What does this mean?
Failing backward means…
- A person fails backward because he/she is lazy and doesn’t want to bother themselves with knowing what they need to know in order to get the job done. That’s failing backward.
- A person fails backward because he/she is arrogant. They wrongly think they have all wisdom or a completely informed perspective and consequently, they fail. That’s failing backward.
- A person fails backward because they fail to plan accordingly. In my experience, younger guys are more commonly guilty of this. They tend to shirk a commitment to thorough planning and as a result, they fail. That’s failing backward.
“Failing backward is the type of failure that occurs because of neglect, moral collapse, or sheer stupidity…It happens because of overconfidence, laziness, arrogance, lack of planning, or some other form of neglect.”
Instead, a leader should fail forward. This is the type of failure that happens “when you’re diligent, thoughtful, caring, and accepting of guidance and counsel–and yet you still don’t succeed.”
Taken from Craig Hamilton’s book, Wisdom in Leadership: the how and why of leading the people you serve.