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Have You Failed Yet Today?

By: Rusty Keeley

At Keeley Companies we believe in the power of failure. Fail often. Fail fast. Fail forward.

Rusty Keeley

Too often in today’s work society we get trapped in an atychiphobic culture. That means fear of failure, my friends! We have ambitious goals here at Keeley, and we experience challenges every day to meet our evolving demands... A concept with which we can all relate. Yet, I have learned, when you finally embrace failure you will grow to your full potential. I am incredibly proud of the work we do and the partners we serve, and thought it was fitting to share how we have used failure as a catalyst for greatness. My hope in writing this is to spark a conversation by sharing our three-tiered failure strategy.


1. Fail Often — and Embrace Change


Our second youngest Keeley Company, ZeroDay Technology Solutions, has learned this lesson through growth. Although navigating uncharted territory has presented amazing opportunities, it has also come with its fair share of that ‘F word’…Failure. We are stronger than the sum of our parts when we come together and aren’t afraid to pivot. Change is hard, but it opens up the possibility of failure. Greater failure, however, exists in staying stagnant.


2. Fail Fast — and be ALL IN

What does it mean to be ALL IN at Keeley? Our ADB Companies faced 2017 coming off an especially challenging year, but that didn’t slow us down. We knew we needed to quickly come together — and our #ADBALLIN campaign was born. ALL IN is a way of life – it’s a constant drive and passion for excellence. It’s ALL IN. We all carry an ALL IN chip (at all times) to remind ourselves that learning from failure breeds astonishing results. We’re seeing immense growth from this mindset shift and it has brought us even closer together as an ADB family.

L Keeley Grit

3. Fail Forward — and Have Grit

Our founding company, L. Keeley Construction, has learned that one of the best ways to fail forward is through hard work, perseverance and a dedication to our team members. We get up every single day, ready to seize each project. If we fall 7 times, we rise 8. We attract gritty people who aren’t afraid of empowerment and we aspire to promote from within. We don’t fear pushing Keeley’ns out of their comfort zone to help them reach their full potential.


Here at Keeley, we have failed forward so much, we just added another company to our umbrella, Inspired Solutions, and will soon launch our fifth. We are projected to double in size in the next 5 years. I am proud and excited for what the future holds. Our people have built the right kind of culture, empowering each other to succeed and fail.

Breed a culture that allows for failure. When you embrace failure in the right direction - forward - opportunities become endless.

Here’s to you, and your next opportunity to #FailForward. Are you ready?

#KeeleyWay Wordle

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