Hacking Failure



Hacking Failure


Copyright 2016 Shane Lester

Published by Shane Lester at Shakespir




Shakespir Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Shakespir.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.





Table of Contents



About this book

What is the Value of Failure?

If you fail should you give up?

How to Hack Failure

Random Thoughts

About Shane Lester

Other books by Shane Lester

Connect with Shane Lester









I want to first thank failure. You have taught me a lot or more precisely, when I wanted to learn from you I was able and what I learned changed my life.

I also want to thank my wife Leslie and my sister Heather for their support and encouragement.

Lastly, I must thank my cover designer Brian D. Byers. Working with you has been excellent.




About this book

This book is a prequel to my book Value of Failure. As a result of my research I uncovered a few lessons that will help you hack failure and thus shortcut to success.

While you read this book you will better understand the major factors in why people don’t learn from failures. You will also learn how to hack failure by following the ACE framework.

Every successful person has failed. In an October 2016 article in Forbes, Kevin Kruse declared we should be “A Failure Pioneer”. I agree. Doing different things means you will fail in unexplored territory. You became a failure pioneer.

Remember, any failure can shake you to the core. How we overcome a failure is what makes the difference. Conversely, most of us have had some level of success or positive affirmation. Knowing what each means, success and failure not only determines your direction in life but it make you happy.

What I’m offering is insight into how you can learn from your failures and push forward. If you can do it right, you can hack failure.



What is the Value of Failure?

From a tabloid point of view the public seems to be enamored by the failures of the famous. The value of failure to those magazine is self-evident.

If we narrow down the value of failure to endeavors that change the world and our lives, the classic example of failing your way to success is Thomas Edison, who once said, “I make more mistakes than anyone I know. And eventually I patent them.

Sadly, for those fail and don’t later succeed, we don’t have their stories, we don’t see their pithy quotes. They fad into obscurity. Or do they?

According to Tim Harford the authored of “Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure,” Google fails a lot, but they learn fast. Google values failure in the following ways: 1) discerning why you failed and applying that to future projects; and 2) speed: fail fast and early before investing more than necessary or damaging your brand. [Source: Fast Company]\


This of course means that you have a learning attitude toward failure.


In her article “Strategies for Learning from Failure” Amy C. Edmondson said “Once a failure has been detected, it’s essential to go beyond the obvious and superficial reasons for it to understand the root causes. This requires the discipline—better yet, the enthusiasm—to use sophisticated analysis to ensure that the right lessons are learned and the right remedies are employed.”


The learning process or strategy is key.


New York Time besting author, Kevin Kruse failed twice to run a success business before he got it right. He is in good company. According to Geoffrey James Contributing editor, Inc.com. “The best entrepreneurs are those who’ve failed at least once, because they’ve learned what doesn’t work as well as what does. As a general rule, people learn more from failures than from success.”


Henry Petroski, a professor of engineering and history at Duke University put it this way:


“Successes are not very interesting… they don’t teach us anything…failure … presents real lessons to be learned, because there’s no ambiguity. When something fails, it failed.”

If failure is inevitable then success is contingent upon your perceptions, actions and recovery from a failure. From that informed point of view you can rationally build a learning strategy to change your attitude, update your skills or knowledge and put yourself on the path to success.




If you fail should you give up?

Should you give up when you fail at something? Maybe! That is really the truthful answer.

There are many types of failure in many aspects of our lives. We may fail at relationships, academic pursuits, or in our careers and business endeavors. I could speak to each of those areas but let me generalize a few insights that will help you learn to recognize and learn from failure.

Research has shown that that 70 percent of us fail to achieve the goals they we have set for ourselves. This tells me that failure is inevitable. But most of us don’t need research to tell us this. We feel it and we have lived it.

Deciding when to give up or press on is one of the feedback mechanism that failure offers you. Failure may inform you to make a critical change in your path that may lead to the success you have been seeking. On the other hand, failure might be indicating that you are on the wrong course and you need to pivot form your current path and go in a completely different direction. If you don’t head this feedback you might spend year’s picking up the pieces from a cascade of failures.

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley


If failure is such a great teacher why aren’t we learning?


