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Why Bosses Need to Allow People to Fail

AUGUST 23, 2021 MiddleMe

Contrary to popular belief, failure isn’t something everyone should avoid, especially for one’s career. In fact, I believe failure can help you discover points that you may not have considered before and lead you to success.

As a team leader or a manager, here are some great reasons why you should let your employees or teammates make mistakes or fail:

Helps Them Think Outside The Box

Many successful businesses today did not immediately start with success. They had to start small and do trial and error to discover what method works to succeed.

When one is allowed to fail, they will be able to look back at their mistake and use other methods or create a new one to achieve the results they need. Experimentation and innovation are a huge part of many businesses’ success.

Helps Them Adjust Their Goals

Failure allows workers to adjust their goals accordingly, especially if the methods they have used for the project did not work the first time.

For every new approach, the goals should shift accordingly. This is an important skill they need to look for in their workers because it shows how well they adapt.

Improves Their Capacity to Adapt

Failure also allows people to improve their way of adapting to any challenge that passes their way. They will be able to build a strategy around it and find a way to go forward.

Without failure, one cannot discover ways to adapt and innovate their work and keep up with the changing work environment brought by their mistakes.

Tests Their Characters

Sometimes, people change when they deal with failure. Some people change for the better and do their best to improve their work, while others change for the worse, especially if they rarely fail or cannot deal with failure well.

As a leader, you will see their characters and temperaments during this time and see how you can improve their responses. These will be teachable moments between you and your team.

Helps Them Face Up to Their Responsibilities and Mistakes

Allowing your people to fail will help them understand that they need to own up to it and find ways to deal with it if they make a mistake.

If the work environment does not permit your team to fail, they will find it hard to cope with failure once they make it and disable them from recognising their faults. Remember, each mistake is a learning opportunity.


As a team leader or employee, you shouldn’t be afraid to fail every once in a while. Failure makes a person grow and makes your success sweeter. It must also be seen as an opportunity because it will point to other possibilities you may not have explored before. However, as a leader, you need to make sure that you are realistic when dealing with mistakes and do your best to help your employees learn from them and avoid them in the future.

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