More gems from drawn from Bennis’ book On Becoming a Leader that highlight embracing failure, in this case focusing on the learning dimension…


“Most of us are shaped more by negative experiences than by positive ones.  A thousand things happen in a week to each of us, but most of us remember the few lapses rather than our triumphs, because we don’t reflect.  We merely react…In fact, mistakes contain potent lesson – but only if we think them through calmly, see where we went wrong, mentally revise what we’re doing, and then act on the revisions.  When a great batter strikes out – Babe Ruth not only set a home run record, he set a strike out record as well.  Think what a great batting average is: .400 – which means a great batter fails to get a hit more than half the time.  Most of the rest of us, on the other hand, are paralyzed by our goofs.  We’re so haunted by them, so afraid that we’re going to goof again, that we become fearful of doing anything.”


“Everywhere you trip is where the treasure lies.  That’s learning from surprise, as well as adversity.  Virtually every leader I talked with would agree.”


“Ernest Hemingway said that the world breaks all of us and we grow stronger in the broken places.  That’s certainly true of leaders.  Their capability to rebound permits them to achieve, to realise their vision.”