Monday, October 18, 2010

Learning From Failure

We rarely learn from our successes and learn even less from our failures and that is real shame. I will relate a short story to give you an example. I was travelling to Salt Lake city to manage a live event for Mine Managers on behalf of Barrick Gold in the early 90's. I was fortunate enough to travel on Peter Monks'  personal Jet. For those who may not know Mr. Monk is Chairman and founder of Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold mining corporation and one of the world's wealthiest men. We had a chance to talk a bit about how he become successful in the business of mining (that's an interesting story too but we'll leave it for another time) and how he had come to be so successful in general.

He told me that he had bankrupted 7 different companies before he achieved his ultimate success with Barrick Gold. Each of his enterprises, as he explained had been successful but at some point, often due to outside influences, the venture had gone bankrupt. And to ad a little colour, most of these companies such as Clairtone Sound Corporation were multi-million dollar enterprises in the 50's and 60's (when "multi-million" meant something) . He talked about how each of these ventures had taught him valuable lessons for the next enterprise.

I guess the valuable lesson in all of this is that don't assume that failure is lesson in and of is simply a teacher that will provide valuable lessons for those willing to be taught.

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