Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Why Finding Someone Who Has Failed Can Lead to Success
Believe it or not, but some pretty successful companies are actively looking to hire people who have failed. We're talking about progressive companies like Intuit, General Electric, Corning and Virgin Atlantic.
According to Pauline Estrem's article, "Why Failure is Good for Success," these companies view failure as the simple byproduct of striving for success and view risk takers as having "irreplaceable experience and perseverance." Estrem calls these go-getters "veterans of failure."
Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big, celebrates those who take risk and says, "The quickest road to success is to possess an attitude toward failure of 'no fear.'"
Of course, any prospective new hire also has to have a commensurate track record of success, but don't let "failure" exclude any potential candidate from consideration. Instead, take the time to learn their story — you may find their honest replies, willingness to share lessons learned, and their forthright nature to be remarkably appealing.
Still reticent to hire a risk-taker who may have a blemish on their record? You're not alone. As Heath explains, "Failure and defeat are life's greatest teachers [but] sadly, most people, and particularly conservative corporate cultures, don't want to go there. Instead they choose to play it safe, to fly below the radar, repeating the same safe choices over and over again. They operate under the belief that if they make no waves, they attract no attention; no one will yell at them for failing because they generally never attempt anything great at which they could possibly fail (or succeed)."
When you think of it that way, hiring only people who play it safe doesn't sound so appealing after all, does it?