Failure 101 – The Movie Is Better Than The Book

One of my favorite TED talks is Connected, but alone? by Sherry Turkle.  It is significant because it brings research behind my belief that social media DOES NOT replace talking in building healthy relationships, and that is a significant concept as Millenials, Gen X, Boomers, and any other groups continue to form teams and work together.  We already made the label/assumption mistake in the diversity conversation, and I see the world repeating that mistake with technology and generations working together.

I was so excited about the video I bought the book (Alone Together) and it has been painful to read.  One word for the book – Terrible.

So do I dismiss the video and reframe my view of Sherry Turkle?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  Failure in one form of art does not mean a voice should be dismissed.  Ten years ago I worried about failure as a career derailer, then I joined an entrepreneurial organization and realized failing fast and moving on was the measure in this world.

It still hurts to suck sometimes.  Failure is painful, regardless of the external smile people put on.  The choice is to wear the failure as a weight or as wisdom for the next opportunity.

Remember leaders – you play a significant role in helping your people with this choice.  How do you use failure with your team?

As a test:  Next meeting brainstorm around the biggest personal/team failures of the past quarter – and end with a conversation about What did I/we learn? and What will we do differently in the next 3 months because of it?  Your teams ability to do this will give you your answer on how you lead through failure/mistakes.