Failure-Savvy Leadership

In our new book “The Other F Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work,” my co-author John Danner and I introduce the concept of “failure-savvy” leadership.

Failure Banner for Fast Company

The Other F Word: How to Make the Most Out of Failure

What is failure-savvy leadership?

It’s the recognition that some leaders and organizations have the ability create more productive relationships with failures when they do happen. These enlightened leaders and their teams extract insights from failures to drive more innovation and faster growth, and to create more engaged employees and team members.

Fast Company asked us to delve into this topic in more detail. Here is a brief excerpt from that article:

Failure is reality’s way of showing you what you don’t yet know. The insights failure delivers, however awkward and difficult, can change your strategy, products, and culture for the better if you’re honest, humble, and confident enough to pay attention. Savvy leaders understand that failure is a resource, one that most organizations create every day in many ways.
Companies that choose to engage constructively with failure reap two crucial benefits:

1. Failure does a great job, often painfully and publicly, of demonstrating where and how your current approach or solution is not working.

2. In the residue of those failures, you can discover the insights needed to develop new solutions or approaches to drive your next cycle of innovation or growth.

Want proof? Check out Netflix’s recent history… Contrast that scenario with how then-chairman Chip Wilson handled Lululemon’s comparably embarrassing failure of its too-sheer yoga pants by seemingly blaming some of his customers for the product’s shoddy design and manufacturing. His company survives, albeit without him.

Read more about failure-savvy leadership here:

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