(The videos are being used in meetings to start discussion or as a brainstorm idea generator at the beginning of meetings. I have created a PDF of questions to help you get the conversation going. Visit this page for all the videos and PDFs.)
There are so many ways I could have approached this video on failure.
Why failure is good. How to deal with failure. What failure really is. Failure can happen in so many ways.
Instead I chose to focus on how we treat failure in others. Yes, this is kind of touchy feely, but I felt it needed to be said.
I found a dichotomy in our behavior: we expect perfection from others and discount their worth when they make mistakes. Yet at the same time we, too, fail, yet we expect others to give us a break. To some degree we are all hypocrites in this area. For us to create a healthy work environment it is imperative that we create a culture which allows failure. Not on the life and death – critical – things. But where we can, let’s do it!
One other point I don’t make in the video is that I believe most people really try. And if they don’t, a lot of the attitude can be traced to the environment in which they work. Granted, we can’t blame the environment, but it is a huge factor.
I find that, given the opportunity, people want to be awesome. They want to flourish and grow and bedazzle others. So when I find so many people who are in a state of stupor, in a state of status quo and mediocrity, I have found that the awesomeness is almost beat out of them. Rather, they are told to conform.
After helping one group, I was repeatedly asked by many different people, “Have we beat your enthusiasm down yet?” Of course my answer was, “Not a chance.” But the sad thing was that they were asking me because it happened to them. They were waiting for the Borg to take me over.
Never. Yet I will always believe that people want to be great, it is our awesome responsibility to create the environment which will allow them to be great. And this includes the freedom to fail.