Leadership Lesson: Failing Your Way to the Top

//Leadership Lesson: Failing Your Way to the Top

Leadership Lesson: Failing Your Way to the Top

Looks like Carly Fiorina’s departure from Hewlett-Packard might be a momentary blip on her resume. She’s being considered to run the World Bank.

So, no matter how bad a job she did ruining one of America’s most inventive companies, there is still room at the inn.

Hey, do you realize the reporters are now calling her “Carelton” instead of Carly? What’s up with that?

Is this an image makeover? Rebranding?

Okay, no more badmouthing Carly, er Carelton. The point of this blog is to learn. So what can we learn from Carly’s fall from grace and Phoenix like resurrection?

Rule 1. It is okay to fail. We learn by failing. Failing is good. Learning from failure is better. Repeating mistakes is just dumb. Which are you?

After all, I made mistakes in my first PR job when I represented Prentice Hall . (I can admit if now. It was a long time ago and everyone who worked there then is either dead or working someplace else.) But I learned from those mistakes and that helped when I promoted Grolier. And the mistakes I made for Grolier helped me when I did publicity for AT&T. See, failing your way to the top is not only fun, you work with bigger companies!

Every second-rate speaker has used the story in Napoleon Hill’s book about JD Rockefeller NOT firing one of his senior staffers who messed up a $20 million deal (back when that was real money). “Why would I fire you,” folklore says, “I just invested $20 million in your education.” More folklore says that messed up miscreant was named Charles Schwab, who just might be related to the real Charles Schwab who seems to have done pretty well for himself.

Imagine if JD Rockefeller had kicked Old Man Schwab out into the streets of the Depression. Where would the world of discount brokerages be today? We’d all be paying full price commissions, that’s what!

So before you go firing employees and vendors who mess up, remember, their grandchildren could be the boss of your grandchildren.

So tell that to your clients the next time you mess up. I’m sure they’ll be delighted they got to know you on the way up!

Rule #2: Remember that you’ll see them on the way down. So be kind.

By |2016-11-28T23:38:48+00:00March 3rd, 2005|PR LEADS General Advice|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dan Janal, author of "Write Your Book In A Flash!" helps leaders write books so they can get more clients and sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, developmental editing and ghostwriting. For info, go to http://www.WriteYourBookInAFlash.com.

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