I remember setting up a “big” online conference in my high school when I was a teacher and budding educational leader. I invited the world to partake in this part-video, part-telephone gathering of educators from around the world. The only person who showed up was the district superintendent. It was a huge failure, and I can’t imagine I impressed him much. Thanks to this failure, I learned never to organize something I don’t think people will have much interest in. Perhaps I should have realized the topic (it was so unmemorable, I couldn’t tell you what it was about) was of little or no interest to anyone.
Seems like many (if not all) of the greatest “game-changers” have failed and learned from their mistakes:
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” C.S. Lewis
“To be wrong is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” Confucius
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” Oprah Winfrey
“Failure is success if we learn from it.” Malcolm Forbes
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” Woody Allen
School leaders must take calculated risks that could result in failure (as long as those risks don’t waste teachers’ time)! Modeling the practice that failure is necessary for success should trickle down to the children and encourage everyone in the learning community to try something bold, innovative, and…risky.