• LaShawndra Vernon

Failing Forward; A Self Help Guide for The Ridiculously Brave Leaders


I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’ve fallen flat on my face more times than I can count. I don’t always read the instructions before I start building something I buy. I am drawn to do things that people say I can never do. It’s just the way I am wired. I set goals for myself without consulting the so-called experts. And despite all these things, I am happy with every choice I’ve made that led to a failure. Sometimes I hit the detonator button myself because I know it just won’t work until I do something different. I’m comfortable with destroying when I am unhappy with what I’ve built.

Why am I telling you this? I want you to fail forward. I want you to intentionally leap when you are unsure how you will land. I am encouraging you to stop playing it safe and going along just to get along. Because there are many people waiting for a greatness in you that will never be realized until you are vulnerable and uncomfortable.

A few years ago you couldn’t have convinced me that Donald Trump would be president. As I watched President Barack Obama being held to such a high standard I was expecting the next president to be a politician with a long career that started in local government. When the news came that we have a social media president, I was shocked. But just like when President Barack Obama was elected I saw an opportunity. If Donald Trump can be president I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to. I am convinced that there are no limits to what I can do. Thanks to social media anyone can be relevant to current events. Blogs and tabloid websites rule the day. It’s pretty difficult to stomach but it's where we are.

I took a major leap in 2016. I knew something needed to change, I knew I didn’t feel good about what I was doing, and I knew that I was outgrowing my work. I walked into meetings and felt unnecessary. I felt that the system I built functioned just fine, but my skills could be used elsewhere. I craved a challenge. I leaped out into the world, but was unsuccessful in my first effort out of the comfort zone. It was déjà vu, like 2012, 2009 all over again. It taught me that what I did not learn on these rotations would be repeated until I gained all the lessons within. The big lessons were about my purpose. I continued to choose paths that helped others, but didn’t always look for ways to help myself.

There was a moment in my struggle where I received some harsh feedback and criticism. I accepted the criticism in some cases willingly, others not so much. One of the times when I received feedback from a dysfunctional environment one of the people said, “It just seems like it’s all about you.” This stuck with me. The strange part is I was the only one it wasn’t about. I chose the path because I was asked to be their “savior”.

My experience taught me that no one can save you from yourself.

This group of people I encountered needed to save themselves. I came there to be a hero, and in the end I ended up being the scapegoat. I hope that they heal from their experience and decide to do their own work. The outcome for me was that I had to do mine.

Doing my own work brought me back to my purpose. I get so busy doing the work in front of me that I forget that I have vision and purpose. I’ve spent most of my career developing everyone else’s vision and mission, that my own was unattended for a very long time. So who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose and contribution to the world? These questions became central to the next few weeks.

I emerged more aware. I came back to the understanding of who I am. I am a mediator, a solution seeker, an evangelist, a musician, a soul tuner, and a wisdom seeker. All these things are my brand. They are what I came to do on earth. There is more, the beauty is that the definition of me keeps expanding the more I explore the descriptions of me. I’ve decided to go on a journey of self-exploration, and to share that journey with you. My commitment to blogging through my transition is to aide others in their search for truth.

As I work with others to build the brand of Pryme Solutions, I will continue to fine tune my instrument to play in this orchestra called life. I hope you will join me on this journey and take the time to do this work for yourself.

This blog is just the beginning of #FailingForward. I look forward to continuing to make brand new mistakes and learning from them every step of the way.

#FailingForward #leadership #goals #corporatenonprofit #feedback #solutionseeker #socialinnovation #collectiveimpact #intuition #resilience #culturalintelligence #LaShawndraVernon

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