Unlike a real teacher who has you in a captive setting, failure is more like a tutor that only shows up to teach you something if you ask for help and if you spend the energy to learn the lesson.


Here are four reasons why we failure.


We fail for reasons:

• That are self-evident

• That are unknown

• That you mislabel

• You recognize but do not take action upon


I have had rich life experiences and I have failed for all of these reasons. In retrospect, if I could fully comprehend and calculate the full measure of my failures back then, maybe I could have recognized the path forward and changed a few outcomes?

Self-evident failures:

Having the wrong attitude, the wrong knowledge, and a lack of skills are self-evident attributes that are contributing factors to most failure. Lacking one of these attributes is somewhat self-evident why you failed. You didn’t study of the test, you didn’t prepare for the meeting, and you said the wrong thing. All failures that you created if you are brave enough to acknowledge them.

Even though some of these failures are self-evident to the rational mind, they may not be that evident to us when we are in the middle of them and looking at failure through the prism of emotion.

Unknown reasons for failure:

It is also possible that you are doing all the right things but for some reason success doesn’t flow in your direction. At that moment and perhaps for years later why you failed can seem like a mystery. Sadly without examination those failures can lay dormant and remain a mystery. I would submit that while some reasons will remain a mystery, many reasons for failure can be unearthed and examined to help you learn from them.

If you’re in a spiral of failure but don’t know why it is probably because you are not appreciating their value and you are not learning from them. The good thing about a failure is that it doesn’t have an expiration date. You can learn from them long after their initial impact. I further propose that if you go deep enough and become accountable for your life those failures of the past will make sense to you and the mystery will be solved.

Mislabeled failures:

More damaging to your soul is when failures are mislabeled. We can call this blame. When you think you are doing everything right, but you later find out you were wrong this can be a sobering moment. For a multitude of bad reasons you can completely miss the point of a failure event.

Many years ago as a new product manager I was succeeding in many areas of my job, but I later came to understand I was failing in other aspects. The general manger of my division made this comment after a group presentation: “how can your product be successful and not sale?” I was doing 80%of my job right but ignoring the other 20%. At that moment I didn’t learn anything from my failure. I didn’t dig in and learn about why my product wasn’t selling, instead I blamed my sales team for lack of sales. My failures were both mislabeled and simultaneously recognized by me but I failed to take corrective action.

Failures that you don’t act upon:

I could see the failure. It was in mathematical terms. My product wasn’t selling. However, the failure didn’t teach my anything because I was unwilling to learn. It is important to note that recognizing failure is only the start of gaining value from that analysis. In my example, if I would recognized my failure I may have stopped short by saying to myself “Yeah my product is not selling and I don’t understand 20% of my job. I’m stupid. The end.” I think, even for the self-conscious and for the seekers of success, we often just let a failure like this have that level impact. We deflect, we set a new goal and move on. We don’t seek to understand if our attitude, knowledge, or skills are contributing factor to our failure.

What I should have done is recognize my failure and then created a learning strategy that would have helped me understand what is missing from my tool kit as a product manager.

If a failure is going to help you become more, become better, or become successful you need to not only recognize that you failed, but I need that experience to inform your strategy or system for becoming better.

In hindsight I should have said is: “Wow I need to own this, I need to learn more about product marketing and software development and what it takes to keep a product healthy. If I learn this now I’ll be in a better place in my career later and I’ll place myself in the crosshair of luck/ opportunity.”

However, my initial reaction is somewhat typical. I was not rational, but emotional and I just cracked that experience up to – wow my boss is a jerk – and tried to pick up my self-esteem.

So don’t do that! Be smarter than me.


What should you learn from your failures?

The story arch here is that this failure was so profound and its impact so deep that it has taken me over 6 years to place that experience within a learning framework, which has helped me pivot and truly learn from that failure. I recommend that you avoid letting a failure taint you for years as it did me. There is a difference between learning from your failures and using what you learned to make a change. If I had a system then, like I have now, I would have known how to react, how to process that event, and how to move forward in a more positive manner.

In John C. Maxwell’s book Failing Forward, he illustrates this point by relating a story about John James Audubon, who we know now as the founder of the Audubon society.

