Spanx CEO Sara Blakely Offers Advice on Failure

In this class: content regarding professional development / behavior.
American accent / sotaque americano.

Vocabulary list:

Now, watch the video:

We recommend you watch the video at least twice.

In the first time, pay attention to the use of the vocabulary presented above.

Before playing it for the second time, take a look at the questions below. After watching it, try to answer them correctly. 

1. What is failure, according to Sara Blakely?
(a) Not growing a business
(b) Not trying
(c) Losing money
(d) Lying to the employees

2. According to the intrinsic idea of the video, what does failure represents to Sara Blakely?
(a) Something that has to be punished.
(b) Something we must avoid.
(c) Something that can destroy a company.
(d) A learning process.

3. Which of the statements below is incorrect?
(a) The “oops” of Spanx is a moment in which Sara tells her employees about some failures.
(b) Her father encouraged failure.
(c) There are never hidden gifts in failures.
(d) In Sara’s opinion failure is not trying.

Check the answers at the bottom of the page. 

Practice Your Listening Comprehension and Writing

Do you agree with Sara’s vision of failure? Why?

42 respostas para “Spanx CEO Sara Blakely Offers Advice to Redefine Failure”

  1. Yes, I do!

    Today, most part of the Digital Companies have this mindset about failure, the famous “Fail-fast”. For me is very important to encourage employees to try new ideas, even though will have some failures, it’s important to innovation process.

    But… Working in the Product area in some moments this mindset is not applied, in some moments you have to develop a “normal product”, these one without big innovations, due to the deadline or budget.

    1. Hello Glecio!

      Interesting opinion!
      Some tips for you:
      – most of the Digital Companies
      – For me it is very important
      – There will be some failures
      – this one without…

      Have an outstanding Friday!

  2. Good Morning for all,

    Nice vídeo, I agree a hundred percent with her, we must try and consequently learn from our mistakes, let´s practice.

    – We have to try all the things that we can and consequently fail, it is a learning process.

    – Way to go, I liked a lot of this act.

    – We have to reframe our lives and always search for new things and ideas.

    – What really matters for companies is the outcomes that the employees are able to bring, in the end, it is.

    – Make mistakes can let us a little bit embarrassed.

    – Each situation has a hidden gift behind it.

    – I realize that are many companies that don´t encourage their employees to make mistakes.

    – Sometimes, I think that it´s all worth it to work in a company, in my book it is better to have my own business.

    – I realized that Throughout the history of Spanx they encourage their people to make mistakes.

    Great week for us.

    1. Hey Matheus!
      Excellent, way to go! 😉
      Making mistakes is an important part of the learning process…once you recognize it, things flow more naturally!
      Some corrections:
      – I liked this act a lot
      – What really matters to companies are the outcomes that the employees are able to bring, in the end, that’s it.
      – Making mistakes can make us…
      – There are many companies
      – Sometimes, I think that it´s all worth it to work in a company- better: I think that it’s not worth it to work in a company
      – They have been encouraging their employees

      Have a nice Friday!

      1. Hi Karen,

        No doubt, we have to make mistakes, in your point of view, I’m improving my knowledge? I see many reviews note that I think regarding it,

        Nice day and Friday!

  3. Yes, I totally agree.

    For example, to learn a new languague you probable will make many mistakes. However, it´s part of the learning process.

    I made several mistakes in English, even today lol…. I learn from my mistakes.
    It´s embarrassed, but we have to try. Let´s practice!

    1. Hi Elizabeth!
      You’re right! What really matters is to keep practicing! Practice leads to perfection, that’s what I say! 😉

      Just some tips for you:
      – when learning a language*
      – you will probably make many mistakes
      – It’s embarrassing
      Keep it up!! Have a nice Friday!

  4. Hi everyone !!

    I totally agree with her, because every time we fail, we have a new opportunity to get better. I have a dream that most people think like her, specially who are in high positions in the companies. Unfortunately, the reality is totally different in Brazil. Since the childhood we learn to be the first in everything. If you reach the second place, you’re a loser !! If you go bankrupt your business, you’re a loser for the society. In America, they have other mindset, at least about starting new business. In my opinion, America is the best place in the world for entrepreneurs.

