Tell us about the moment you...FAILED.



Here at Talent Lab we love podcasts and I just happen to be on mat leave so I have been listening to them frequently, like A LOT. A reoccurring theme I keep hearing whether a podcast about business, self development or cognitive psychology is around failure and how our true learnings or "a-ha moments" in life are not through our success but through our FAILURES. Whoa. So much so that some workplaces now make it a practice to celebrate failures?!

Lets be honest, I don't often like to reflect back on these less then ideal times. In fact, they are often things I actively try to avoid thinking about. However armed with this new perspective I have been taking some time to reflect back as these are actually pivotal moments in my life. And to be honest its been kind of cathartic, its become apparent these put your head in the sand moments have definitely helped shaped who I am today. (more to come on exactly what these moments are soon).

In light of this new perspective, I spent some time reviewing our Moment interview series and here are a few failure moments that really made me pause. All of them so vulnerable, honest and brave. Check them out below and my hope is that this serves as a reminder that you have and must (at times) fail greatly. 

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” - Robert F. Kennedy

Forward by Alisha Adams, Talent Lab


Rob Warner - Founder of Spark, UK sheds some light on staying true to yourself.

Tell us about the moment you failed....

I completely failed in 2008, literally and figuratively.  It was the making of me, and I learned a huge amount from it.  I’d taken a new role at the end of 2007, and moving country for it had brought about the end of a long-term relationship.  The company I was joining had changed ownership just prior to my joining and the role I was hired for didn’t really exist any more.  Suddenly I wasn’t needed at work, and was alone in a new country.  It brought about my first experience of an issue with my mental health – I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety.  It got so bad I had to return to the UK so my parents could look after me.  The failure wasn’t that I’d become ill though – the failure was in not being true to myself.

My gut had told me that I shouldn’t take the new role as I knew the takeover was coming, and the relationship I’d been in had been dysfunctional for a long time – I both took the role AND stayed in the relationship out of some misplaced sense of pride.

Above anything, I’d failed myself and it was that which had impacted my mental health.  I learned to be true to my feelings and emotions, and it’s made me a more decisive leader and a happier person.

(Full Interview : )


Caitlin Wharton - Creative Director at Trout + Taylor sheds some light on self care.

Tell us about the moment you failed....

Pick a day! Most recently, last Friday. I lost count of the days (years) since the last vacation I took from work. Like many entrepreneurs, I had a great fear that everything in my company would collapse without me there. It was the classic case of pushing my family to the wayside and pushing myself too hard. After work one day, I just started sobbing (...I believe this is what they call a breakdown!). You guys, the tears didn't stop for 4 hours. My husband, my team, and my dear sister staged a made-for-tv intervention and forced me to go on a holiday effective immediately. After a blissful week off, I returned recharged and just the littlest bit tanned. Guess what, nobody died in my absence. Self care is a real f'en thing and this shit matters.  

(Full Interview:


Eric Newcomb - Head of Operations at Merivale, Sydney sheds some light on what really matters.

Tell us about the moment you failed….

2012 when my brother passed. I failed often and I failed hard. I was used to being able to shape my life around me.  Job, social, dating, emotions (to a fault) … all consciously & subconsciously manicured for a comfortable and safe little life. But what I didn’t see was that I was probably too selfish, too rigid, too afraid of who knows what, and too protected by a giant wall of safe-guarding that it prevented me from just letting go and living a fun and positive life.  So when I got the news that he passed, and as the grief took its ice-cold grip (something I absolutely had no control over whatsoever), it hit me HARD.  I went through a very rough patch where I tried to make it still look great on the outside, but lost it all on the inside. I closed myself off to my friends, lost the love of my life and relationship that mattered the world to me, struggled to keep work going and just wasn’t myself to anyone around me.  It has now been 5 years and I still struggle often.  But it also taught me such a valuable lesson of what you can and can’t control in life.  About what really matters in life.  About how to learn & adapt, and what really matters in how you treat those you love around you, and even when its ok to ask for help and understanding where needed. 

(Full Interview:



TrendsTalent Lab