Quite often we hear, don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid of not trying. It’s about getting out there and doing it.
This declaration is indeed very true. Nothing can happen if we don’t even start it.
However, it can only work if we actually give ourself or are given permission to try and maybe fail.
We are permanently reminded on how success matters; on how it’s all about making it happen; on how failure is not an option. Even our supporters say, “make us proud, you can do this, we cannot lose here”.
Despite us starting to hear all these speeches about resilience and on how it’s all about standing up again, about authenticity and on how it’s brave to be you, about vulnerability and on how there is no shame in failing, our society is still way over-indexed on rewarding success, but doesn’t actually support people that are trying and failing.
While we need to feed our brain that we are winners, and that we definitely need to get in there with the mindset of “playing to win”, what will actually make the difference is when we silence all possible interferences.
Yes, we’ve said it before Performance = Potential – Interference (check our article to read more about that).
This permanent pressure we are under may twist are ability to win.
Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They become clear when we start working on them, when we explore.
It’s all about feeling free.
Similarly to when babies learn to walk, they’ll stumble a few times before actually getting it. Yet we will support, encourage, and won’t judge because it’s a baby who is trying and getting out of its comfort zone.
The big question is why can’t we apply that to adults; what is it that happens in the business context that makes failing at something new impossible.
The most immediate answer is that we have “a lot more” at stake when in business, as it involves money, people, responsibilities, clients …
Yet business is probably where we need the most to try new things : create a more effective process, product, ideas… as they can be catalysts to our growth.
Fostering innovation requires much more than a vision and direction from the top.
As leaders, we need to create environments where it is safe to fail.
How are you as a leader create such an environment ?
Yes, great successes come from having the freedom to fail.