until he has contended against it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our experience is a great tool with which to teach others, but until they actually touch the ice, they cannot know what it feels like. No amount of persuasion, instruction or book learning can convey the reality of hard, cold, slippery water.
Our experience is merely a pencil sketch of knowledge remembered. The lines and shape are there, and if we teach well, some textures and emotion.
But to know the heart of fire, they must stand inside the flames. No well intentioned warning can convey the concept of heat as firmly as their hand upon the stove. The truth is in the touching. Gloves protect us from reality, but if always worn, conceal it.
To truly learn what cannot work, they must fail at the attempt to prove the world wrong. Having someone steer them away from stumbles, doesn’t teach them to watch their step.
Failure that they learn from, much more than their success, is the investment we allow, to ensure their future glory.
Whether we are managers or parents, the best among us demonstrate how to succeed, by allowing failure to exist.
As I post this I’m preparing to heading off to Ireland for a few weeks. I don’t know how often I’ll get a chance to post something.
So… if you want to read some more of my material, you can a) browse past entries and/or b) visit the publications section of my Change Management HQ.
AND of course, you can take a fe minutes and leave me a note or two.