In the early 1800’s Audubon was involved in several trading and manufacturing business that all failed. Some of these were simply bad timing. For example he started a trading business with England right before the war of 1812. That of course devastated his prospects. What Audubon was good at was hunting and drawing. In fact he used his artistry as a meager part of his income for most of his adult life before he became published.

In 1826, now at the age of 41, Audubon was able to publish his book and found great success in those endeavors.


In contrast let’s take a look at Richard Branson. Branson is a billionaire, an entrepreneurs and viewed as an overall model for success. But his track record shows that he fails perhaps as much as he succeeds. Most of his Virgin product lines have failed while other have succeeded. Branson, I submit, knew when to quit and when to stick with the right investment or business. His failures didn’t inform him to change careers, rather they confirmed his overall direction. He pushed forward and in most respects he is successful.

If your goal is to become a successful entrepreneur and the failures of companies on long the way fits within your system as you keep learning and perfecting your skills than you are well aligned with Branson and everything might work out for you.

If you were not well suited for business and you’re more like an Audubon, then failure should inform you that you need to change your course and do what you’re good at, which is what Audubon did and then he became a success.


An excerpt from my book The Value of Failure:


An allegory about “Tim the Frog Guy.”

Tim loves frogs. He has loved them since he was a boy. Now in his late 20’s he is on the verge of going bankrupt because his ceramic frog business is failing. He is trying to decide if he should give it up or try to invest in a new casting process that would allow him to make more ceramic frogs.

What would a typical self-help philosophy tell Tim to do? Don’t give up on your dreams, focus, and plan, get a group of people on your side, and dream big.

What Tim needs to do is understand why he is failing right now and what that means.

Tim has limited skills in designing or making ceramic frogs. His passion has not been enough to overcome his lack of creative skills, nor is knowledge of business to find a market for his ceramic frogs. He could at this point do several things to keep his dream alive. There are many people with advice for Tim.

Here is mine: A dialog with Tim.

“Let’s take a step back. You love frogs. Do you love making ceramic frogs?” In this scenario I speak in a southern voice and sound a lot like Dr. Phil McGraw.

“No I hate it,” Tim says.

“Why did you do it then?”

“I wanted to make money doing what I love.”

“How much time to do now spend learning about frogs?” I ask.

“Very little, I’m too stressed and overworked.” Tim replies with a frustrated tone.

“Which do you love more, business or frogs?” I ask pointedly.

“Frogs of course.”

“Let’s stop thinking about how you are going make money and talk about your real dreams. What do you know about frogs that other don’t?”

“Well I know more than the average person but I’m not an expert.” Tim reports with a little more spark in his personality as we discuss frogs and not business.

“If you could be an expert would that get you out of bed each morning?” I ask wisely.

“Yes that would!”

So the gist here is that love of frogs is the why Tim gets up in the morning, but his chosen path to express that passion is all wrong for him. He doesn’t have the skills, ability or knowledge to run a business, but he does have some knowledge about frogs and is more than willing to gain skills and abilities to become an expert.

At this point Tim might be better exploring how he can still pursue his passion about frogs and make a living. If he stops worrying about how to make money from his love of frogs for a few moments his possibilities will be opened.

Maybe Tim needs to increase is knowledge about frogs. Go to college become a PHD and become an expert about frogs.

His passion for frogs may lead him to a job or it may not. Frogs might be a hobby for Tim or it might be a career.

The only way to know is to understand why you want to do something and the read the signs of failure along the way as they inform you on your path.

Let’s say the Tim goes to college and he takes a few classes on biology and doesn’t do that great. What does that failure mean? Should he quit? While trying to figure that out Tim reads and article about frogs written by a professor of biology.

Tim decided that that is what he wants to do. He will stick it out in college and frame all of his learning around the goal of becoming an expert in Frogs.

Tim eventually gets his PhD. He is still not an expert, but he studying what the experts do and says and he tries to emulate. Eventually he creates a system that gives him the skills and energy needed to become an expert in frogs. He makes a good living. He didn’t get rich, but the journey was and is rewarding.

