Embracing the Fear of Failure: Why Vulnerable Teams Are the Most Innovative Teams

I have a quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship In A Republic” pinned up next to my desk. It goes like this:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”

Failure is a byproduct of great effort, not a sign of weakness

I love this speech (the entire speech is worth a read) because it reminds me that failure is a byproduct of great effort, not a sign of weakness. I want to continually remind myself and my team to make ourselves vulnerable to failure—even though it’s difficult—because vulnerability is the key to unlocking the innovation and creative potential in each and every one of us.

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