Celebrating Failure is the definitive how-to manual for leaders seeking to embrace the power of failure as a learning tool to improve their organizations and achieve ever-greater goals. The business world (and, lately, the political arena) is convinced that the number one topic is change. Heath posits that it might well be failure, because if you do it right, failure can become a launching pad for change.
Heath contends that “positive failures” are not only necessary steps on the path to success, but encourage greater freedom to take risks in pursuit of one's life goals. This counter-intuitive but powerful title includes:
• Engaging stories of real-life business and personal failure experiences.
• Practical steps to apply each chapter's “lessons” and change your approach to risk-taking and failure.
• Positive, effective ways to eliminate the “fear of failure” that can hold you back in today's competitive, fast-changing world.
Heath's insightful stories lay out his own failures and reveal his human side as a son, father, athlete, and business leader.
“Fear of failure is perhaps the worst affliction a manager can have because it leads to creative paralysis and inhibited growth. And the fear is understandable. Despite all the clichés coming from higher management such as, ‘We reward mistakes,’ and ‘If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough,’ most managers know that mistakes are more often punished than rewarded. Into this cultural reality now comes Ralph Heath’s reassuring words about failure not only as teacher but as a power that leads to greater success. I highly recommend this helpful book.” —James A. Autry, author of The Servant Leader
“People from every walk of life can learn something from Ralph Heath’s Celebrating Failure. Heath’s book tells us how even the toughest failures can, in the end, fuel tremendous success. Encouraging originality, responding to changes, and thinking big are just some of the approaches Heath advocates to help people to learn from failure and achieve their dreams.” —U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
“There is no better way to learn than by experience. Celebrating Failure shows how we can learn from our ‘so-called failures’ to build a path to success. Ralph has found a fresh approach that will reduce the fear of failure and increase your confidence. I highly recommend this book for any sales professional.” —Jeff Thull, author of Mastering the Complex Sale and Exceptional Selling
“Ralph Heath shows how and why you can’t go far with a small idea. He and the firm he built personify the power of taking risks and thinking big, built on the philosophy that the more mistakes you’re willing to make, the faster you learn, the better you get.” —Tim Williams, Founder of Ignition Consulting Group and author of Take a Stand for Your Brand
“Forget the fear, the embarrassment, and the guilt typically associated with failure and see how it can be your greatest tool in achieving success.” —Terry Gillette, founder and former president of The Company Store
“Given the pace of change in today’s business environment, developing a culture of intelligent risk taking is no longer an option. It is merely the ‘ante’ to keep pace with changes in your industry, your competition and your customers. The practical approaches outlined in Celebrating Failure can help you develop a healthy environment of risk taking that is essential today and into the future.” —Gregg Billmeyer, Senior Director, Staff Operations, Office of the President and CEO, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
“Most of us focus on avoiding failure, so we take as few chances as possible. But for Ralph, failure is always a genuine option. Which is probably why he created such an interesting and successful company. Ralph’s book will help every professional who most probably spends his or her life focused on avoiding failure finally embrace it and become more successful by doing so.” —Robb High, Business Development Consultant to the Agency Industry, Former COO of Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners
“Everyone has heard these pithy statements about embracing failure found on inspiring posters, or in graduation cards. ‘Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried.’ ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ But few know how to live those statements. In Ralph Heath’s book, Celebrating Failure, he turns poster into practice by providing a brilliant discourse on building a corporate culture which takes you beyond those simple statements.” —Taggert J. Brooks, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
“For the small business owner like me, Ralph Heath’s message is clear: To succeed one must not strive to avoid failure but rather expect and celebrate when it appears, as it must. He provides clear thinking as to why perfection is not to be expected, and, in fact, must not be sought. Celebrating Failure will change your way of seeing the world.” —Joe Friel, President, TrainingBible Coaching, LLC and TrainingPeaks, LLC
“An open and honest assessment of 30 years in management. Reading Celebrating Failure should quell the fears of the new hire and re-open the learning curve of the seasoned executive.” —David F. Vite, President and CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association
“I’ve come to know Ralph through our local racing cycling community, a group of people where failure is definitely not embraced! After reading the book, you’ll understand why we appreciate his participation and the perspective he brings. He possesses the ability to look at things differently and pauses you to stop and think and ask, ‘Why?’ Enjoy the stories and his humor. We do.” —Dan Paulus, VP Sales & Marketing, Digital Technology International
“Celebrating Failure is a blueprint for success. Thanks for a great read!” —Tony Stella, Investment Advisor, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company
“Celebrating Failure is a must read for educators. Ralph Heath’s examples and stories should encourage any executive or administrator to acknowledge failure as a way to grow and learn. He clearly illustrates that failure can teach you to succeed. There is so much good information for school administrators and parents, which would hopefully be passed on to kids.” —Ann Mullally, Retired School Principal, Lawton Chiles Elementary School, Gainesville, Florida (2003 National Distinguished Principal)
“Heath’s account of failure and triumph is joyful and inspiring. His personal journey with failure and success is applicable to both school and business leaders. Helping students to succeed is fraught with failure, but viewing these failures as a necessary precursor to success is inspiring. If ever school leaders needed inspiration, it is today. Heath’s account makes me want to share my own failures with him, experience his warm and encouraging response, and try once again to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.” —Susan H. Alexander, District Administrator, Markesan District Schools, Markesan, Wisconsin
Ralph Heath is president of Ovation Marketing, an ad agency he founded in 1978 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Ovation was twice named to INC magazine's 500 fastest-growing companies. Heath is a John Caples advertising award winner and was recognized as Midwest Direct Marketer of the Year. He is a motivational speaker and has taught advertising at the University of Wisconsin. He is president of two nonprofit organizations, Mississippi Valley Conservancy and Human Powered Trails. Heath has been honored as a four-time Triathlon All-American, and is a two-time finisher of the Hawaii Ironman and a 2008 bronze medalist in Wisconsin cycling.