There are a lot of phrases, clauses, and sentences I regularly hear that tell me more than I wanted to know about the speaker. When I hear the statement “Failure is not an option,” I assume the speaker means “I am an idiot.” To date, I have not been disappointed.

As far as I’m concerned, that statement is an acceptance that any accident of chance will render the speaker’s plans unusable. That is to say, the speaker is not only admitting that he has no backup plan, but he is also admitting that the depth of his analysis thus far has been so limited as to consider only the case that everything worked precisely as expected from beginning to end. More bluntly, this means that a minor change effects complete disaster. I’m not sure that is tactically smart.