At our monthly meet up last week, the fine folks at DFW Scrum concocted a little rope-a-dope for yours truly. The title online simply read “Agile Jeopardy“, leading me to believe we were going to play a little game to test our knowledge of the framework. In the Trebek-led gameshow, answers are the questions and questions are the answers. I’m a quick study, and read everything in front of me regarding the industry, so I walked into the room confident of my victory. This was going to be easy.
Or so I thought.
Failure is a scary word in our work today. While the startup culture has embraced failure as the best learning took in the market, the word still has chilling effects on today’s business leaders. An Amazon search reveals over 22,000 books include the word “failure” in some fashion. Another few thousand can be added on this list by changing the word to “fail”, as Ryan Babineaux does in his popular tome. Failure, as it seems, has become yet another cottage industry.
For the most part, we still do everything we can to avoid it. In my most disturbing Google search to date, I even found that certain project management circles are using something they call “best practices to avoid project failure”. I sat there wounded for a good five minutes.
Yet, the tide seems to be turning.
While I’m not proud to admit it, I am a people pleaser by nature. I’m inclined to go an extra step if I think it will gain favor in someone’s eyes, and I’m hesitant to lovingly speak tough truth if I think it will cost me that relationship. It’s debilitating to picture myself in those situations, and downright paralyzing to actually go through it. I’ve gotten a little better over the years at facing the music, but part of me will always struggle.
What’s worse, I know I’m not alone.