This all happened because he conducted some failure analysis at the right time and was able to make informed choices that would manage his life is such a way that he could fulfil his goals and feed his passion about frogs.

Can Tim feel satisfied in his choices? I say yes. Tim might later learn that the company that sells the most ceramic frogs in the world knows nothing about frogs. He might learn that he would have never made it in the ceramic frog market. But that is okay because he loves real frog’s not ceramic frogs.

Tim might also come to understand that although he cares about frogs the opportunities to talk, write and work in that field of study are limited. He may only be able to achieve a certain level of success in that field and that may be a fraction of what a savvy, successful business man might make in monetary terms. But that is comparing apples to oranges. Making money vs doing what you love or what you are really good at is really the question that Tim had to find an answer to.

It is pure snake oil to tell a person like Tim (and there are a lot of Tim’s’ out there) that he can have wild success and make a lot of money if they just follow their dreams and follow the self-help steps etc.

Tim in this scenario may become an average frog expert or break out and become the most sought out expert in the world. But that is goal that you can be worked on and the same failure analysis will apply.

The truth of the matter is that Tim, and you, and I, need to figure out what we care about and then make the best of those choices. We need to embrace the realities and constraints of the real world. We need to put failures we make and failures that just occur along the way, in their proper perspective.

Success then becomes what we define based upon the choices we make as we analyze both achievements and failures throughout our life.


One of the keys to know if you are on the right track or if your plan is wrong is by taking this simple litmus test when failure occurs. Is your failure today the result of a long string of bad decisions or is the failure of today isolated to the events of the day? I think success comes to those who can interpret, categorize and segregate failures so that they don’t cripple their dreams.

No matter the type of failure, try not to fail, but if you must fail, fail the best way you can. Don’t try to avoid all risk, but set yourself up so that you can pivot from your mistakes. If failure paralyzes your momentum you need to recognize what failure is trying to teach you and then move in a purposeful direction.

The real trick is to be able to learn and learn rapidly form your failures. If you have created a system for success (whatever that might mean to you) it is much easier to learn and pivot from a failure.

If you don’t have a system that helps you react and process a failure events you can get stuck, and in doing so, you don’t move toward anything productive. You simply let the dark tar of failure simmer in your soul.

If failure is inevitable then success is contingent upon your perceptions, actions and recovery from a failure. From that informed point of view you can rationally build a learning strategy to change your attitude, update your skills or knowledge.


How to Hack Failure

Nobody wants to fail.

The failure club is not exclusive, in fact the only way not fail is, not to try. And in not trying you may still fail.

In a 2015 article from Forbes they stated that 90% of all startups fail. The 10% that succeed make mistakes, but they learn from their failures.


There are three key attributes of how successful people learn from their failures.


Frist, successful people have learned when to pivot from their failures.

p<>{color:#000;}. If you can’t do that, then you are stuck in a loop and you will fail again.

p<>{color:#000;}. They know when to give up and when to go forward.

p<>{color:#000;}. They know how to properly interpret a failure based upon what they know and have learned about themselves or their pursuit in life, and they make changes based upon new understandings.


Second, they know what to learn to be successful

p<>{color:#000;}. If you can evaluate and process a failure event you can see what you lacked in terms of knowledge, skills or attitudes that contributed to your failure. Once you realize this, you know what you need to do to learn to avoid future failures.


Lastly, successful people know how they learn best

p<>{color:#000;}. The higher the stakes the sharper our mind becomes. Successful people know how to process information and they know how their mind works best in learning mode.

p<>{color:#000;}. They also have awareness of the patterns within systems, people and within themselves. They construct targeted – on the fly – learning strategies for success. In other words they are active learners and they don’t waste time learning things that don’t help them overcome a failure.


Let me now share few samples of the research I’ve analyzed over the past year about how people can learn from their failures.

John C. Maxwell is a leadership expert and author. In his book Failing Forward he outlines numerous examples that show how perceiving and responding to failure determines whether you will be an average or an achieving person.

Maxwell’s Failing Forward is a 15-step method to achieving success through and with failure. I won’t go over all 15 steps here but here are a few steps.

