Discover more from Admired Leadership Field Notes
Stoke a Healthy Fear of Failure
A devotion to succeed is naturally linked to a fear of failure for most high performers. Ask most successful leaders and performers why they have persevered, and they will tell you that a healthy fear of failure has been a driving force and motivator behind their success. Conversely, when the fear of failure becomes too strong, it can undermine the ability to focus. It can destroy the self-confidence needed to excel.
When we fear we might underperform, we act. Our hunger to achieve and not fall on our face drives us forward. We’re more open to taking risks and we get creative to solve problems others deem impossible. When we think failure is possible, we ask for help and become aggressive learners in the process. The benefits of a healthy fear of failure are legion.
So, the next time you interview a candidate for an important role, ask them if they have a fear of failure and whether this concern has served them well or poorly. If someone expresses a healthy fear of failure, it may actually imply they will be willing to outwork everyone else.
A fear of failure has proven to be a powerful motivator for some of the highest performers in history. Once you smile and share that you, too, are motivated by a healthy fear of failure, remind yourself and this candidate that proving people wrong is not nearly as powerful as proving yourself right. Now, bask in the shared understanding that fear can sometimes lend a helping hand.