Paul W. Springman, a consultant for ReSource Pro, assists his clients in growing their businesses and increasing their profitability. He has a long term track record of success, and is particularly astute at coaching people to achieve peak results.
Free Your Team from Fear of Failure
In over 25 years in business, I have witnessed manager after manager miss opportunities simply because they couldn’t or wouldn’t make a decision.
Very few times was their hesitation due to lack of knowledge. More likely, it could be attributed to a fear of failure. I often told managers who suffered from this condition that it was a shame that I had more confidence in them than they appeared to have in themselves.
When Thomas Edison was asked by an associate why he continued to work on the light bulb after a series of failures, he replied that he hadn’t failed, he’d just discovered thousands of methods that didn’t work.
I translated this into my own approach and started giving managers permission to make mistakes. I let them know that my strong preference is to bring multiple new products to market, even when knowing that a handful may not work out.
“My strong preference is to bring multiple new products to market, even when knowing that a handful may not work out.”
At a recent charity event, all-time hit leader in Major League Baseball Pete Rose was asked if he wanted to be remembered by his untouched 4,256 career hits. He disagreed, saying that his most important statistic was having more than 14,000 at bats. He said he couldn’t have achieved his hit record without failing at almost 70% of his attempts.
Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to step up to bat and swing away!