Learning is a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Learning transforms you by constantly providing new perspectives and insights. The best way to deal with disappointment is to gain value out of it. You do that by squeezing learning from it.

If you’ve lost something or someone, if you’ve failed, if you’ve encountered something unpleasant, what did you learn? Seriously. This is not fluff. It’s a legitimate question. We have observed and documented that failure and disappointment play a significant and positive role in the lives of overcomers and achievers. When you choose to learn from the not-so-pleasant events, you build muscle instead of flab.

Flab comes from doing nothing with failures and mistakes.

This is true for organizations as well. A healthy organization is not perfect; but it is a learning organization. What is a Learning Organization? 

In a Learning Organization:

  • Mistakes and failures are considered learning opportunities instead of an assignment of blame. This encourages honesty and belonging.
  • Proactive and calculated risks are celebrated. The idea is to advance the mission versus protecting one’s position, job, or ego.
  • Internal debate is not considered negative or combative. It’s considered teamwork. It’s important to get to the best solutions, to align.
  • Humility. Culturally remembering the four phases of learning apply to all of us:
    • Unconscious Incompetence (I don’t know what I don’t know)
    • Conscious Incompetence (I confess what I don’t know)
    • Conscious Competence (I’m getting better at it with practice)
    • Unconscious Competence (It now comes naturally to me)

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