I wrote you this great newsletter about Adele's public fail at the Grammy's this week as an example of how failing is part of being a rebel. And then wouldn't you know it, the universe delivered my own public fail to share. Here you go. Up close and personal.
I see it all the time. Maybe you don't say what you really think for fear of looking stupid. Or you fear changing careers because it's too late. Or you don't do the thing (publish a blog, ask someone to be your mentor) for fear of falling on your face publicly.
For me that fear is technology - that my newsletter system will send something that isn't finished or that I won't understand an app and will make a fool of myself in public.
Just minutes ago, in the middle of the community call with my Rebel Leadership Group, the internet and the phone went down - like in my whole neighborhood down. The women on the other end of the web interface heard me drop off into space and on my end, crickets were chirping where there had been a lively conversation. Ugh. My worst fear was coming true - public tech issues with no way to reach out for support.
Know what I did?
I panicked. (For a luxurious 10 seconds.)
Then I kicked into recovery mode, figured out solutions to complete the call, and realized that all the lessons I shared with you about Adele's failure, were lessons for me, too.
Did the Grammys stop? Nope.
Did the world end? Nope.
Did the women in my group lose faith in me because the internet didn't work for 10 minutes? Nope.
Failure connects us deeply. Every artist in the Grammy theater has failed in front of a stadium full of people. The people in my Rebel Leadership Group face failures at work. We don't wish public failure on others, and it connects us as humans when it happens.
Here are four important lessons from my (and Adele's) failure this week:
- When you put yourself out there in a big way, you will fail. It's part of the deal when you choose to play the life game. My work requires technology and vulnerability. There will be failure.
- Something is more important than the failure. For Adele, that was her tribute to George Michael. For me, it is supporting the changes and commitments the people in my coaching group are experiencing. Your important commitment helps you move quickly from failure to recovery to learning.
- The bigger fear is NOT doing the thing. Over time people are more sorry when they don't do the thing than when they do the thing and fail. To be a Corporate Rebel, you are about taking risks and putting yourself out there. What if you never ask for a mentor? Or go for that new project? Or say no to things that suk your time and energy. What's lost by letting fear drive is greater than anything gained by staying safe.
- Your graceful and public acceptance of your own failures gives others latitude to take risks. Witnessing someone else's failure and recovery is a huge relief. It promotes innovation, risk-taking, experimentation and growth.
Whew. I hope this is helpful. Ahhhh….failure.
Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me all about a failure of yours! I love to hear from you!