The things happening in this video are amazing (embedded at the bottom of this post) , but it is the words, especially starting at 1:51, that inspire me. They could easily become my mantra:
“Stray away from the direct path. Take risks. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because it is only from the mistakes that we learn, and it’s from the mistakes that the really interesting things happen. We may not always create or invent, but we always learn when we try.”
As leaders, it is not simply enough to say “take risks”, but it is essential to show that you are willing to do the same. This is a cultural shift from what we are used to so simply encouraging people to be courageous and creative is not enough. You need to embody it. Eddie Obeng talks about this in his Ted Talk:
All the CEOs around me, my clients, they want innovation, so they seek innovation. They say to people, “Take risks and be creative!” But unfortunately the words get transformed as they travel through the air…entering their ears…what they hear is, “Do crazy things and then I’ll fire you.” Why? Because in the old world…getting stuff wrong meant you’d failed, and how should you be treated? Well, harshly, because you could have asked somebody who had “experience.” So, we learned the answer and we carried this in our heads for 20 or 30 years…so, how should you be treated [when you fail]? You should be treated better than the people who succeed.
Changing yourself is the first step to changing a culture.