The 3 Stages of Failure
Best-selling author James Clear believes failure really happens in three stages.
Summer is nearing — and countless leaders across sports, business and academics will be reflecting on their achievements and disappointments from the past several months.
But as we scrutinize our failures and the elements that didn’t go according to plan, we may want to borrow a critical framework from best-selling Atomic Habits author James Clear.
Clear believes there are really three stages of failure:
1. Failure of Tactics
To him, this entails “How” mistakes. In essence, it comes down to carelessness and getting sloppy with details that ultimately cause our undoing.
It means the plan and strategies were well conceived, but the execution was faulty, preventing the ultimate vision from being achieved.
2. Failure of Strategy
To Clear, these are “What” mistakes. These take place when we pursue a strategy that doesn’t ultimately yield the desired outcome.
Essentially, it means we knew what we wanted to execute and had a plan in place to do so, but chose a poor path to get there.
3. Failure of Vision
These are “Why” mistakes. These occur when we’re basically going with the flow without a specific objective or don’t set clear goals or target numbers.
Our inability to take control leads us to a disappointing destination.
If we didn’t get the results we coveted over the past several months, we’d likely benefit from taking a little time, then closely scrutinizing what went wrong.
Not all failures are created equal or are entirely our fault.
But we do have some power over whether they happen again.
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