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1 To Succeed More, Fail More

Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved.

—Lao Tzu2

An aspiring young man once asked a very prominent CEO how he could become more successful. The CEO was Tom Watson of IBM, who reportedly responded that if the young man wanted to become more successful he should do the seemingly unthinkable—fail. In fact, Watson advised that he should double his failure rate. At first glance this is an odd prescription indeed. Upon closer inspection, however, it contains a great deal of wisdom.

A failure should not be viewed as the end of the story but instead as a stepping-stone to a larger success. If someone never fails, this is a telltale sign that he is not trying anything new or challenging. ...

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