CoSupport does Lifeclass!
This week part of the CoSupport crew got to attend the live filming of Oprah’s Lifeclass with Brene Brown. We couldn’t believe our luck – two of us chosen to join a group of just 130 people, all curated just for this show on vulnerability and daring greatly. It was amazing!
Brene Brown has spoken a lot about personal vulnerability, but I haven’t heard her speak much about how it relates in the corporate culture. Luckily, one of the topics she brought up at Lifeclass was that at work, the idea of failure is such a taboo. Making mistakes is a hugely shame-oriented event, and we don’t have room in our jobs for failure of any kind. The pressure to be perfect is most prominent when we head into our jobs.
I used to work for a company that very publicly devalued the idea of failure, calling mistakes “overrated” and railing that you can only learn from successes and not from making the wrong decisions at times. Imagine the kind of culture that creates when your employees know how mistakes will be treated! Such a burden was placed on the shoulders of people already struggling with perfectionism and a culture of proving yourself to the right people.
Brene had an amazing quote about this: “In a company where failure is not an option, innovation is not an option.”
Great leaders attempt to make room for failure, and give employees a soft landing just in case. Those who deny room for mistakes sell everyone short and limit the possibilities for learning and innovation.
Building a company is tough work, and bringing together the right people and the right ideas at the right time is always a fleeting crapshoot. It just is. You have to have good judgment and timing and instinct, and all those things can be derailed temporarily by emotion or circumstance. Mistakes happen, even in business. Even when you’re building a business that thus far has hit every green light. If you aren’t open to the possibility of failure – no matter how big that failure is – you can’t be flexible to the future. Flexibility is how real innovation is sparked.
See also: Why you should ignore startup failure stats.
* Brene’s episode of Lifeclass will air in two parts, Sunday, September 22 and Sunday, September 29.