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July 29, 2011



Thanks for this post. Adding survivorship bias into the mix seems like the complement to success stories. I expect that the majority of leaders are honestly trying to "get it right" and so gravitate towards the positive.

Wonder if those same leaders would see themselves in the "don't do this" books of if their hubris would prevent them from seeing where the bullet holes don't exist?


what are some examples are books that discuss leadership failures?


This is good. I work with student leaders on a daily basis. I do my best to create space for them to fail because they learn and r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r the lessons they learned from their failures and mistakes.


Thanks all for the great comments.

Andy, I think most leaders (and everyone else) tend to focus on their wins and hide their losses. Because of this, I'd bet they overlook portraits similar to theirs in the "don't do it" books.

Joe, unfortunately, a lot of these lessons have to come from academic research or a compounding of experiences (read: cases). Tim Harford's new book does a great job outlining how to learn from ones own failures though. I'd start there.

Timage, sounds like you're giving them some real wisdom. Ever thought about a career in Senior Executive Coaching?

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