Last night we arrived in Salt Lake City after nearly 20 hours of travel that began in Madrid where I lived for 15 months. With the support of my wife I graduated with an MBA from one of the best business schools in the world. A place that not only challenged me academically but provided a dozens of new friendships, access to brilliant professors, and a safe environment to fail.
How fortunate that some can have such an opportunity to experiment with theories, frameworks and strategies... apply them, and fail occasionally without the real consequences that come from failure in the workplace. I didn't see much failure in the MBA, but the environment that demands critical self reflection regarding every decision you take is an environment that trains, and strains, your intellect in a manner that I had not anticipated. Such environments can't be replicated completely in the workplace. But encouraging not being afraid to fail, and accepting failure occasionally is an environment prepared for success. It can certainly lead to greater learning as faculties are stretched.
So we packed up our lives two days ago as we prepared to leave Madrid. Four pieces of checked luggage and a few handbags carried everything we owned. It was in the airport that I realized both my wife and I are living without the fear of failure. We left our home, good jobs, and took on debt to study in a foreign country. In return we learned things about ourselves not expected, created lasting friendships, stretched our ourselves mentally, and adapted (and accepted) a foreign way of living in one of the greatest cities in the world. I learned many things in the MBA, but the one I will turn to often will be not being afraid to fail.
- arturo gutierrez