  1. Learn a new definition of failure. Here Maxwell is trying to help us understand that failure is a good and powerful learning mechanism.

  1. Take action and remove fear. One of the biggest problems is the stunning effect failure can have upon us. We should not wallow in failure too long. In fact the longer you take to recover, the longer it will take you to be successful.

  1. Change your responses to failure by accepting responsibility. The blame game is a game that winners don’t play.


Tim Harford is an English economist and journalist. In this book Adapt he outlines three principles for productive failure:


Frist, Try new things.

“Expose yourself to lots of different ideas and try lots of different approaches, on the grounds that failure is common.”


Then Experiment where failure is survivable.

“Look for experimental approaches where there’s lots to learn – projects with small downsides but bigger upsides. Too often we take on projects where the cost of failure is prohibitive, and just hope for the best.”


Lastly, Recognize when you haven’t succeeded.

“This third principle is the easiest to state and the hardest to stick to: But you must understand when you’ve failed.”


ACE is the way to Hack Failure


In my research for my book last year I came up with a high level framework for hacking failure.

• Accountability

• Creativity

• Evaluation


The observations from Harford and Maxwell fit nicely under my framework. So let’s look at how you can hack failure and thus short cut to success by following the ACE framework infused with concepts from Maxwell and Harford.


Accountability for your failures

• Avoid denial

• Accept lose and don’t chase it

• Don’t revise the effects of the failure. It matters. Don’t mislabel

Create a system for corrective action

• Try new things

• Experiment where failure is survivable

Evaluate and Learn from your failures

• Gather Feedback

• Remove emotions

• Don’t get too attached to your plan

• Creating Safe Spaces to Fail

• Commit only to what’s working


The first element in the ACE frame work is Accountability:

In order to take accountably for your failures you need to understand the three psychological effects that can occur after a failure and then what you need to do to avoid them.

Frist Avoid Denial.

In Harford own words: “It seems to be the hardest thing in the world to admit we’ve made a mistake” If you can’t own a failure then you can’t make it right. The feeling of denial often occurs because of our erroneous definition of failure. No breakthrough in your life will occur if you remain in denial about your reality.

Accepting losses.

Worse than denial is to double down and try to overcome the failure with more action and more effort all pointed in the wrong direction? Harford gave this example of how poker players who’ve just lost some money are primed to make riskier bets than they’d normally take, in a hasty attempt to win the lost money back and “erase” the mistake.

Self-serving life editing.

The last effect happens when we mislabel a failure or try to paint it a different shade in the effort to convince ourselves that the mistake doesn’t matter or that it wasn’t a failure in the first place. When we revise our own history we are setting ourselves up to repeat our failures.

If you can recognize this psychological effects then you can begin to be accountable and then make correct reactions to failure.


The second element in the ACE framework is creating a system for corrective action:

I use this term creativity because we are all very creative in coming up with ways of preserving our bad behavior through faulty triggers and imperfect systems. The creativity I’m talking about is your ability to create a system that will allow you to learn from your failures and to fail successfully.

The first step is to set up a learning system which is based upon your analysis of what you need to learn to avoid a failure.

Systems or process have the power to change your behavior. Research in behavior sciences is suggesting that curiosity is a key factor in changing your behavior. For this step you need to set up a system that encourages curiosity and pattern recognition of current behaviors. This system will then lead you to target active learning experiences that address specific failures.

Try new things

Next, try new things. Failures are often the results of well-worn in behavior patterns. You need to commit to trying new things to break these patterns and cycles.

From a corporate perspective, Google has implemented this principle by trying different ideas and different approaches, on the grounds that failure is common and the more ideas you try the better your odds of hitting home run with one of them.

Creating Safe Spaces to Fail

Failures can be private or they can be public based your role and position in life. In either case you should create spaces that are conducive to learning. A safe learning space can negate the emotion effects of a failure. Corporations that nurture failure and learning within the same framework can truly hack failure and shortcut to success.


The last element in the ACE framework is evaluating and learning from your failures.

Frist Gather feedback.

If you think you are doing okay but the feedback suggest otherwise this becomes an invitation to failure analysis. In fact most people live in failure because they don’t seek nor observe feedback clues.

