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The Privilege to Fail

There is nothing more devastating to the employer, employee relationship than for the employee to be shamed by failure. Failure is subjective and must be recognized as such...failure is not so much missing the mark, but rather should be recognized as a success in determining where the mark is not. In the absence of a "fail-proof" path to success, discovering the paths that do not lead to an identified success can be a long-standing benefit with great learning opportunity to the individual, the team, and the organization. A leader or organization who is intolerant of failure is an organization or leader who is risk-averse and will create a team of risk-adverse members; no one deserves to feel shamed for finding paths that miss the mark.


A supervisor who steals the opportunity for a team member to feel the joy of success is disheartening; the supervisor who rejects the safety of failing is despicable.


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