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Management Cast


How to manage emotions when facing defeat, with Zhike Lei

25 January 2024 • by Zhike Lei in Management Cast

Professor Zhike Lei discusses how to create a failure-positive workplace and how to manage fear ...

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Experimentation can bring many benefits in the workplace. New products, cost-saving efficiencies, and profits are often the result of new and progressive ways of thinking. But having the confidence to try new methods comes with risks. Often we must fail on our way to success, and that failure can give rise to fear.

Many fear admitting mistakes, says Zhike Lei, due to shame, or the possibility of losing their position. That in turn leads teams to avoid innovation, growth, and eventually success.

So how can we lead and achieve in the face of failure?

Lei suggests managers the world over need to compensate for their negative biases and those of their team members by fostering an open and trusting environment. In her second appearance on ManagementCast, she discusses how to create a failure-positive workplace and the central role of fear in our psyche.


Zhike Lei is Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior. She is an award-winning organizational scholar and an expert on psychological safety, team dynamics, organizational learning, error management, and patient safety.

Lei studies how organizations, teams, and employees adapt and learn in complex, time-pressured, consequence-laden environments. As a global management educator, she has taught executives and PhD, DBA, EMBA, and MBA candidates, as well as undergraduates, and has won numerous teaching awards and recognitions.

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