Most CEOs will privately acknowledge their failures and the importance those failures played in their own development. The same with many great sports players. It is the defeats one learns from, rarely the victories.
Given the above, it is sad to see the statistics that so often emerge noting that many emerging talents do possess a genuine fear of failure. Harvard Business Review recently wrote about ten conditions that impede workplace improvement. Fear of failure came first in that list. Another report noted that it was estimated that over 70% of middle managers fear failure and it is one of the biggest barriers to any real change that a business wants to develop. 70% is surely beyond shocking? It creates a whole business prevention squad living within the business for all the wrong reasons.
Another report noted that many emerging talents today are more self-focused than any previous generation as they do not feel part of their business communities. The result is that they became self-orientated.
“If you want to live any kind of creative life whatsoever, you’re going to have to cope with your fear. There’s a lot of serious fear work that has to be done.”
So the question is how can this landscape of fear be changed? How can talent be enabled and will free to take the risk? With all the so-called advancement in process and technology, then surely the above is a major sign of failure too?
How many “Great Companies to work for” awards have there been in the last twenty years? Yet have things improved? There is so much research which shows that workplaces have been in decline for years.
Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame wrote in a new book, Creative Living Beyond Fear. “If you want to live any kind of creative life whatsoever, you’re going to have to cope with your fear. There’s a lot of serious fear work that has to be done.”
Many hold others to blame; the education system, league tables, student debt, business process, the declining influence of HR, poor L&D and the list can go on. In truth, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the above psychology does need to be changed.
There is a far great era to be built now; one which really focuses on big agendas, that is compassionate about society and environment, that makes companies better places to work.
It is now time to solve the fear issue.