Ep86: Intentional Failure

26 minutes

As you can imagine, the process of learning to do a headstand is a challenging thing. But did you know that it can also lead to a powerful business metaphor about commitment and failure?

 There is a huge difference, in yoga and in business, between failing to succeed, and failing to try, and that’s the topic of this week’s story. 

Why is that important for business? 

When learning to do a headstand, the only way you don’t risk going all the way over is if you didn’t commit to going all the way up. If you aren’t regularly falling over, you need to take a look at your relationship with commitment. 

But not just in yoga – this shows up in business. 

There is an inherent truth that talks about the relationship between commitment and failure in business. Part of this is examining that there is more than one kind of failure. Some failures we take as inherent parts of the process – they don’t daunt us. Another kind of failure might feel riskier – more vulnerable – and it might look more spectacular. But the truth is, the former often gives evidence of a lack of commitment, whereas the latter gives evidence of an actual effort that simply requires more work or a few tweaks. 

How often are we failing because we are not really committing?

For instance, last week we talked about branding. Had Rachel watered down and half committed to her branding, it may have failed. That’s a different kind of failure – the failure of half measures - that we are unfortunately quite comfortable with. What we should do instead is celebrate the failures that are intrinsic to truly trying. When you give it your all, you get valuable feedback that you can fix or tweak; you will never be able to work with, fix or tweak if you don’t give the effort in the first place. 

Another key lesson we learn from this yoga story is about making it safe to fail. There are things you can do with your environment that make it a little safer to swing for the fences and make bigger commitments. Part of making it safe involves strong leadership in training. Training involves asking yourself, “which part do you need them to get at the moment?” Yes, you might need them to know everything, but you can’t teach – or learn – everything at once. Being more myopically focused on what the building block right now they need to get so that you can teach the next thing is more useful. 

 This also means your company has to be comfortable with a high degree of failure. You have to create an environment that allows for the level of commitment it requires to grow. Sometimes, the leader has to be willing to be the support wall in the headstand, to allow their people to explore how far effort needs to go. 




Note: If you are in the Baltimore area, check out the class Jodi mentions: Jamal Pender at Movement Lab https://classpass.com/classes/movement-lab-baltimore/budokon-yoga


What story do you want to tell?

So, that's our story... now, we want to hear yours!

Pull up a chair and join the conversation in our Facebook Group: bit.ly/shmsgroup


Shoot us an email: talktous@soheresmystory.com

Connect with @SHMSpodcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shmspodcast 

Text the word STORY to 345345 to get access to bonus content and weekly episode delivery.


Want to support us?

Love this podcast?

Please tell your friends, post about us, or take moment to review us & subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to the podcast!

More episodes from So, Here's My Story...

Ep225: Hoarding and Hermione

How do you strike the balance between keeping things that you might not ever need, and getting rid of things that you might regret not having?

Why is that important for business? 

Having …

Ep224: Do You Expect to Be Heard?

Do you expect to be heard? Or do you just assume that how things are is how they have to be?

Why is that important for business? 

Do you have a say or a voice? Do you expect to be heard? If …

Ep223: Tight Glutes & Communicating Needs

Like all good lessons about asking for what you need in business, this lesson starts in a massage parlor. 

Why is that important for business? 

You need to be aware of your needs (in …

Ep222: Wrestling with Adversity

When you find out you are riding with the descendent of a nationally acclaimed blind wrestler, you know you’re in for some stories. And it turns out, we can turn those stories into some …

Ep221: Replay - The Art of Finishing Well

We don't talk about endings enough, especially not ending things well, with as much celebration as we began them. And that is exactly what this episode is about.

Why is that important for …

Ep220: Diversity of Thought vs. Culture

Whether it’s politics, sports or happy hour, sometimes your company culture can make others feel uncomfortable. At what point do you make changes to …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to Ep225: Hoarding and Hermione
Start listening to Ep225: Hoarding and Hermione