which is your greatest teacher: failure or success?

I asked a good friend and great leader, Greg DuBose of The Bella Group, a question last week. It kind of stumped him at first, which has to be a new experience for him.  After a bit of contemplation, He gave a great answer.

Now I’m asking you – so here goes:

What do you learn the most from: failure or success?

After you answer, I’ll let you in on what Greg said.  By the way, let’s not have a one word answer. Give a little explanation – some dialogue would be good.

So, how ‘bout it? Which is it for you – failure or success?

9 Replies to “which is your greatest teacher: failure or success?”

  1. I am sure failure is a better teacher for me. Failing is humbling and when that happens it causes me to focus, dig deeper and ask for advice from others. It at times drives me to work harder.

  2. Failure. But only if I use what I learned through the process. And I hope I have. There’s no better teacher in life than to lose someone or something that you love and want because of your own actions.

  3. Failure for me too! Success gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride, but I don’t know that I learn a lot other than I can and did do it. When I fail, I have to be humble and listen. I can learn in that space, if I choose to. And since failure is rarely a permanent answer in a situation, I get the oppourtunity to apply what I have learned and try again. Always try again!

  4. Failure. Learning happens both with success and failure, but we are finite beings and therefore, can not know success to it’s fullest and most complete form. Bring on that Day!

    Here is a question that is good one as well- What’s the difference between success and excellence?

  5. Failure. It humbles me and causes me to do a lot of self-examination of the decision(s) I made and action(s) I took (or lack thereof) that resulted in my failure. I tend to coast on success (which means I’m not growing), but failure causes me to dig deeper into myself and my relationship with God and others (mostly to assess motives) so I avoid making the same mistake twice.

  6. Greg, everyone who commented here, and those who commented on facebook all agreed – failure is the best teacher. Wow – so how do we process that? I’ll be working on some ideas.

  7. The key to success is being accountable. The problem is NO ONE wants to be accountable. When we fail at something we can often get a clear account to what caused the failure. The result hopefully is learning what not to do.
    When we succeed it is easy to take self credit (build up our own name in our own mind, see why God destroyed the tower of Babel).
    When I follow the principles for success laid out by God in the bible the results are reinforce my faith, lift my countenance and give me a foundation to do more (see parable of the 10 Talents).
    My advice would be stay humble and glorify God NAME , follow his precepts and you will be blessed

  8. That’s a hard one…I’d have to say a mixture of both, but only if I’m open to observing my reaction to each. If not, I’d say failure, since success seems to push personal reflection to the back burner.

    Success for me, sheds light on motivation. How I feel after a success (motivated to do more, disappointed, relieved, etc.) speaks volumes about what was driving me through the process and who I’ve become along the way. Failure teaches me more about my weaknesses, areas of immaturity and limitations…more of a look into areas of improvement. Both I think are valuable lessons.

  9. My granddad always had this real simple phrase he used and it seems so relavent in so many areas of my life. “Don’t just do it to do it, do it cause it’s got to be done”.

    Failure is when we get to see who we are when things don’t go as planned. I think it’s safe to say we all want to win or have success, but I think it’s easier (not easy) to be the “Good guy” when things turn out great. When it becomes difficult due to failure our true colors show. This is when it’s most important to superimpose our vision and values.

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