In case you missed last week’s blog, we kicked off a new series called “So What. Now What?”. This week is the second installment in our newest series. Today we will focus on one of our company’s core values: Failure Leads to Success. and the ‘So What. Now What’ mentality. ‘So what now what’ is a process and phrase introduced by Linda Cliatt-Wayman that Dr. Elko stated repeatedly as he worked with the University of Alabama’s football team that led to the teams’ latest BCS Championship Season. This phrase means So this or that happened now what are you going to do and respond?''. The ‘so what now what’ mentality and culture can be used practically in any field and by any person to help you to focus on what is important now. It helps people learn how to ‘win’. If you repeatedly focus on ‘so what now what’ and repeat this over and over, you will begin to make actionable steps toward what matters.This week’s blog will feature YES, Inc.’s Rebecca DeLeon. Mrs. Deleon has worked for YES, Inc., for 9.5 years! She has made an impact on the lives of educators and leaders alike with her vast knowledge, winning spirit and years of commitment and dedication to the field of education and our company’s mission! This week, Rebecca will share her story about how she lives the company’s core value: Failure Leads to Success daily and aligns with the “So What. Now What” mentality by practicing two things that help her use failure as a means to lead to her success.
The “So what. Now what” mentality is a different way to frame failure. Failure is figuring out what doesn’t work in order to find out what does work. Donald Miller gives an example of how silly it is when we wallow in our failures by explaining an experience he had with a new lock on his home door. He put the key in and turned it right. It didn’t open so he then turned it to the left and it opened. How ridiculous would it be if he stopped after his failed attempt and spent time beating himself up thinking “wow, I can’t believe I turned it to the right.” Yet, I’m sure everyone has done this.
Rebecca’s Story "How To Look Failure In The Face And Keep Moving!":
Failure is uncomfortable. While we learn that “failure leads to success” I have yet to meet anyone that throws a party when they fail. However uncomfortable it is, it is inevitable. If you are alive, you have room to grow, and with that comes the achy discomfort of growing pains, like failure.
As a core team lead for our company’s communications team, I often have many aspects of my position moving all at one time. I've learned along the way not to let my failures stop me from moving forward and to use my failure to help me look at something differently that will lead to my growth for the next time despite obstacles and in the face of challenge. I personally can count so many failures I've had throughout my tenure here that I let haunt me and keep me from moving forward. Clear communication is a vital part of our agency. I have had moments when I misspoke or was not clear and my words haunted me for an unreasonable amount of time. However, when I realized the value in learning from my failure (i.e., a missed deadline, a failed update, etc.) and I began making changes and looking at the root cause of my failure, instead of letting it stop me in my tracks, or haunt me I began to take actionable steps and I began owning my failure. Doing this really opened up the door for growth. Here is what I’ve learned that may help you to have a “So what now What” Mentality when facing failure.
2 things you need to have a “So what. Now what” mentality when facing failure:
- Humility. In the classroom, you might have a failed attempt at a lesson. It could be something out of your control (technology, the ever-changing climate in our nation, etc.). It could also be something in your control that failed (you underestimated the time activity would take, students needed more work on prior knowledge to get the concept, etc.). It could even be a calculating error. I remember I had a calculus professor spend 5 minutes working out 1 problem on the whiteboard. Math isn’t my strongest subject so I was diligent with my notes, following along with the process he was taking to solve the problem. He got to a point well into working it out and said, “Oh no. That’s not right”, erased the board, and started over from the beginning. When you figure out what didn’t work, how much of our pride gets in the way of us stopping the train and trying again? It takes humility to say, “Nope. That didn’t work. Let’s try it another way.”
- Grace. It serves no one to beat yourself up for your failed attempts! That magical lesson you had planned that got side railed because of technology… try again tomorrow! The exit tickets you got back showed 90% of the students were not on track with the learning? Try a different approach tomorrow! Instead of letting the failure weigh heavy and keep you from moving forward toward success, give yourself the grace to try again!
Looking back at failure and only seeing the discomfort can be paralyzing. Avoiding failure isn’t the answer but reframing your mind on how you see failure can keep you growing and take your success to the next level.
If you’re looking for a tool that can help you evaluate why you are not where you want to be in life or with your career, you may find the solution in the all new I Incorporated Journal available to you on Amazon, that was inspired by the book, Begin Again Differently by Claudette Yarbrough, our agency's executive leader and CEO. I Inc., can walk you through processes that will assist you to reflect on your failure and use of the “so what now what” mindset to guide you through your own roadblocks and failure to create an action plan for yourself that will lead to your overall growth and success!
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