In February of 1963, in Brooklyn, New York, Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, and earned the title of the greatest basketball player of all time. At 6 ft 6 inches, MJ joined the Bulls in 1984, and quickly became a fan favorite, known for his incredible leaping ability and scoring. He still holds the NBA record for highest career regular shooting scoring average (30.12 points per game) and playoff shooting average (33.45 points per game). He was such a force that teams created “Jordan Rules” – defensive strategies to limit his scoring during games.
But today it’s not the shots that went in that I want to talk about. It’s the shots that didn’t.
I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I've lost almost 300 games.
26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
This mindset is one that we see from star athletes around the globe, time and time again. It’s something that we talk about to children (“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”). But it’s also something that we don’t celebrate or talk about. Today I want to talk about one of Impact Network’s greatest failures.
When we started out in 2007, we started by building schools in rural Zambia. We knew about the millions of children who were shut out of the educational system. We knew that, especially in rural areas, bringing access to education would transform communities. We knew that providing a safe and secure space to learn was important. But after completing the construction on several schools, we saw that while the buildings were impressive, the level of education being received by the hundreds of students in attendance was not. Building was the easier step.
In 2010, we shifted our focus beyond the build, to create a solution that could deliver high-quality education year in and year out, while keeping costs to a minimum. We researched how this could be done, looking into scores of strategies used across the globe. Today, we believe that the highest impact way to accomplish this is to provide technology to classrooms, and empower teachers with comprehensive coaching and training. But we are always changing, always experimenting, and always trying new things to prove ourselves wrong. We have some incredible new programs to test out in 2019 – from piloting homework programs to early childhood education. Stay tuned for our failures, and hopefully, some of our successes too!