Don’t fear failure. But do respect it.

Leaders are encouraged to not be afraid of failure. And I get this. To an extent.

It’s rare that something great is created without the risk of failure. And bravery is knowing there is a risk of failure in doing something great, yet going ahead and doing it.

But foolhardiness is to do it without giving serious consideration to managing the risk.

And wastefulness is not to learn from it if it goes wrong.

But consider how your team would feel about following you from one failure to the next? Sure, the rationale behind failure is to be constantly learning. Yet is a track record of too many failures something people want to follow?

So absolutely don’t be afraid of failure. Take the risk to create something magnificent. But don’t treat it lightly. Don’t go into it without a credible plan of how to give it the best chance of success, and a plan of what to do if it goes belly-up. Because as great as are the rewards for you and your team if you do create something of value, you’ll have no team and no organisation if your track record is one of simply one failure after the next.

Don’t fear failure. But do respect it.

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