Fail Forward: Are You Up For the Challenge?

by / ⠀Startup Advice / May 8, 2013

Fail ForwardTo whom much is given much is required.  Let’s just be clear the process of personal growth is NOT easy.  What I’ve learned throughout my time as an executive coach is that a lot of leaders and front line employees tend to over complicate their life and business.

Everyone has different reasons for wanting to be successful.

This is not an easy walk.  This is not an end all to solve all of your problems.  In fact when you get committed it gets harder.  When you get really serious it’s not easy in fact when you get so sure some people aren’t going to like you, some people aren’t going to applaud you, in fact so people are going to befriend you.

I want you to assure you not one of us is special, we are all human, we are all love, we are all educated in something & we all have dreams, hopes, desires, goals, and passions.  Not one of us is better than the other for you and I are not extraordinary but we are average individuals.  Anyone can start from wherever they are in life right now and become their best-self.  For the value of success has a much higher price tag, one most people aren’t willing to pay and it requires stepping into a game most people aren’t willing to play.

As I write this I want to not only address the value of success but the gratitude of leadership and how we all have the opportunity to play a higher role, serve a higher purpose & make a higher income.  The amount of success you and I have achieved in our life right now has required early mornings and late nights.  It’s required us to stop focusing on our story, to stop making excuses, and to choose the rituals that control our successes.

I know that each one of you have made major sacrifices to get to where you are I know I did.  That you’ve ignored all those people who told you- you couldn’t do it.  That told you—you weren’t smart enough, pretty enough, educated enough, that you didn’t have the tools, knowledge, resources, mindset, money or even the right relationships to conquer the challenges that have stood in your way.  But you did it you’ve overcome the worst circumstances, you’ve made hard decision, you’ve exhausted yourself numerous times.  You never once said I can’t, I won’t or I shouldn’t BUT instead you stepped up and stepped in and said I can, I will & I must.

It was in that moment of decision that your destiny was shaped.  Your success today has come from both solitude and gratitude.  From knowing who you are and what you want and being grateful for the people you’ve met, the places you’ve encountered, and the opportunities you’ve had.  The value of your success to you is priceless.  Neither I nor anyone else can walk in your shoes, can know what you were thinking nor will we ever know what you’ve battled with inside.

We will never know your whole story, we will never conquer your fears, never will two of us walk the same path in life.  BUT that’s what makes each one of us different and unique people and leaders.  I was in this place of solitude that you mastered 3 things.  You could see it, you believed it, and you knew you could achieve it.  You could escape to this place by closing your eyes and you would begin visualizing and imagining what it would be like to achieve that goal, conquer that fear, chase that dream…show those non-believers that you do have the strength, agility, and perseverance to create your own reality.

See also  7 Ways to Maximize Employee Potential & Boost Performance

You believed that every step, action, and movement you were taking was bringing you one step closer to your dream.  You knew that regardless of who told you no, who wouldn’t give you the time of day, who wouldn’t give you the love, affection, appreciation or the resources that you needed what you set out to accomplish was possible.  And throughout this journey you realized you were your biggest enemy, your fears, doubts & anxieties were nothing you couldn’t handle.

It was your strength, power, and passion that has created deep relationships, self-transformation, and brought you here today.  It is today that we look back and realize how far we’ve come, that we are victors and not victims.  We each have had ample opportunities, we each have fallen and got back up, and we each have made mistakes but moved forward without regrets.  We have made our enemies our friends & our friends our enemies.  We have loved and been loved, hurt and been hurt, we have been tested and each test has made us who we are today.

It is our faith that has conquered our fear, our belief that has conquered our doubt, our perseverance that has conquered our complacency, and our knowledge that has conquered our education.  And now your role as a leader requires you to bring value to your organization.  It requires you to lift people up even when you feel down, to unlock their full potential as you continue to unlock your own.

To help them grow as your still growing, to give them encouragement, mentorship, guidance, and knowledge to help them outline their goals, and give them the tools to succeed.  You were born to serve a higher purpose.  As you sit here today and realize how far you’ve come you know that you wouldn’t be in this leadership role if someone didn’t do the exact same for you.

Your talents, skills, abilities, gifts, stories, and failures are meant to be shared.  They are meant to act as stepping stones for you to serve a greater more fulfilling role in your organization and the lives of others.  As Peter Drucker once said “Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.”  Standing before you, sitting next to you and positioned underneath you are individuals ready to step up and take your positions, young men and women who are ready and willing to learn, grow, and become.

These men and women are your sons and grand-sons your daughters and grand-daughters and who better to teach them the true role of a leader than you.  The young men and women of this century will lead like no other leaders have led.  They will teach like no other teachers have taught.  They will give like no other givers have gave.  And, they will learn like no other learners have learned.  Why because they are Gen Y, I am Gen Y, together we impact Gen Y.

