Should You Let Your Team Fail?

Do you let your team members do things their way?


Ivo Philbert, vice president for external relations and special projects at The Jackie Robinson Foundation, shares why it’s OK to occasionally let your team fail.

“When they do fail, it's not about, ‘I told you so,’” says Ivo. “It's not about beating them up. It's about picking them up. It's about saying, ‘It's OK. What would you have done differently?’”

Watch the video to learn more from Ivo about how failure can be a good thing for your team’s personal development, and why it’s important to have a contingency plan.

In terms of leaders letting go so some others can really embrace their own skill sets and be successful, we've gotta get out of the mindset, and I learned this along the way, that individual, my mentees, they may do it differently than how I do it. I can't expect everyone to do it the way I would do it. I can coach. I can give feedback. I can help out, but I have to let them get to it their own way.

And also, sometimes you have to let folks fail. When they do fail, it's not about, "I told you so." It's not about beating them up. It's about picking them up. It's about saying, "It's OK. What would you have done differently?"

So I'll never forget. I learned this many, many, many moons ago. I planned a big interview day conference and they talked about the storm's coming, a big snowstorm. Historically a storm hadn't hit. So we moved forward and I did not have a contingency plan. The storm hit, the first time in about ten years. It actually came to life and I was like, "Oh my gosh."

Well, the lesson for me is there will never ever, ever, be another event that I don't have a contingency. That was very young in my career. "No, we're going to be OK. I've got it all planned. We have the metrics." No. Have a contingency plan.

Ivo Philbert

Ivo Philbert is an innovative, energetic and experienced strategic leader with proven success in improving bottom line results by focusing on strategy, business development, people development, and image and branding.

Ivo is ...

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