Reading the NYT bestselling book, Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die by Chip and Dan Heath. They confirmed an idea that struck me long ago; many books on leadership simply barrage the reader with case studies. To take this a step further… I’ve often wondered, why are failures minimized in leaders’ role? One of the most useful elements of this book is the Heath brothers’ use of the word SUCCESS as a mnemonic for; Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories. Any idea worth communicating, they contend, will achieve maximum “stickiness” once it satisfies each of these characteristics. For me the most resonant idea is symbolized in the last “S” for Stories which the authors’ translate into “Be able to act on it.” I agree whole-heartedly – Wisdom is in experience not in the outcome. For this reason I’m always on the lookout for good stories that include failure as a chief element in a leader’s evolution. For additional information on Chip and Dan Heath, visit

Share This