See also  How I Work “Off the Clock”

Before you lies an opportunity to leave a legacy, to give back to the community, to influence another generation, to have a young man or women cherish the knowledge you have and implement it to create a profound impact.  Your generation and our generation have one very important thing in common and that is the cost of success.  This tiny piece of thread connects us.  You grew up in a world of war, depression, rations, and in an economy where circumstances were beyond your control you persevered.  You followed your dream, you gave up that education to work, you made sacrifices to raise large families, and so much more.

Much like your generation we grew up in a world of war, nominating the first black president, living through twin tower destruction, and many more historic events, NOW….we’re giving up education for knowledge, leadership for mentor-ship  and in an economy where circumstances are beyond our control we too persevere determined and passionate about the impact we make.  It is this cost of success that intertwines us.

We are a different generation, a generation that takes massive action and gets massive results, YES we are attention craving, stubborn, savvy, techno-addicted, family centric, workers willing to do what it takes to not only survive BUT thrive.  We are influencers, risk takers; we share, connect, and communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime from almost anything.  And although we are the most social generation of all time from Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, YouTube, the I Phone, Galaxy III, I Pad, I Pod, Laptops, Skype, & the list of technology goes on.  We realize that Social Media is NOT leadership!

Social Media is not a platform used to gain the knowledge & understand it takes to run companies, make major decisions, and be a leader, impactor, and influencer.  Social Media is NOT where leaders are being born, nurtured, and created.  The leaders you’re looking for are in your organization, looking for your opportunities, spending time giving back to non-profits in your communities.  These leaders want your appreciation, attention, and direct communication.  These leaders want to be the best but they can’t do it without you!

This common thread that connects our generations goes far beyond the workplace.  We all have a dream, we all live in the same economy, we are all human, and we all strive for more in any one particular area of our life.  We are a critical piece of your company’s success.  We’re not driven by money or ego, we have being bored & we don’t appreciate demands.  Your Gen Y employees are NOT looking for a job, they’re looking for a career, they’re looking to learn, grow, become and expand the horizons of their vocabulary and knowledge.  Your Gen Y employees want to explore the possibilities of what life is like beyond rules and expectations, they have the capabilities, resources, technology, passion & talent to create something from nothing.

The only thing missing is YOU the leader.  Leadership is NOT a title it’s a behavior.  Just as we have rights we too have responsibilities, and our responsibility as a leader requires us to lead like no other leaders have led, teach like no other teachers have taught & because our people believe like no other believers have believed we must PREPARE them for this undertaking of growth & self-transformation.  Today as you look back on your executive lives have you prepared your team like athletes, have you said thank-you and appreciated your team regardless of their position even if they are the janitor?

See also  Video Recap: 2012 State of Entrepreneurship Address and Panel Discussion

I know you’ve fought hard but have you lived fully, loved truly, and cared deeply about your people? YOUR employees, prospects, shareholders, family members, friends, etc…They are the ones supporting your and making a different.  I also challenge you to share the person you’ve become and the potential you have not just today but every day.  Everybody has strengths, challenges, opportunities, and weaknesses.  What role will you play in empowering them? Have you given your team the confidence to succeed or will they fail?

I want to leave you with 3 powerful words someone wise once told me just as I was about to give up “I believe in you.”  And I hope you believe in your team.  I want to share with you how you can take Gen Y’s dedication, persistence, and personal connections, and build a platform where individuals stand out and surpass the precious standards & current expectations of your company.  First let me ask you…Have you leveraged your personal power?  Or do you need to take your personal, professional, or financial life to the next level?

Everybody has a different concept for leadership.  You are the hands, feet, and voice to those around you.  You know what you believe based on your passion.  Now is not the time for us to draw back, now’s not the time for safe leadership, this is not the time for us to play games, this is not the time for you to take it easy, this is not the time for you to scale back.  I need you to understand our nation is in trouble, our country is in trouble, and it’s lost its morale footing, its morale foundation.

We don’t need leadership from 10-11:15 we need all day leadership, everyday leadership, we need the best leadership…Is that you?  As I leave you I challenge you to be influenced by the best leaders in the world, pick up their books, audios, attend their events, do whatever you need to do to learn, grow, and become a better leaders for today’s organizations and tomorrow’s generation.  You have a leader in you, now is the time, today is the day, to tap into your full potential and achieve maximum results.  I want to leave you with one last question are you up for the challenge?

Melissa Krivachek is President of Briella Arion and is deeply & passionately committed to the growth & effectiveness of young leaders, teams, and organizations. Melissa is a High Caliber Leadership, Sales, and Personal Growth Expert, Author, Speaker, Coach, and Life Enthusiast! To IGNITE your Purpose, Presence, Passion, & Profit visit

Image Credit:

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.