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Stress and failure: Brené Brown, and Dropbox, Google execs share

17 lessons on stress and failure from top authors and execs

Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.  Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox (speaking to MIT graduates).

It’s sort of a lonely job. The adage that it’s lonely—the CEO job is lonely —is accurate in a lot of ways. I’m not looking for any sympathy. You have to recognize that you have blind spots. We all do. Blind spots move, and you want to not just have really bright people around you, but people who will push on you and people to bring out the best in you. 
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple (quoted in Macworld).
If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.
Brené Brown, author of Dare to Lead, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong.

Successful, bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure. They instead commit the fundamental attribution error, which is if something good happens, it’s because I’m a genius. If something bad happens, it’s because someone’s an idiot, or I didn’t get the resources, or the market moved.
Laszlo Bock, former senior vp of people operations at Google, (quoted in CNBC article).

The first thing in a crisis is to accept your situation. Then create time. Time gives you options. A crisis hits fast. You need to manage your way through the first 30 secs where you want to run away or freeze or do things that are not helpful. You have to keep calm and manage your way through the processes without panic. 
Richard de Crespigny, Fly!

Capacity in a founder is more important than capability. Physical, mental and emotional stamina, resilience, awareness, and adaptability are the key attributes needed, because all founders will deal with a large amount of failure. We need to adjust our relationship with failure in this country. The U.S. has a far more liberal attitude towards entrepreneurial failure.  
Jamie Pride, Unicorn Tears

I’ve failed more than most people, and that’s a symptom of shipping a lot. A low moment would be when you might give up hope, surrounded by despair or hatred or sorrow …. in those moments I try to be generous. There is someone who needs to be seen by you, and be understood by you. 
Seth Godin, This is Marketing

Are you suffering for your work? A lot of leaders deeply, deeply suffer, often to the point where they aren’t able to continue the growth of their company. Your life might look great but it won’t feel great. Don’t ignore your mind, body, and spirit.
Kevin Lawrence, Your Oxygen Mask First

Transparency is important. The more information you can share the more you empower other people. Encourage staff to be courageous. Give staff who offer up criticism a big hug and say “Thanks, I didn’t enjoy hearing that but it was important you brought that up”.  
John Spence, Awesomely Simple

It can be painful but it’s better to have clarity than not. Operating with a lack of clarity drains you of psychic energy and it drains you of time. Then, there are the long-term decisions made on wrong or foggy information, which is dangerous. 
Karen Martin, Clarity First

We are wary of new ideas because of stranger danger. In-group and out-group psychology describes how anyone new to a group is categorised as safe or a potential threat. Nowadays it’s not very useful. Anyone who expresses ideas which is outside what we know, we view as possibly dangerous. This is ancient brain wiring below the surface. It stabs us in the back today. 
Shane Snow, Dream Teams

We don’t have a suite of positive and negative behaviours. We just have favoured behaviours that narrow as pressure builds. Stress can make asset behaviours into liabilities. 
Warren Kennaugh, Fit

Take a clarity break…time away from the office to think.  Get yourself a clarity break journal. Your direct reports are looking to you to think - if you’re not doing that and you’re all stressed out, you’re not helping anyone. It can be lonely as a boss so you need to think about your work but also your life. 
Rene Boer, How to be a Great Boss

Companies without purpose make less: A recent study found 42 percent of purpose-starved companies saw a decline in growth. Another study found that disengaged teams sacrifice about 17.4 cents on the dollar in profit.
Lisa MacCallum, Inspired INC.

You are the source of your own supply. This was my mentor’s advice to me, and is good when feeling impostor syndrome. My lowest moment was when I had to fire 300 people around the time of the dot com crash fallout (in 2002) and it was depressing. There was no silver bullet. I took a year off to reflect and recover. 
Nathalie Molina Niño, Leapfrog

Your employee starts crying during meeting? Don’t say “Don’t take it personally”. It IS personal to hear feedback, and it’s okay that someone is upset. Say “I’m sorry you’re upset. My goal is not to upset you, my goal is to help you to grow and improve.”  If you can’t stand tears, don’t tell them they can’t cry. Tissues just exacerbate the problem. Hand them instead a bottle of water with a screw top lid. It will be a better distraction. 
Kim Scott, Radical Candour

To increase co-operation, connection, cohesion try a vulnerability loop. It’s when one person sends a signal of vulnerability and then the other person sends a signal of vulnerability. If you do that with a group they will perform better together. 
Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code.

Tickets are selling fast to The Growth Faculty July 2019 event with Dr Brené Brown, author of Dare to Lead, and star of her own Netflix special on April 19. For more information on this event and bookings, click here. 

Members of The Growth Faculty receive discounts to events, as well as accessing a library of great ideas through interviews with bestselling international authors. To become a member, 
click here.