When it’s OK to fail

If you are responsible for a space program, almost every element of it must be perfect. Nothing can go wrong with the rockets or the space suit. But if the astronauts’ chicken-noodle-soup-in-a-tube doesn’t quite taste like your grandmother’s recipe, it’s OK.

For every job, some things must be perfect while others don’t have to be. Not having to be perfect opens the door to more experiments, to more ideas. The more ideas you have, the more likely you are to have a good one. Good ideas are fun and exciting and give you a competitive advantage.

Look at what you are working on today. Does it have to be perfect? Can you let your team fail repeatedly until a good idea propels you forward? Do you have (and give) the psychological safety to make mistakes and learn and grow?

In other words, do you operate in a trusting environment?

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