Malcolm Gladwell on Why Failure Gives You and Your #Business An Advantage

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In the hallowed fiefdoms of business failure is considered indefensible. Employees whose aspirations created aberrant results are shunned for those who took the straight path of safety. I recall just prior to my staring my leadership and coaching business applying for a job as a college recruiter. As I accepted the position I proudly stated, “I learned valuable lessons from having been homeless.”

The two interviewers who had offered me the position abruptly rescinded the offer. Failure does more than fester. Failure creates energy to aspire greater; boldy.

Thank you for sharing.

Writes Graham Winfrey in Inc:

“For example, one of the things Gladwell points to as an advantage for people like Walmart founder Sam Walton is the fact that, prior to launching the Walmart, Walton had failed in another business. This experience allowed Walton to learn unique lessons that would help him be successful later. For this reason, failure in a job applicant’s past should be viewed as a positive in many cases, according to Gladwell.

“There’s a reasonable case you could make for that kind of criterion, but when you’re interested in talent, that’s not part of the definition of talent. That’s almost the anti-definition of talent,” he says.”

Here are my points:

  • Hire people with aberrant records. At least they tried!!
  • Support defiance of regulations that impede improvement in the process.
  • Open dialogue for frontline workers whose ideas are superior to the front office.
  • Applaud naysayers. Those who don’t always play nice.
  • Don’t allow all of your hiring decisions to be made by HR unless HR has the organizations innovation driven objectives of hiring people like Steve Jobs, Jack Welch or Sam Walton.
  • You want employees who desire to be  partners. People who take customer service and innovation as real world deliverables. Not someone disengaged waiting for payday.

As the old adage suggests, “A mistake is evidence that someone has tried to do something.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Jim

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Jim Woods is a personal and business coach, leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership training solutions. He has helped hundreds of companies and individuals improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results. See a partial list of Jim’s clients. Hire Jim Woods to Speak  | Follow us: Facebook| Follow us: Twitter | Skype ID – jim.woods79

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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Posted in Entrepreneurs, Failure

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