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Do Not Fail At These April 2014 IICRC Newsletter

Failure: Your Key To Success By Col John BoggsFailure: Your Key to Success
By Col John Boggs, Consultant, USMC (Ret.)

We have all heard the adage, “You fail your way to success.” A friend recently sent me this inspiring poster of the great Michael Jordan that clearly illustrates this point. Note the number of championship rings on his hand.

I would argue there are three things at which Michael Jordan did not fail, and can be an example for our path to business success. This includes:

  1. Do not fail at investing in you,
  2. Do not fail at creating heroes in your organization
  3. Do not fail at being decisive.

Don’t fail at investing in yourself
Being the best you can be is imperative for the health of any organization. Being the CEO, head of a department, president of a small company or a professional athlete requires technical proficiency.

This requires investing in oneself. Attending seminars, training sessions and retreats that are packed with meaningful subject matter in the world of business is akin to the great Michael Jordan spending endless hours on the basketball court and in the classroom studying his play as well as the play of his competition.

When you are "in-charge," you also need to have sharp leadership skills that work for everyone in your organization. You lead people by example and perform at the top of your game.

Don’t Fail at Creating Heroes in Your Organization
If you are a basketball fan and know the name Michael Jordan, you probably also know Scottie Pippin.
The preparation and play of Jordan was so thorough it allowed the other members of his championship team to play at heroic levels. It is a popular argument among basketball buffs that it was the stellar play of Scottie Pippin, Denis Rodman, et al who made Jordan so great.

The point is clear: When your team is as prepared for the task at hand as you are, they will become the organization’s heroes. It is a nice debate to have when trying to come to the conclusion of whether it was the great boss – or the great employees – that made the difference. The point is you will all celebrate the successes.

Don’t Fail at Being Decisive

Michael Jordan scored more than 32,290 points during his NBA career. He also missed more than 9,000 shots, yet did not hesitate when faced with the decision to take the next shot.

I find too many leaders who are terrified of making a decision. All too often, I hear, “We need more information," or “Let's table the decision for next time."

The issue is fear. The decision maker is on a quest for the perfect decision.

There is no such thing as the perfect decision--get over it and be decisive. Failing to make a timely decision can be more devastating to an organization than making a bad decision. I would argue the only bad decision is one made on a whim.

Regardless of the size of the organization – from a small family owned business to a successful Fortune 500 corporation--learning from failure is the single greatest teacher that leads to great successes.

I challenge you to be the Michael Jordan of your organization, do not fail to invest in yourself, create heroes in the workplace and be decisive!

Colonel John Boggs U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) works with outstanding leaders to leverage talent in order to dramatically improve performance and rapidly exceed goals. You can find him online at

*For more helpful tips and resources to market your business, visit the Certified Firm only section of the IICRC website. If you don’t have your login information, enter your Certified Firm number as your username and the last four digits of your primary business phone number on record with the IICRC as your password. Please email if you need more information.

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