3 Leaders Who Failed Smart and Succeeded (part 2)

Time 4 you

Wednesday 23 June 2021

“The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate,” said Thomas Watson Sr., former CEO of IBM. The key is to consistently cultivate a fail-safe culture regardless of the number of breakthroughs. Here are three leaders who failed smart again and again to repeatedly find success.

2:00 min
Focus on the journey

Influential leaders see failure as an integral part of reaching a milestone. For example, after experiencing setbacks with ventures such as Netscape, SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk responded by saying, “If things are not failing, [we] are not innovating”. His view is that if we try hard and fail, it’s not a mistake. Instead, it’s an opportunity to eliminate a faulty equation to build a better product or service. Find out here how Musk overcame his greatest challenges.

Recognise that failure is learning

While different cultures view failures differently, the key takeaway is to use the setbacks as a learning mechanism to drive impactful change. In Business @ the Speed of Thought, Bill Gates wrote that “Once you embrace unpleasant news not as negative but as evidence of a need for change, you aren’t defeated by it. You’re learning from it”. Here are three strategies to extract the best lessons from our mistakes.

Act with boldness

Progress is determined by how we fearlessly leverage the lessons from failure. This means sharing knowledge with others for collective growth and building systems that will protect against similar setbacks in the future. Oprah Winfrey, a rags-to-riches story, advises us to stay resilient and “Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire”. Here are six tips to be bold and overcome the fear of failure today.