I enjoyed reading some of the recent press regarding a major venture capital investment in the residential rental real estate company started by one of WeWork’s co-founders. But one quote in particular from part of that press (below) really stuck with me, for very different reasons.
The ability to fail and try again is essential to human development and success – whether in parenting, coaching or the chance to start a new business, we all know some variation of the adage that “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. We even see it in law, with concepts such as notice and redress rights, and the ability to reorganize in the event of bankruptcy. Of course, there are circumstances in which there is really no possibility of failing (scary!), but in general, the possibility of a second chance can be an important psychological safety net when you push yourself during your first attempt, and getting another chance can be a big motivation to push yourself even harder to succeed on your second try.
However, not all of us have that chance, and a corollary of the concept above is that not having a second chance can be devastating, especially when others do. Any inequality, whether based on gender, race or otherwise, can reduce the opportunities for some people to fail and try again, which can negatively impact self-confidence and the success rate of nobody. And on a systemic level, this bias actually hurts all of us, at all levels of society and business, because – whether as part of a family, a team, a business unit or business – we all ultimately benefit from collective autonomy. confidence and success.
Life isn’t always fair, I know that. But whenever possible, we all deserve the opportunity to fail and “try, try, try again” until we succeed, and I hope to do my part personally and professionally!