Don’t tell my wife about this post, because at home, I’m the WORST at making decisions. I don’t care what we have for dinner, I appreciate being fed. I don’t care what show we’re watching (as long as I’m caught up on GoT). I just like relaxing sometimes.
My attitude towards decision making has reached an age of enlightenment. A big “ah-ha” moment. I figured it out!
At work, no one likes to make a decision. For years (ok, like 15?) I’d ALWAYS defer a decision to the ‘senior’ person in the room. Especially if they were in my reporting chain. My boss is in the room? I defer to her. Her boss? Yep, I defer there.
It took me a REALLY long time to realize that the simple task of making a decision was a skill that 90% of people didn’t have, or wouldn’t take advantage of.
It reminds me of Aaron Burr. At least how Lin-Manuel Miranda portrays him in Hamilton. Dude wouldn’t pick a side. He waited for others to make a decision. “You keep out of trouble and you double your choices.” In other words, if I don’t pick a side, I won’t be wrong when the dust settles. What an awful way to live!
Once that clicked, I’ll make a decision all day long. If I’m wrong, oh well, I made a decision, and worked through it. If I made a decision, it’s because no one else would. Which means they didn’t have their own answer, or the guts to try something unknown.
This goes right into my post about Learning by Failure.
…. wonder what subconsciously is pushing me to talk about failure and decisions this week?
Over the past few days, I’ve had this conversation three times. When that happens, it screams to be it’s a great blog post.
There are a few ways we learn to grow our brains, careers, personalities etc. I’m a big fan of learning via tutorials, youtube, books and general experimentation. By surrounding myself with people smarter than me, I learn as well.
Who gets jazzed when they succeed in something? When performance review time comes around, you get excited to have a list of items that you did a fantastically well. You walk into your bosses office and say “Hey , boss, check it out. Here’s a list of 23 projects that worked great, and here’s how I impacted each of them.”
Right? You with me ?? (For fun, give me an example in a comment on something you slayed and were happy about!)
When was the last time you talked about a failure on a performance review? I know I haven’t. Shoot.. who wants to talk about failures, especially when all your peers that you may be compared to are only talking about their successes. not me! … until now.
I’ve put a ton of thought into this recently. What do you learn from more? Succeeding at something you know how to do? Or failing and learning something new. Duh. Since the post title is “Learning by Failure”, my conclusion is that you learn more by failing hard. You took a risk, you stepped out of your comfort zone, you made a decision that led to an unknown path….. and failed.
It sucks. Failure hurts.
Failure is cool
but, I guarantee you’ll be more valuable now.