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  • 52 Questions for Insane Conversations:

    David Nour, 52 Questions for Insane Conversations:

    52 Questions for Insane Conversations: How have you overcome a recent failure?

    Let’s face it, as Americans we don't like to fail! It's not in our nature to understand it, accept it, put up with it, like it, or ever get used to it. We see it as a sign of weakness, incompetence, or lack of willpower to overcome obstacles. I don't know about you, but ever since I was a kid, it was driven into me that failure is bad. Obviously, most of us fail professionally at some point; many of us fail at something on a daily basis!

    If you didn't fail, you wouldn't be human! So the challenge is not that you failed. For many, it's what you choose to do with that failure. That's why it's one of my favorite relationship building questions:

    Tell me about a recent failure and how you overcame it?

    It's an opportunity for candor, vulnerability, and demonstration of the capacity to learn and grow from the failure. I'm particularly interested in the situation that caused the failure. Was it people, process, or product oriented? What could you have done to be more prepared? Did you learn from Hurricane Katrina that you should always have back up plans B-C-D-E and F? Did you have access to the right resources (time, human, capital) at the right time? What was your decision making process to act or delay?

    If you believe my stated premise that every interaction is a learning opportunity, every failure is an MBA course waiting to be dissected, delved into for insights, and learned practical, pragmatic lessons to be applied to the very next chance. What you choose to do with that failure speaks a lot about you as the individual, manager, or leader you aspire to become.

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