So how do you get people over their fear of failure? When things go wrong, blame systems and procedures, not people.
People get defensive and afraid; systems don’t, which makes them the perfect thing to point your finger at.
A system wasn’t followed? Ah, we didn’t train enough! Let’s improve our training regimen as a part of the system!
A system doesn’t exist? Well, how could anyone be at fault for trying something new? If we’re going to do this thing often, let’s build a system based on what we learned!
A system isn’t perfect? Well, nobody’s perfect! No sweat, System! Let’s just work on getting better, eh? Let’s hold a System Review Meeting.
This works in almost every scenario. Do this right, and the defensive walls come down, your team focuses on the core of the problem, and the fear of failure disappears. You have a team of Eli Mannings – excited about a positive result rather than focusing on consequence of error.
I would argue that’s a great thing. Eli finished his career 117-117 as a starter – exactly .500 – but he led his team to more than one championship, which only eight quarterbacks have done. As many people have walked on the moon. He beat the undisputed GOAT Tom Brady in both Super Bowls, and he made the hallmark throw in both games (Helmet Catch
, Manning to Manningham
). For my money, he had one of the greatest careers in sports.
If you’re doing something difficult, your team is going to miss as much as it hits. What matters is having a team that will keep taking shots.
Need a System Review Meeting Template? Reply to this email and I’ll send you a format that works great.