Does failure favour the brave?

2018-10-01

You must be brave to fail suggests new insight from The Pulse Business

Sample: c550 Senior Professionals in the UK - 1st - 8th October 2018

The Pulse Business ran its fourth Pulse Perspective which suggests that its takes bravery to fail (23%) rather than a risky personality (15%) as Senior Professionals, based in the UK, voted on attitudes to failure.

As one respondent said,"It takes bravery to fail, admit it and learn from it." Interestingly 44% of those who answered the Pulse saw other factors alongside bravery, driving whether you succeed or not. One CEO observed,"It is important to give yourself permission to 'fail'. Not everything will work, or work the first time. So it's critical for innovation that you allow failure, but also learn from it."

Another Managing Director said,"The fear of failure can be a genuine barrier to success, so putting oneself in a situation where you could fail does take courage..other factors of course can impact success or failure such as timing, understanding and communication skills - these can minimise failure and increase the opportunity of success but you still need courage initially."

Opinions were mixed across the board with many choosing to define failure in a number of ways including seeing it as a 'badge of shame'. That said, one investor's perspective was,"You can learn as much from failure as you can learn from success. A successful business will be open about its failures and the causes of those failures and will be positive about its ability to solve the issues or to re-direct its efforts in a more worthwhile direction." A Senior Marketing Director from a global software company also offered,"I am not sure it is bravery or confidence that will allow you to try new things in order to improve - if you never try you will never know!"

Perhaps the last word resides with one Academic who surmised, "Success and failure, as we know, go hand in hand. It is our attitude to failure that defines us and failure itself. There is a saying that in order to achieve real success you should set yourself up with many opportunities to fail. Educational testing is all about giving students a chance to fail as well as succeed. Thereby, they set meaningful, challenging, ambitious and hopefully achievable goals. Failure should be a great motivator , the beginning not the end. It is dwelling on failure, rather than adopting productive strategies to surmount it which is destructive."
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