Feedback is essential for learning. And in terms of projects and work initiates, feedback will help you determining which experiments have succeeded and which have failed. Get feedback often and from more than one person,

Next, Remove emotions from the equation.

“It’s important to be dispassionate at times about the feedback you receive or perceive.” –Harford. Failures can stir up deep emotions. At times you need to look beyond the words of feedback and see it in context.

The key driver in getting feedback and removing emotion is to remember, that regardless of how bad things are or how bad you perceive them to be, you are wining because you know the truth and the cost and benefits of moving forward are worth paying.

As Tim Hartford said. “Being able to recognize a failure just means that you’ll be able to re-cast it into something more likely to succeed.”

Also, don’t get too attached to your plan.

We sometimes spend a lot of energy planning and hoping. The seductive nature of planning is that we tend to think plans mitigate all risk and all failure. The Titanic comes to mind.


“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

-Mike Tyson


Experiment where failure is survivable.

If you need to learn a new skill try it out in an environment that is safe and the risk of getting it wrong is low. For example if you need to improve your persuasion skills try to persuade a close friend first and then refine you skills before you try to persuade the CEO.

This level of practice will increase your ability to perform in a real situations.

Our aptitude to learn is the key factor in our ability to overcome a failure. Remember failure only persists because we do not learn.

The last step: Commit only to what is working

If you felt the effects of failure and you owned it and if you learn from it, you should be applying new skills, knowledge or attitudes. As a result you should see changes your behaviors. If these new skills or knowledge are working then go down that path and succeed. If you fail again start the A.C.E process gain.

Successful people have to try a lot things, but when you find the lever that works, then move quickly and replicate. In fact, startups that find a market and grow to meet demand are in the 10% that succeed.




Random Thoughts

If you read my book The Value of Failure you will see that I have incorporated a section in that book that is journal/appendix-like. It was kind of like the outtakes in a movie but without prudent editing.

In this book I’m going to do some prudent editing. And as the title suggest these are some random thoughts that you may find interesting.


Goals vs. systems


I want to write a new book next year but I do not have a goal to do so, I have a system in place that will help to pull me towards achieving that desire. Is that crazy?


If I had a goal to publish a book on August 24, 2017 then tomorrow if I didn’t write / work on that project I would be a failure. Goals put you in an almost continuous state of failure. –See Scott Adams book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big”, to learn more about systems and goals.


However, my system is integrated into other systems and so I understand what needs to be done to write a book and I have an idea of what I want my system to do to helps me write on that book while I do other projects. This system gives me energy and because it gives me energy I’m pulled toward the activity of writing/working on this book, and next year, sometime, I will have that book written but I didn’t have a goal. Semitics? Really not.


This is truly the power of systems versus goals because my system gives me freedom and I’ve chosen something that I want to do, the system pulls me and produces activity from me and I’m willing to do it because I want to do it. If I have a goal, the goal would be like a big club that beats me over the head every day that I’m not complaint or achieving. That is not a pleasant experience and doesn’t build or bring up your energy.


I admit that this system is based largely in part upon my prior experience in writing a book, however if I had no experience in writing a book I can still create a system for writing a book and part of that system would be learning all the different things you need to do to write a book and that’s what you really wanted to do with ae new system. It should pull you toward those activities that would help you write the book. Again a system approach is much better than a goal.


Goals don’t change behavior.

• Goals set up a feedback loop of almost continuous failure.

• Systems change behavior

• Behavior triggers learning

• Behavior increase learning capacity and thus gives you momentum to overcome failure by processing failure events within a system that provided feedback so that you can learn from your failures


Late at night thoughts:

I spent the first 20 years of my career having goals that were narrow and related to my job.

I achieved small because I aimed small.

In fact sometimes I never even aimed which made me aimless.

My main failure was that I never developed a system to help me achieve even those small goals in my career.

If you aim small you are destined to achieve small.

When I decided to aim for bigger goals or desires. I had to take everything up a notch.

I needed to learn for my failures in a different way or a different strategy. I need to come up with a system that would keep me on target and keep my energy up.


