Eric Cluzel, manager and friend works in a large corporation, talks about what the courage of failure means to him. He shares a story about when he had to deal with failure at work, and provides tips for using failure as motivation to become even better at work.The show notes do no justice to the wisdom of the podcast, we hope you will listen.
What is courage of failure for you?
[0:39] If you don’t have the courage to take risks, if you stay in your comfort zone, if you don’t innovate or try to, you will not have the satisfaction of developing yourself. The majority of innovation starts with several attempts. The courage of failure is to try.
“Go out there and give it your best. It’s okay if you fail. It’s okay if you don’t succeed.”
Can you share a personal story about how you have encountered failure at work?
[3:21] A few months ago, Eric had to go in front of some executives. He had to do exercises in an attempt to obtain a promotion within the company. Though he was already performing well in that position in the company, this was a mandatory step in the process with a yes/no decision. He had twenty minutes to convince people of his capabilities. It was important for Eric because it was a recognition of where he is today and his capacity to do the job.
He prepared for this assessment as you would prepare for a competition. He read books, discussed with colleagues, did some business analysis, and so on. On the day of the assessment, he was confident because of the preparation he had done but also had some fear.
“You can prepare as much as possible, but perhaps on the decision day, your body, or your material, or your feelings will put you in a situation you cannot prepare for.”
Two or three exercises went well for Eric, but in the end, the result was that he failed. He was put in a situation that did not align with his expectations.
What were some of the negative dialogues that you were having?
[6:31] Eric was thinking about the different results; if he succeeded or failed. He says that he’s a positive person, so he thought he was prepared to have a negative result, but that perhaps he wasn’t. Eric tried to not move the fault onto any other people or processes. He quickly moved from frustration to resilience.
What helped you in moving on from frustration to resilience?
[7:25] Eric got the result early in the morning. Because of the result, the temptation was to take the day off. However, he decided to go to work as usual to face his colleagues. Of course, they all came to him and asked Eric what the results were. He decided to have the courage to express to his colleague that he failed, and a lot of people were more frustrated than him.
Even with Eric’s failure, it was an incredible time for him because he received so much nice and empathetic feedback. Because it was an emotional time, people expressed to Eric their views on him. They would not have done this otherwise.
How did this impact your relationship with the process?
[11:15] Eric thinks that there is no impact today. He is still continuing on in his professional life with the same confidence he had before. Eric feels that his relationship with his team has improved because of the whole experience.
How did this impact your credibility?
[12:40] Eric knows his credibility is still there because of the feedback he receives from his management and customers. In his personal life, his family is even more proud of him than before.
“We do need to give our best, but we don’t need to push ourselves all the time. We’re good enough as we are.”
What tips can you give people for when they fail?
- [14:27] If you fail at something, it’s because you tried something. You need to be proud. People who don’t try will never fail.
- Do not let the failure decrease your credibility. Reflect, learn, and continue with even more energy.