err, do a flop, failure can be beneficial, if three conditions are met: rule out any denial of the failure, to distinguish the failure of the person, take the time to ask. This is what the writer and philosopher Charles Pépin demonstrates in his essay “The virtues of failure” (Editions Allary, September 2016). An attitude not so common in business. Major key points to make the most of his crashes at work (and elsewhere).

1. “Fast fail, fast track”

the opposite of our French culture, the Americans think that it is necessary to hurry up to fail (fast fail), rather than attempting to succeed fast (fast track). The personalities who have succeeded in entrepreneurship, sports, politics, the arts, all have experienced and thought about the failure in their infancy, at the time of the years of training.

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It was during his youth that we learn the most quickly, that you can change the look. This avoids getting stuck on the rails until retirement. It is better to fail early, fast, quickly corrected, that no failure at all.

2. Pause Mode

The failure forces them to stop, not to do nothing, but to listen to what he has to say to us, our vocation, our choices, our behaviors. I disagree with the psychology-positive anglo-saxon, which advocates to bounce back very quickly. This is the principle of the trampoline, the more we sink, the more it bounces high. Risky !

It is necessary to offer the chance to stop and really imagine themselves in five years. I am often told, “I don’t have the time”. Because we are convinced that it is physically impossible. But this is false. The reverse is even more hard to cash out that I am still in denial.

3. Miss is not to be missed

This distinction is essential, because we often confuse the failure of our project and the failure of our person. To fail, it is necessary that my project faces are brutally real, that it goes wrong, and that I feel the sense of failure, that I live painfully.

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This feeling is interesting, because it allows the questioning. However, it is important to avoid any identification of excessive – processes are well analyzed by Freud – to the misfortune, and to avoid to sink in the guilt. The failure is “mine” but it is not “me”.

4. Test of endurance

Failure provides a measure of its resilience in the face of adversity. Great figures such as Churchill or Barbara are reinforced by the disappointments and flops in succession. They have confirmed in their profound desire, they have forged the character. At its inception, Barbara was a whistle by the public, she has missed the auditions, and has agreed to be diving in a cabaret before knowing the success ten years later. The aspiration, the determination was stronger. Nelson Mandela once said “I never loose, I win or I learn.”. His destiny was exceptional.

5. Open window

Sometimes the failure relieves, releases, because the direction taken was not fair. And if sometimes it was not a mistake but done on purpose? I think Soichiro Honda, the inventor of the famous motorcycle and automobile, who missed his job interview at Toyota. This “missed note” has referred to the creation of the company, it has found its way.

The failure is often the opportunity to branch off, to re-invent themselves, get closer to its “axis”. It leads us to touch the earth, prevents the stubbornness and stimulates creativity. A door closes but a window opens. “I have not failed thousands of times, I managed thousands of attempts that have not worked” loved to repeat the founder of General Electric, Thomas Edison. Failure allows you to do better than I would have managed without it.

6. Wisdom of failure

The insurer-mutual Covéa has been organizing since several years, monthly seminars, where managers tell of their failures and explain what they have learned. The gaze distanced, analysis, brainstorming sessions that call the failures are just as essential after the success, not to fall off the top when it stops. Men such as David Bowie, Richard Branson did not let itself be enclosed by the success. The singer with a thousand faces has constantly changed style, the founder of Virgin’s strategy.

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The coach Claude Onesta, after dozens of trophies won with the team of France of handball, relativisait and analysed the victory as if it were a defeat. He was looking for the keys to go further away, to renew themselves in a single objective : to continue to win. Finally, the worst of the failures, it is nothing to try. When we fail, we managed to dare.”

Charles Pépin, philosopher and author of “The self-confidence, a philosophy (Editions Allary, 2018) and “The virtues of failure” (Editions Allary, 2016). He hosts on Mondays Philo at the cinema MK2 Odeon Paris

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Charles Pépin, philosopher and author of “The self-confidence, a philosophy (Editions Allary, 2018) and “The virtues of failure” (Editions Allary, 2016). He hosts on Mondays Philo to the followingnema MK2 Odeon Paris