Failure, Improvement, Leadership


I just retweeted the message below and while I’m not going to go into the details of who said it and the controversy around his lifes work, the message of the quote resonated.


Think back to when you last did something amazing or you more impressive work?

In all cases, one of the key ingredients will have been your enthusiasm for the inevitable outcome.

  • Enthusiasm will have led to your desire to put in more than just what was expected
  • Enthusiasm will have given you the will to push past the inevitable roadblocks that might have made you take a step back
  • Enthusiasm will have allowed you to take any negative energy and focus it outwards to create even better results.

As a leader within your organisation it is vital that you nurture the enthusiasm within your developers.

Without that enthusiasm the results you get will always be ‘average’, ‘as expected’, ‘mediocre’. And mediocre didn’t change anything, ever.

But enthusiasm is so easily destroyed. A single bad decision, a single wrong word or a single misguided opinion can crush it.

So to avoid breaking that enthusiasm – because shit does happen – you have to make sure it’s built on solid foundations

  • Opinions are listened to and importantly given space to breath
  • Developers feel trusted to experience, play and try things out
  • There is an appreciation that failure is acceptable (if it’s honest failure)
  • Ideas and requirements are not just a waterfall of demands but a true discussion

There are, of course, many ways in which to grow enthusiasm  which is really what this blog and a number of other management and leadership blogs are about.  It’s fundamental to the success of the teams you are leading.

If the base of that enthusiasm is strong and instilled into your culture then any knocks to the project or disagreements about what is the best course of action can strengthen your developers resolve to create truly excellent products.

Without it, you’re just going to be stuck as mediocre.

Title image by Kapuschinsky.

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