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The 360 Degree CEO by Lorraine A. Moore

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CHAPTER 4

Failure is Foundational to Innovation

Failure helps you learn very quickly. It is part of the necessary ingredient for growing quickly and transforming. Failure has got a bad rap and we [society and leaders] avoid it like the plague. That means we avoid being spectacular as well.

—Suzanne West

Failing Up

When I first met Jennifer*, she was the CEO of a $1 billion oil and gas company. She carried the reputation of being smart, strategic, and decisive. I learned that she was also an executive who supported learning through mistakes.

Two years before, her CFO had independently made the decision to invest a considerable amount of their cash holdings in AAA-rated securities. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen issues with the issuer of the ...

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