Was your school the springboard for your success at work? Did it teach you valuable lessons such as that it is normal and acceptable not always to succeed?
Wimbledon High School for Girls, one of the country’s top independent schools, is holding a Failure Week this week, deliberately to expose the positive aspects of failure. And rightly so.
For every product that is launched and proves a success, there will be many more that did not make it beyond the drawing board. Some will have progressed to design stage, they might even have been launched, but then they flopped.
Behind every pitch that leads to new business are hours, even days, spent on proposals that were unsuccessful.
In hospitals, not every life will be saved. Firefighters will not always gain fast control of the flames. Paramedics in ambulances will not always reach an accident in time. Police will not solve every crime. Business profits will fall as well as rise.
Yet, in businesses where failure is not managed well, it can infiltrate the corporate culture increasing absenteeism and reducing confidence. It can lead to bad decision-making, affect leadership and compromise teams – or drive people to retreat, taking sickies to hide their stress or depression. It diminishes morale and affects performance. It can affect decision-makers and leaders just as much as ordinary employees. It can devastate sole-traders and others who are self-employed.
It need not be like that.
Working at peak performance, attaining success and satisfaction, must include an element of “daring to fail and daring to get it wrong”, as the school’s headmistress (a former management consultant) said. We see this clearly on the sports pitch and the tennis court – and in particular in media interviews afterwards, when most sports people respond by framing their failure in one match in a wider context – of the tournament or their overall performance during that sports year. There are lessons here for the world of work.
Businesses that invest in building resilience among their people – fostering a culture that encourages everyone to see the positives in the negatives and to consider failure a part of learning and refining – will be much better able to withstand the knocks that everyone, and every business, faces. By helping individuals, teams, leaders and decision-makers to see their failures differently - through coaching, training or counselling - businesses will be better able to expand their capacity for growth and success.
If you would like your people, at whatever level they are in your business, to build their resilience do get in touch.
07/02/2012 | Posted in Training, Team building, Success, Stress, Resilience, Presenteeism, Performance, Morale, Leadership, Feedback, Confidence, Coaching, Absenteeism,
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