What would you do if there was no chance of failure?
A friend and former colleague contacted me recently asking if she could use me as a reference for job. She’s changing jobs and confident that she’s among final candidates for a position. Of course, I readily agreed. My friend is smart, talented and a lot of fun – an excellent combination that makes her an asset to any organization.
I made me think about the time when we worked together. Our paths crossed for only two and half years before I moved on to another job. The company we were working for at the time was in the midst of transformational change. The changes could have come at a high cost for all of us and in some ways, they did take their toll (long hours, long commute, beginning of the Great Recession). While we were smack in the middle of so many things; however, it didn’t feel so heavy.
This got me to thinking . . . Why?
We felt very fulfilled by our work. We supported each other. We laughed. Our company had given us permission to think big and we jumped in and did. No idea was too small or too far out there. What did it feel like to work in an atmosphere like this? In a word: energized. It was very liberating. Our brains were filled with inspiration that we brought to life.
Was it perfect? No way. There were many, many, many potholes. We didn’t always get along and we definitely didn’t always agree. But, at the end of the day, our team was powerful because our ideas were allowed to percolate, and we saw each other as collaborators who could help bring ideas to life rather than as rivals. We were limited by our own imaginations (and budgets, but that didn’t stop us).
Once during a job interview, I was asked what I would do if there was no chance of failure. For a minute the question was a bit of a showstopper because I’d never considered it before.
What would I do? In a business context, I think I’d do exactly what I did when I worked with my friend. Think big. Take bold steps. Push forward. Trust in my team. Find ways to help others succeed. Practice passionate advocacy. Celebrate together. Take pride in a job well done. Learn from mistakes. Keep moving forward.
As for a life context? All of the above with a few important additions. Treasure each moment as if it was my last. Speak my truth. Forgive. Make my joy non-negotiable. Believe in myself even when dark clouds loom. Play. Leap. Love unconditionally.
Now . . . your challenge of the moment: What would you do if there was no chance of failure?