5 Ways to Fail Spectacularly at Work

Dec 30, 2015 | Leadership and Personal Growth | 0 comments

While “succeeding by failing faster” is a legitimate process, there are also ways to fail spectacularly when success is actually within your grasp. Whether it’s a project, meeting or presentation, there are absolutely things you can do to help create success; conversely, there are absolutely things you can do that will result in failure.

Here are the top five ways you can fail spectacularly:

1. Proceeding with Blurry Parameters

No matter how diligent your research, how charismatic your delivery or how exciting the data is, you’ll fail every time you don’t have clarity on the expected deliverables.

Success Tip: After taking on the assignment, make it a point to send a summary email to ensure you completely understood the expectations, the goals, the resources and while you’re at it, the deadline.

2. Over-Prioritizing the Wow Factor

Style over substance will create failure every time. Remember the Super Bowl commercial in 2011 that featured Darth Vader? That thirty seconds has been replayed on YouTube® more than 63 million times. Do you remember the product it was attempting to sell? No? The advertiser spent $3 million dollars for prime viewers, and got a memorable Wow Factor; but the ROI is more of a Woe Factor.

Success Tip: Make sure your Wow Factor enhances your goals rather than competes with or obscures them.

3. Changing for the Sake of Change

Ignoring substantial process- or profit-related reasons why the company has landed on a particular way of doing things is a great way to fail with results and with building key relationships. Shaking things up or creating buzz isn’t reason enough to implement change.

Success Tip: Hold a few conversations with the old guard and discover the foundation of the current method of operation.

Read on for my last two ways to “fail spectacularly”: http://mariashriver.com/blog/2015/12/5-ways-to-fail-spectacularly-john-addison/

This post originally appeared on MariaShriver.com.

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