I wish you bad luck. Well, I don't actually, but the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice does. When Chief Justice John Roberts was interviewed by Carlyle Group Co-Founder, David Rubenstein, for his series, The American Story, Chief Justice Roberts told the story of when he gave the welcoming address to his son's freshman class at the start of high school.
During the speech, Chief Justice Roberts said the best lessons are learned through trying and failing and that he wishes bad luck upon the group.
It makes sense. While most parents want their kids to be on the best teams, to make the debate team or not get picked last on dodgeball, perhaps they are wrong. We want our kids to be happy. More accurately, we want our kids to not be sad. As a parent of three kids, I know the feelings of sadness all too well. It makes parents' hearts break to see their kids sad.
We don't want our kid to strike out, to miss the tackle, to come in last during a swim meet, or to forget their lines in the school play. Why is that?
If they always win growing up, are they really prepared for tough times as adults? The movies about the football star and cheerleader living in a two-bedroom apartment in dead-end jobs is because until 18, they hadn't had any hard times.
Handling success is hard for many. Overcoming failures is what allows us to actually grow as people. The problem with people in the workplace who are a part of the PTG (participation trophy generation) is they never had to overcome not winning.
As managers and leaders of companies, it's our job to allow our teams to have failures and make mistakes. We don't want Boeing-type or Exxon Valdez-like mistakes, but to have someone try something, and it fail (and it's not overly costly), is a good mistake. Giving someone a job who is on the fence because a new manager wants to give it a try is a good mistake. Taking on a client that may not fit the profile because a salesperson wants the deal may be worth it.
It's not the mistakes; it's how people overcome them. Even if employees make a mistake and a manager or C-level person comes in and saves it, now the employee has seen the right way to save a mistake. Lessons are learned.
So, I agree with Chief Justice Roberts. I wish some bad luck on your kids and some of your staff! (in moderation ) Everyone will be better off!