E14 Op Ed: Coping With Failure: Stack The Deck in Your Favor

I’ve always been interested in topics of failure, motivation, and rewards.  Especially in the context of personal achievement in the design process.  When speaking with a friend over a couple beers which were his reward for doing everything that could be done in a failing situation, I suggested he take a different approach when placed in tough position…

……..In our attempts to set timing expectations with our managers/customers, it is a common practice to add 2x or 3x more time to a scheduled plan just because there are going to be countless failures from unforeseen problems.  That means that at least 50%-66% of engineering time on a project is spent failing.  Without giving ourselves an occasional pat on the back for our effort, how is one to cope with such a consistent dosing of failure?

By Stacking The Deck.

It doesn’t matter what one does to succeed, just that the success-to-failure ratio is kept within a range that makes a person feel good about their time on this earth. This is where hobbies save us…… 

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