Why leaders need to overcome their fear of failure

In Disrupt You!, author Jay Samit says people can grow their careers with the same strategies that have shaped the world’s most innovative companies.

In Disrupt You!, author Jay Samit says people can grow their careers with the same strategies that have shaped the world’s most innovative companies.

As the retail industry undergoes massive transformation, being creative, open and agile are more important than ever. If you want to succeed, there is no accepting business as usual. That means business leaders need to take a look inward as well.

Jay Samit, best-selling author and Deloitte independent vice chairman, has been at the forefront of global trends for decades, recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on disruption and innovation. In his book, Disrupt You!, Samit describes how individuals can take the same strategies that have shaped the world’s most innovative companies and apply them to grow their career. 

Ahead of his appearance at the upcoming NRF PROTECT loss prevention conference in Dallas, Samit chatted with us about the leadership the next wave of retail requires. 

What’s the trend you see happening in the business world that excites you most?

Augmented reality is going to have a major positive impact on retail. Virtual inventory paired with an individualized customer experience powered by artificial intelligence will transform retailers into must-visit destinations. More impactful than mobile, the next 24 months will fundamentality change how consumers shop, play and interact.

What’s something you’ve noticed that holds business leaders back?

Too many leaders believe what got them to the corner office will keep them there. In this era of endless innovation, real leaders need to overcome their fear of failure and learn to experiment more. The only competitive advantage a leader has is the speed at which they can gain insights from their customer data.

More about Jay Samit

Best book I read recently is: Guns, Germs, and SteelMy favorite app: HQ.  I want to learn more about: 4D printing.  My guilty pleasure: performing magic. I unwind by: taking long walks in nature.

When do you find it hardest to take your own advice about change and disruption?

The hardest decisions are those where you have to bet the farm — when your existing market has been disrupted and you are forced to cannibalize a current revenue stream in order to position your company to grow for the long term. The worst decision is not making one and letting market forces dictate your future. You will have more regrets in life for the things you didn’t try than the things you attempted and failed at.

How do you stay current — and ahead?

The best way to predict the future is to hang out with those who are coding it. I have spent the past three decades surrounding myself with the best and brightest. If you see where the current is heading, it’s easy to ride the wave of success.

What has surprised you most in your career?

I have been most surprised by the impact one human can have on the entire planet. We now carry with us a device that connects us to 7 billion people. You only have to be right for a nanosecond to become a billionaire or change the world. We are living at a great time when each of us has the power to create positive change. Don’t ask your children what they want to do when they grow up, but rather, what problem would they like to solve.

What do you hope people will learn from you?

I believe the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.  At NRF PROTECT, I will be sharing my five tips for mastering personal transformation, and I hope attendees come away with the tools to self-disrupt and thrive.