by Robert Kawasaki of Rick Dad Poor Dad fame. He goes on to explain that, “To fail harder means to try harder. And trying harder takes strength of character that most people simply don’t possess.”
The mural was created by interns using 100,000 plastic pushpins and took over 350 hours to complete. Says W+K partner, Dan Kennedy, “The background is made of pushpins. The easy way would be to do the letters as pushpins and leave the wall blank. They chose the hard way… It’s like Babe Ruth trying to hit a home run. If you miss, you miss. But at least you swung the bat as hard as you could.”
Think about it…haven’t you done your best work when you’ve failed at something? Haven’t you learned the most about yourself when you’ve failed? When you need to adapt or reinvent something you thought was a slam-dunk ,wasn’t it because you failed before you got it right?
And next year, write this down and post it where you can see it every day: Fail Harder. You might learn something you never dreamed of and will only know the Joy of Failure once you’ve JIBED.