“The greatest enemy of progress is your last success,” Myles Monroe
Learning from failure is common knowledge, however learning from success is not practiced enough. Time, effort and energy usually goes into achieving success in any project but what happens after a particular milestone is reached determines the continuity in the attainment of success. Richard St. John, a public speaker at a Ted conference, emphasized the importance of continuous success in the order to sustain it. However the majority tend to relax once success is attained. Gino and Pisano (2011) argued in their article titled “ Why Leaders don’t learn from Success” that, success breeds failure by hindering learning. They identified the challenges to learning from success which are:
Fundamental attribution error– Attributing success to talent or current strategies whereas it could’ve been due to chance or other factors.
Overconfidence bias –While success contributes to increase in confidence level, too much of it can become a barrier to learning and improving.
Failure-to-ask-why-syndrome– Reflecting on what lead to the attainment of success provides adequate understanding of a process to gain mastery of it.
Failure to study all of the processes involved in attaining success makes it difficult to identify what exactly led to the successful result. For example, an exceptional employee gets annual performance reviews with highlights of strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what core competencies makes such employee exceptional will enable him or her to continue to work hard at maintaining such standard and aiming higher.
Therefore, learning from success determines if you’re a one-hit-wonder or an all time champion.
Gino F., & Pisano P., (2011). Why Leaders Don’t Learn from Success. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2011/04/why-leaders-dont-learn-from-success