Bobby Umar, P. Eng, MBA, Raeallan, Toronto, ON, CYBF Mentor

I have failed a lot. Some of them are small things I shrug off in a day. Others are big whoppers that hound me for years. Regardless, they are a part of me and I embrace them because they made me who I am today.

I firmly believe in the idea that when we take many risks, big risks and are willing to fail, we learn more, we innovate more and we grow more.

My first failure was in grade five. I was assigned a task that I thought was stupid so I did not do it. I learned that sometimes you have to do unlikable organizational tasks.

In grade 12, one of my jokes went sour. I learned that everyone perceives humour and communication differently.

When I was 28, I spent three months avoiding a tough decision to shut down a musical theatre production. I learned that sometimes you have to cut losses early and people will actually respect you more as a leader.

Whether big or small, each of these mistakes had impact on me. But most importantly, I spent considerable time reflecting, seeing what I could learn from it. Because of my strong memory, they still sit with me but are experiences I leverage for my future growth.

So get out there and dare to fail big, reflect large and grow huge!

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