In my last post I had highlighted the benefits of being a young entrepreneur in experiencing failure sooner rather than later in life (Why Youth Can Be an Advantage in Being an Entrepreneur). As I was working on that story I kept thinking about how the same advice holds true for the young employee as well. Learning from our failures doesn’t have to equate to getting older. Last week I published an article on The 5 Traits of Those Who Learn and Grow from Failure for YouTern.com, a publication focused on students looking for internships or recent college graduates.
Everyone credits Steve Jobs for the success of Apple but where would Apple be without their “failed” former CEO John Sculley who had to oust Steve Jobs from the company he founded? Not to say that their contributions were both equal but they were both instrumental in shaping Apple for its incredible success. It is well understood that organizations need different types of leaders at different times. Sometimes organizations need a good failure to create the drive that will propel them toward success. And sometimes leaders find their passion within the boiling animosity of working relationships. All of these situations were found with the Steve Jobs vs. John Sculley saga at Apple. So how can we learn from them?
As a fan of every opportunity to better understand failure and the powerful role it can play in our lives a friend recently sent me the recording of Dessa Darling’s (a.k.a. Margret Wander) 2012 commencement address to the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. Dessa earned her degree in Philosophy from the school and is a member of the indie hip hop collective Doomtree, proving that you can actually make money with a Philosophy degree. An interesting side note on Doomtree is that they truly a collective of seven members who come together to make both music and money with no contract. If a member chooses to leave the band they are free to leave with no strings attached and they will be replaced with a new member. Even before forming they seemed to understand that most bands don’t survive when one person leaves and contracts need to be unwound so they created a more fungible organization that will survive and potentially flourish with artists coming and going. This is a great example of creating a structure or process that supports a more natural state of the world.
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