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Listen In -> The Hard Facts of Working with People #5: Failure and Taking Risks

Is it dangerous to make mistakes where you work?

Many leaders wish their employees would take the initiative more often, contribute new ideas, point out what’s not working well, and go the extra mile for a customer.

Everyone is happy as long as everything works out.


When a mistake is made, things don’t work out, the customer gets upset, or the idea flops, there is hell to pay.

All of a sudden, all initiative disappears, no new ideas ever get presented, no critiques are offered, and everyone provides simply the bare bones minimum for customers.

What happened?

You punished risk-taking.

In this week’s episode, Claudia and I discuss building an environment that encourages risk without fear of repercussions. An environment safe enough to put new ideas out on the table without being penalized if they don’t work out.

If taking the initiative or suggesting an improvement feels like putting one’s neck on the line, then people will keep their ideas to themselves.

Far from being a disaster, failure can lead to great innovation. Failure, more commonly, leads to learning.

What about where you work?

Listen in.

Just now joining the conversation? Catch up on the entire series here.

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