Miserable or Magnificent Failure?

Miserable or Magnificent Failure?

We are all going to fail, at many aspects of life and business.

While failing is an unavoidable fact of life, we can choose how we fail.

To fail miserably is quiet, slow failure, defeat by unseen and unspoken obstacles, such as I can’t do this, they won’t let me go that way, or it’s not allowed in our organization to do that.

A miserable failure is when you defeat yourself, and more often than not you defeat yourself before you even start.

A magnificent failure is when you fail in action, you are in the process of change and transformation, triggered by pain or by vision and for one reason or another you just don’t make it happen.

Apple’s failure to produce and market their innovative car, with investments exceeding $10 billion US dollars, is an example of a magnificent failure.

A leader’s role is to help people fail magnificently. Not in such a way that your people sink the ship, yet in way that there is thought and action in motion, rather than have people silently, quietly failing through what could have been, should have been, but never will be because people didn’t move into action. Failing magnificently expands capability and helps people grow, failing miserably gives people the impression that they are small and incapable.

To help yourself and others fail magnificently, use the S.E.C. S.E. framework:

-Safety (psychological), fostered others by encouraging open communication, trust, and support so that people feel comfortable taking risks without fear of negative consequences.

-Example, (lead by) demonstrating a willingness to take risks and learn from failures yourself, showing that it is a natural part of growth and innovation.

-Celebrate (failure), by shifting the perspective on failure from something to be avoided to something to be learned from and celebrated as a stepping stone to success.

-Support, which is ensuring that people have the necessary resources and guidance to take calculated risks and learn from their failures.

-Encourage experimentation and create a culture that values experimentation and learning through trial and error, allowing individuals to test innovative ideas and approaches.

How about you, and your leadership team – in what ways are you supporting your people to fail magnificently or are you a part of a miserable failure culture?


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Contact Information

Dan Norenberg
Wensauerplatz 11
81245 Munich
Phone: +49 172 862 5123

About Dan Norenberg

Dan Norenberg improves leadership performance and organization results through Executive Ownershift®, his transformational growth process for executive teams. As a trusted advisor, consultant and professional speaker, Dan’s mission is to enable executive teams and their organizations to play at their best.