Failures, Lessons and Gratitude

You may not know this about me but I have been a speaker and trainer on negotiation, self-leadership and leadership for many years. Plus, I was a leader in the military.

I recently attended the Veteran EDGE event put on by the IVMF at Syracuse University. EDGE is an entrepreneurial event designed to help accelerate business growth.

One of the many ideas that I came away with from that event, that I decided to adopt was to start a “Fail Friday” email, blog and possibly a short live.

In this email, I will share my/our top 1-5 fails of the week and the lessons I learned from them.

Failure 1 – Mid-sized lanyards. We received an order for medium paper bead necklaces to be used as lanyards at an event. They were custom-made to be the brand colors of the event. When I received them they were too short. The problem arose because the ladies counted the number of beads from the sample vs making them the length of the sample. The beads were a little smaller than the sample and it made the necklaces shorter.

Lesson – rework was required to meet the standard. We now have standard sizes for all our necklaces to ensure they are made to the size standard. Since they are hand-make products, they aren’t all going to be uniform in bead size rolled but will be uniform in length. We did not communicate that properly when the order was placed.

Failure 2 – Upset over a report. I had to take a corporate job in Procurement to cover business expenses when COVID caused speaking and bead sales to reduce to micro business status. There are plenty of lessons there every single day!

Most recently I was assigned to manage our parts reject list which had things dating back to 2014 on it. Our division has become the scourge of the company because we have so many. We started at 236 and were working our way down the list to decrease those.

I received the weekly report that showed 125 which was down over 50 from the previous week. Then the person who ran the report said there was an error. The error added 20 more from the previous week! I had a meltdown and felt like I was failing. I could have avoided that meltdown if I would have simply verified the facts. Once I started to go through the list with the buyers who had items on the list, I discovered there were at least 30 that should not have been on the list and with a little work they were removed.

Lesson – Verify the Facts before you get upset, have a belief or course of action based on the initial results of something. Oftentimes you will discover that the facts change the story, and the course of action will be different once you know the entire story.

Failure 3 – this one will make you laugh. Indigo my new Malinois Shephard puppy is quite the handful. This breed is known as a “Maligotor” for many reasons. Since she still wants to chew on the cats, I have to keep them separate. I put the cats in my bedroom during the day first thing in the morning. I went back to take a shower and when I came out Indigo had gone into the other bathroom, gotten a roll of toilet paper and shredded it all over the entire living room. I couldn’t pick it up because I had to leave right away and had to leave the house a mess. I had to deal with it when I got home. Imagine the entire floor covered with shreds of toilet paper like it went through a paper shredder!

Lesson – Prepare in Advance. I could have avoided this by simply closing the bathroom door. Don’t get so busy moving on to the next thing that you leave a detail out that results in a disaster, rework to prepare for some other negative consequence.

In other news:

We are in desperate need of a sponsor for 2 street kids. We have 2 kids that were sponsored by one person for school and housing. We lost our sponsor, and they are in jeopardy of returning to the streets. If you are interested in sponsoring 1 or both it’s about $100 per month per child. I can give you all the details if you want more info or you can go donate here and choose “School Fees for Children”

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published