Failure....Do we know what it is and how to use it?

I recently for a walk in the hills surrounding the Hope Valley in the Peak District with a great friend, a school teacher and all round uplifting character. We somehow got to talking about failure, not just from an academical point of view, but that of a personal or business perspective. All whilst taking in some striking scenery.


It was interesting to hear, that children of today are having to be taught about failure, as if its not part of real life!, is this because we put more stock in success? How in turn would we measure success if we had never tasted the bitterness of failure?

In the ensuing conversation, we each asked what our largest failure was, mine was my failure to make the cut with the Special Forces, an injury and hypothermia put paid to attaining that pinnacle! A mixture of exhaustion,realisation and ultimately failure left  me in tears of disappointment at the time. Even the invitation to re attempt did little to improve how I felt.


Using those feelings of failure and disappointment, I pushed myself to use it constructively and set about gaining my Close Protection qualification, not happy with the minimum BTEC Level 3 course, I sought the longest and most arduous I could find, Instead of 140 hours learning I went for a BTEC Level 4 course (the only one of its kind in world and I made the promo video) with over double the amount of required learning required.

Years later I now run my own successful business and am still very active on the Close Protection circuit. With out tasting the bitterness in defeat and failure I would never have pushed myself every time since. Sure there has been low points since, serious illness, lost opportunities and lost relationships. Its how you use those experiences to push on! 

Have you experienced failure? How did you deal with it? Have you even dealt with it? What does failure mean to you and your business? Any failure in security could strike disaster for even the most robust of organisations. Apple pay over $700,000 a year in protection of there greatest asset, their CEO Tim Cook, failure to do so could be catastrophic for not only Tim and his family but also  for Apple.

This month is the start of the Rugby World Cup, and it will be interesting to see how individuals and teams deal with failure, of which all will experience at some point, either on the field of play or in training. Im very proud to be embedded with one of the teams as a consultant, and look to learn as much as possible from these professional athletes and see what I can bring to to my business and myself to make me better. It is perhaps apt that the car i'll be using is the new Land Rover Discovery, as I continue on my personal and business voyage. Perhaps thats the key, we need to learn not only from our mistakes and failures but of those around us also.