    Don’t give up !!

    See ya !!

    1. Fantastic comment, Felipe!

      This is true and I see it reflected even in sports. Brazilian athletes that are highly respected abroad, but here people make fun because they “just” reached second place.

      Just a tiny correction:

      – If you go bankrupt, you are a loser OR – If your business go bankrupt, you are a loser.

  5. Hi everyone. Sara’s point of view it is totally outside of box because she can bring and remind us about something that happen in our lives: fail it is part of our process to get better and improve our knowledge.
    It is hard to understand and bring as philosophy of life because failure means your are a LOSER and nobody wants to be friend with that. But if you take all of the hidden lessons that bring to us it makes us special and more human being.

  6. Hello,
    I was not used to think like Sara some years ago, because I was thought that failing was a bad thing. Nowadays, I am changing my mind, I am still afraid of failure, but when I fail, I am able to learn from it, and to realize what I need to improve the next time.

  7. Hi Augusto and Ho,

    Let’s practice the vocabulary:

    1) If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
    2) Failures sometimes are necessary to achieving the success.
    3) Way to go, Sarah, you really rocked !
    4) You should reframe that situation, if you want to be succesful in this company.
    5) The process outcome must be assessed daily..
    6) I totally am embarrassed with my daughter’s behavior. Sorry !!
    7) Every experience brings hidden gifts, but you need to pay attention on them.
    8) I realized that you are overseeing the employees.
    9) This event was one of the most important throughout the history of our company.
    10) It’s all worth it studying every day on the Outliers platform.

    Cheers !!

    1. Hi Felipe,

      Please find some minor adjustments below:

      2) Failures sometimes are necessary to achieving the success.

      4) You should reframe that situation, if you want to be successful in this company.

      6) I am totally embarrassed with my daughter’s behavior. Sorry !!

  8. I totally agree with Sara. It is important not to face our failures with fear but with courageous. The learning process is the wheel to daily improvement

  9. I agree with Sara, even if most of the time I’m still afraid of failure, but I know I have to keep trying and never give up. It’s all a process that I have to pass though.

    1. Good point, Jennifer.

      I believe that everyone is a little bit afraid of failure, but if we face it positively, we tend to have a better learning curve in everything we do.

  10. Good morning to everyone!

    I totally agree with Sara’s ideas in many situations.

    Whenever we face difficulties, we must seek new ideas to solve our problems, mainly related to our professional life.

    And we can always learn from mistakes made during the process.

    I always try to develop myself to the maximum when I come across a problem situation, analyzing all the possibilities so that this error does not happen again.

    A great thursday to all

    1. I totally agree with her otherwise we may not change our perspective. It’s not easy though
      • realizing that our budget has increased a lot this month .
      • it’s never been easier to hire a hebe during this time of the year.

  11. What wonderful classes! Essential subjects taught clearly and objectively. I’m loving your classes. You’re the best

  12. That is a wonderful mindset because failure is part of life. And accept that help us to focus on priorities. Fail fast, make it right again even faster. Thank you for the amazing class!

  13. Hello Guys!
    What an amazing vídeo!
    First of all, I agree with Sara Blakely.
    I used to be afraid of failing, for fear that others would laugh at me. But the truth is that making mistakes is part of the process, and it’s through them that we can make things right.

  14. Yes, I agree with sara’s vision of failure if the person understud the point of failure…sometimes we need some coach to help us see where are the mistake!

  15. I think that when we fail we should learn about it.
    then it’s all worth it…So, learned lessons and/or Hidden gifts from our failures.
    In my opinion, the way that we reframe the failure moment is the big answer to overcoming all the next challenging situations

    1. Hello Francisco!

      Definitely, there’s always something to be learnt from failures, maybe even more than when we do things right!

      Please find some minor corrections below:
      – learn from it
      – lessons learnt (or learned) are gifts hidden in our failures
      – to overcome
      Keep posting your comments! Bye! 😉

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