Set it and forget it goals

Set a big goal and then forget about it.

What I mean by that is don’t worry about it don’t place yourself in a in a situation where you were in continuous failure until you reach your goal. Set your goal and forget about it then expend all of your energy into creating a system that changes your behaviors and by changing your behaviors I mean changing your knowledge skills and attitudes toward a successful outcome.

So truly you set a goal and then you forget it because you’re working your system and each time you work your system your success and failure is no longer a factor in your journey to achieve your aim.



Learning Strategy


What are Learning Strategies?


A Strategy is plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim

A business strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generates a desired pattern of decision making. A strategy is therefore about how people throughout the organization should make decisions and allocate resources in order accomplish key objectives. A good strategy provides a clear roadmap, consisting of a set of guiding principles or rules, that defines the actions people in the business should take (and not take) and the things they should prioritize (and not prioritize) to achieve desired goals. -https://hbr.org/2007/09/demystifying-strategy-the-what


A learning Strategy is your plan to obtain, reframe and consume information to aid you in supporting your system for achieving or overall aim.


Students who analyze and reflect on their learning are more effective learners; that is, they are more able to acquire, retain, and apply new information and skills. Yet students often use learning strategies in a sporadic manner, applying them inappropriately or overusing the limited number they know. -http://www.nclrc.org/sailing/chapter2.html


The most effective learning strategy for the successful his problem based learning. When presented with a problem you are able to focus on the knowledge that you need at that moment to solve the problem and to move forward and so it’s more effective more targeted and gives you an excelled rated few of the overall success strategy resistant that is undergirding your problem based learning strategy


Successful people instinctually use learning strategies to make critical gains in their ability to be successful. Some of these strategies are:

• MicroLearning vs sequential learning

• Practical vs didactic

• Problem based vs. progressive learning

• Cognitive apprentice vs formal learning

• Actionable vs. intellectual


See Dr. Carol Dweck research in The Neuroscience of Learning

• Talks about fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset

• You can develop neural pathways so that learning sticks


Within academic educational strategies you’re learning lots of things that are not applicable to the problems you have today. This diffusions your energy and sets you up for failure whereas a problem based learning strategy gets you to the knowledge that you need at the moment and I can propel you forward.


Learning Strategy: Why do I need one?

You need a learning strategy because it will help you understand your failures within the context of your overall goal or system for success.

Once you can understand what failure means to you then you can execute the learning strategies that you have in place.

Successful people do this all the time. This can be learned. Being able to put your life and your plans in the path of opportunity can be learned.



The End.






About the Author


Shane Lester earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Professional Writing and a Master’s of Science degree in Instructional Technology with an emphasis in learning psychology from Utah State University. Shane has had a dual corporate careers in training design and software product design. Shane has published four books and is now on a mission to help people analyze their failures and create learning strategies to help them achieve their goals.

Read Shane’s blog at https://learningfromyourfailures.wordpress.com/



Other books by this author


Please visit your favorite ebook retailer to discover other books by Shane Lester:


Works of Fiction

Clan of Cain

The Conversion Conspiracy



Works of Non-Fiction

The Value of Failure

Airport Security: Tips for travelers

Faith and Fortune: A Mormon Family in Hollywood

Learning from your Failures: Strategies for Success (Coming 2018)





Connect with Shane Lester



I really appreciate you reading my book! Here are my social media coordinates:


Friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012863208198

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaneLester2016

Subscribe to my blog: https://learningfromyourfailures.wordpress.com/blog/

Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shane-lester-379075b






Hacking Failure

You can hack failure by focusing on learning how to shortcut to success. Hacking Failure will give you insights into the nature of failure and help you create learning strategies for success. Hacking failure is an unconventional look at success and failure. The key to hacking failure is creating a learning strategy for success. This book not presented from the top down- written by the academic, or the successful who view failure from a disconnected, superficial, pollyanna point of view- but rather from your perspective. Hacking failure will change everything you thought you knew about failure.

  • ISBN: 9781370136988
  • Author: Shane Lester
  • Published: 2016-10-06 19:35:09
  • Words: 6678
Hacking Failure Hacking Failure