Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

Failure with Impunity

Failure with impunity.

Failure is defined as a lack of success. Impunity as exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.

When we talk about failure, we get our hackles up. Defensive words, body language, and bracing to defend. We are trained early that failure is bad. That failure deserves punishment. That we are less when we make mistakes. And much of this is summed up in a scared to fail attitude.

When we are scared to fail, we no longer take big chances, make big changes, or tackle ambitious goals. When we are scared to fail we act like turtles and retract ourselves from the world putting a toe out and testing the water. But failure (besides ethical/moral failure) is good for us. Failure helps us find limits, it helps us learn, it is essential for our journey. Awarding impunity to those we interact with every day that strive for a goal, tackle a big project, and take a chance create a safe environment to impact the world.

Failure with impunity is the best way to learn fast.

Perhaps we could all be a little less punitive.

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