Giving Space for Young Leaders to Fail

What unique opportunities are you giving your team members?

Summary
Transcript

Sandy Welfare, executive director of Women in Technology (WIT), shares why it’s critical to give young leaders the space to fail.

“If you don't give people space to fail, they're not going to be as good at critical thinking if it gets handed to them in terms of a solution,” says Sandy.

Watch the interview to hear Sandy describe one of the greatest lessons she learned as a young leader in the midst of sink-or-swim situation, and how it shaped her into the leader she is today.

Over the years, I've realized that we don't give young people enough space to fail. And many times, that's where unique opportunities are for a lesson learned and then a way forward. And when I was in Singapore, I had a huge SAP project and I had to go forth and say, "We're not going to make the date and we need more money. I need a million dollars," which you don't ask your boss every day for. But at the time, it was one of those situations of I needed to tell the truth and I needed to tell it in a timely fashion. And I was able to get the additional money, set a new timeline, and we made the goal. And from there, they asked me to go to Australia and do another implementation six months later.

But being in a space of having that failure and having it so public and having it so dynamic, it made me figure out a way forward. And I think that if you don't give people space to fail, they're not going to be as good at critical thinking if it gets handed to them in terms of a solution. And I think the space of young people failing and learning from those lessons and finding ways to be persistent and persevere, that's where the great lessons are.
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Sandy Welfare

Sandy Welfare is executive director of Women in Technology (WIT). She has more than 20 years of global operations experience in Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has consulted with a myriad of Fortune...

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