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In a world of highly curated social media there is no place for failure.

Entrepreneurs strive to create the next unicorn.

And leaders fear being exposed as not having all the answers or appearing vulnerable.

So as an Expert-in-Residence and Mentor it was refreshing to meet early-stage entrepreneurs at the Imperial Enterprise Lab Summer Party. In sharing their stories and aspirations it was clear that many had encountered obstacles, naysayers and failed at various points in their lives and in the start up of their businesses.

Yet they ‘took it on the chin’, strengthened their resolve to succeed and developed different strategies to overcome their challenges and embrace opportunities from a reframed perspective. As they recounted their experiences they exhibited what Prof Carol S Dweck called a ‘growth’ rather than ‘fixed’ mindset.

In our book ‘Humble Crumbles: Savouring the crumbs of wisdom from the rise and fall of Humble Pie’ Paul O’Donnell  and I explore one of his businesses that didn’t make it. Paul courageously discusses the blind spots that impaired his decision-making and how his fear of failure impacted his attitudes and the way he interacted with his various stakeholders.

We conclude that failure has a purpose and real value in the path to success. Entrepreneurs, and leaders alike, have a much greater probability of success if they not only analyse the market opportunity, but also spend time discovering their own motivations, fears, drivers and blind spots.  

Greater self-awareness, coupled with acting on that insight, enables us to engage more effectively with others, to collaborate better and not to ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’, because you appreciate their nuances and diversity.

When have you turned an obstacle around to propel you to success?

What insights have you gained as you’ve become more self-aware?

If you would like to improve your self-awareness, how you engage with your team and the likelihood of success contact or +44 (0)7952 068133.

You can buy a copy of Humble Crumbles at bookstores or online at Amazon.


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