Should we accept failure in a business? With Joanna Swash

December 19, 2023

In a recent episode of the Inspiring Leadership Podcast, gunnercooke founder and host Darryl Cooke interviews Welsh businesswomen, keynote speaker and business mentor Joanna Swash. Darryl is joined by co-host Sir Peter Fahy, the former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police.

Joanna is the group-CEO of Wrexham-based Moneypenny, a company she joined as the first salesperson in 2005. Moneypenny is a leading provider of outsourced customer service functions for companies. In 2021 she was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Business Council, where she advises the government on building skills resilience for the benefit of both education and business.

The following is an extract from the podcast.

I’ve been lucky to have never suffered with imposter syndrome. I look at an opportunity and I think to myself “I can do that” or “I can do that better”. Perhaps it’s out of naivety or ignorance, but with every job I’ve worked at, I’ve had that attitude.

I believe in taking calculated risks, a lot of people worry about going for the next step but if you think it through thoroughly then you should be able to take that risk. If you keep yourself grounded in reality then why not?

I look at the US compared to the UK and they are so much more comfortable with failure, it’s far more socially accepted there compared to the UK. We need to have more people who are willing to put themselves on the line to make a change in our societies.

At Moneypenny, I’ve tried hard to cultivate an acceptance of failing. If we’re not making mistakes, we’re not trying hard enough and we’re not moving fast enough. I think if you can create a culture where it’s ok for things to go slightly awry, then our teams will keep trying and innovating. It’s a much more entrepreneurial approach.

To listen to the full podcast or the rest of the series visit Spotify or Apple Podcasts..  

Previous guests of the Inspiring Leadership Podcast have included Jurgen Maier, Dr John Blakey, Vikas Shah, Alison Grade, Hassan Damluji and Damian Hughes, who discuss how to have integrity in business, the balance of process and innovation, and how CSR drives a business forward.  

Darryl is welcoming inspiring leaders who are making a difference in their business or community to join him for future episodes. Get in touch here to recommend a guest.  

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