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    Amy C. Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School and is renowned for her research on psychological safety. She is the author of Right Kind of Wrong. In this interview, Amy sets the stage for how leaders can learn and thrive through intelligent failure.


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    Show Notes

    • “That is love in action, when you find work that you feel is almost meant for you and you can do it in a way that people seem to appreciate.” [13:04] Amy Edmondson shares her journey from engineer to her unlikely position at Harvard Business School, where her work is world-renowned.
    • “Mistakes are deviations from best practice in known territory, whereas intelligent failures are an experiment that didn’t work out the way we’d hoped.” [17:41 Why are leaders afraid to fail? Amy explains the difference between mistakes and failures. Operating a failure-free organization means there are no risks being taken. Leaders must embrace intelligent failure, fail to innovate, and ultimately fail altogether. 
    • “It’s good to have high standards, it’s good to pursue excellence but perfectionism is this crippling belief that ‘I cannot make mistakes, I cannot come up short or I’ll die.’” [25:56] Explaining perfectionism, Amy draws this mode of thinking as a mindset at odds with healthy failure. Marcel and Amy discuss how small failures and how you react and respond can help perfectionist attitudes by relieving the pressure. 
    • “If you’re a leader in an organization, get out ahead of these predictable failures in mindset and behavior that your employees and managers will fall prey to.” [37:27] Amy sets leaders up with the steps for setting up a culture that allows for healthy failure by breaking the path to perfectionism. Leaders must start emphasizing purpose and encouraging curiosity. 
    • “As soon as you remind yourself to be humble, you are almost naturally curious.” [42:47] How does humility connect to failure? Amy describes how humility allows questions to arise that you don’t have all the answers to. Providing opportunities for risks and chances to learn from these intelligent failures.

    The Book:

    Dr. Amy Edmondson: The Science of Failing Well

    Mentioned in this episode:

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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