RHUC Men’s BreakfastOctober 18, 2009
I gave a presentation on the rationale for writing Lessons Learned to a group of about 20 men yesterday. The group was interested in hearing experiences discussed in the book and had several relevant questions. One question was on my thoughts about the importance of the experience of failure. I believe the experience of failure is important and I talked about the image of the journey being like stepping stones across a river. Slipping and getting wet is okay so long as you dry off, learn from the experience and move on. Any manager who only expects positive outcomes from their employees and punishes those that fail will create a very conservative atmosphere that misses important new discoveries. Taking unnecessary risks along the critical path however is not a good idea if they can be avoided.
I also mentioned the importance of building upon your successes so you create a positive memory of what it takes to succeed. Failures can be a beneficial learning experience but the feeling of success is much more rewarding.