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A fear of failure

Give your staff the freedom to be innovative and reassure them that failure is a natural part of their professional development

23 October 2014

We are often told that one of the main differences between UK and US entrepreneurs is that British entrepreneurs are scared of the social embarrassment failure will bring, while in the US, entrepreneurs wear their previous failures as badges of honour, rather like an old war wound.
Each failure is treated as a learning curve with a heavy dose of Nietzsche thrown in for good measure; anything that doesn’t kill me just makes me stronger. Consequently they have the confidence and courage to try again.

It is of course very easy to be relaxed about the loss of someone else’s money, however there does lurk a kernel of truth in all of this. Certainly the most successful people I have met in my life have not just been the most highly motivated, they have been prepared to take risks and were not afraid of failing. They often risked the security and comfort blanket of long term employment to move into a...

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