Friday night I was watching Charlie Rose interview Craig Venter of Human Genome fame. He and his group have just created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. The statement that really got my attention was that 99% of the experiments in the project had failed! 99% I immediately thought that without the lessons learned from those failures the project would never have succeeded. There are many lessons here for us as coaches and teachers. Redefine failure as a learning opportunity. Push the envelope, as Tom Peters says, fail forward. Learn from you mistakes and failures and keep moving in the direction of the goal. Remember to reach the goal it must be crystal clear, you need a fully functioning compass oriented to true north, along with an up to date map to help you stay on course.