I Failed, And I Hope You Do Too

Photo: AdobeStock/Thomas Bethge

*For those of you who participated in our Online Culture Works Happy Hour on Thursday 7/13/17, you know it didn’t work.  Happy Hour became “Why the heck won’t this promo code work?” Hour.

And while for you, it may have been an annoying blip on your radar, the sky was falling in my office.

At 3:55pm that Thursday I was waiting for the much-anticipated launch to finally arrive.  I had reached out to my entire community and had asked them to reach out to theirs.  I had pushed past my comfort level of e-mailing more than once per week.  I’d double-checked and triple-checked all the links.  Time to fly!

Flat on the pavement.  The e-mails, the texts and the phone calls came pouring in:  the promo code doesn’t work.  WHAT?!  I literally had tunnel vision and worked to not to throw up and to keep it together.  For the next two hours I went back and forth with Amazon to not only figure out what was wrong but also to determine how to salvage the Happy Hour – to no avail.   This bird was down for the count.

Breathe.  Think.  Call my peeps.  Plan B. Not the end of the world.  Nobody’s going to die.  Breathe some more.

And out of the ashes, came Culture Works Happy Hour 2.0, which was held on 7/20/17.

Writing, publishing and marketing Culture Works has been a lesson in perseverance, hope and grit.  It’s had some really messy, ugly, frustrating moments, this being one of them.  Yet here’s what I learned and what you can apply to your teams…

  • ALWAYS keep perspective. The best piece of advice that I received in the heat of the moment came from one of my trusted advisors who reminded me in my meltdown that most of my community would think, “Oh, tech glitch.  Got it down for next Thursday instead.”
  • Failure is not nothing. Once I’d gained perspective, I was still upset.  One, because I had wasted people’s time.  There were many earnest minutes spent trying to purchase the book.  Two, there had been a lot of thoughtfulness, effort and time by my team and myself that had been put into this launch to make it “perfect.”  Three, and probably the most painful, was simply the vulnerability and horror of failing in front of my entire community.
  • Take my own medicine. I present on the value of expanding your comfort zone, and believe if you’re truly playing big in the world, failure is a given. Even in Culture Works, I recommend Carol Dweck’s work on having a Growth Mindset and quote Ray Kroc – “Be green and growing, not ripe and rotting.” As of late I’ve been feeling a particularly bright shade of fluorescent green. Being a novice throughout this entire book process has been tougher than I ever would have imagined.  I’ve learned so much.  In addition to tactical “how to” knowledge, I’ve been humbled and reminded to ask for help.   I chuckle every time I think back to my original thinking of it “couldn’t be that hard.”

So let’s raise our glass to failure!  (Along with the willingness, effort and vulnerability that took us there.)  Here’s to perseverance, grit and commitment to that which is bigger than our own fear.

As someone leading a team, remember that when you ask people to try something new, it’s not easy.  It requires vulnerability and potentially failing and looking awkward in front of others.  Help them keep perspective, acknowledge that it is hard and encourage both humility and green grit.

For more transformational workplace culture tools, grab your copy of Culture Works today!


Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom-line. She is a nationally renowned speaker and workplace culture expert.  Boesch is also the author of Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace and developer of the Choose People 360° Culture Audit. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover.

Kris Boesch is the CEO and Founder of Choose People, a company that transforms company cultures, increases employee happiness and boosts the bottom-line. She is a nationally renowned speaker and workplace culture expert. Kris is also a proud mother, dancing diva and dog lover. Check out Kris's book "Culture Works: How to Create Happiness in the Workplace" at https://www.CultureWorksBook.com, for more fabulous leadership tips and tools. Learn more about Kris's company at https://www.ChoosePeople.com or book Kris to speak at your next event at https://www.KrisBoesch.com!