Tag Archives: failure

Rethinking Failure

Failure. failure. FAILURE. What pops into your mind when you hear the word?  Is it a failed relationship? Or a job offer that never materialized? Or a mortgage that was never approved? Or a marriage that ended badly? Or maybe failure has migrated its profile to become a trait that showed up one day and lingered.  Last week a rare coffee break with a dear friend got me thinking about failure in an entirely new light. It helped me see that failure may not be any of the things I listed above or the many more that we all could add to the list.  What if we have failure all wrong? Continue reading

The right posture…

Do you lean in or lean out?  It is a question that many of us have thought about thanks to the March 2013 publication of Lean In.   That book asked women to engage themselves more fully – to lean in – albeit in a largely  corporate vein.  While interesting to consider, I’ve found another more important posture that women not only need to be aware of – they need to defy.  I call it the failure posture. Continue reading

Risk and Failure

“I finally got around to reading your interest card,” said Andrall Pearson former President and COO of Pepsi Co. and my professor during a second year course at the Harvard Business School.  His quip came as he leaned on my desk with hushed tones moments before class started.   The card, an arcane pre-Internet system – think index card – held a few sentences authored by students to convey our interests to professors.    On my card I’d divulged my dream of running an emerging business.  That day the class was scheduled to discuss a 1980’s-style emerging business, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT).   OAT was founded in 1978 by a high school anthropology teacher in her three-story house in Cambridge, Massachusetts.   My little visit from Andrall was my heads up, referred to as a soft-call, that I would be leading the class’ discussion that day.  I had about a minute and one-half to prepare. Continue reading