founder of naked leader

Maurizio Morabito

Naked Leader Week – 65 – Monday 26 July 2004

I receive many e-mails from people asking questions about success, leadership, and life.

Maurizio Morabito, one of the original founders of The Naked Leader Network, and a total enthusiast for life, wrote to me and Nigel Risner. Many of you will know Nigel, who is not only a good friend and amazing speaker; he is also an incredible force for good in this world.

Please visit him on

Nigel also sends out his weekly thoughts, and Maurizio wrote this open e-mail to us both:


 I am a keen reader of your newsletters. Recently you touched two topics that I find hard to reconcile. Would you mind helping me understand more about them, please?

 So on the one hand I am told that Fear of Failure is an evil, and that I should even rejoice when I fail at something, because at least I tried and the alternative is to regret my inaction

 On the other hand I read that Reputation is key, that it is important “what people say behind my back”.

 But then if I accumulate failures wouldn’t that ruin my reputation, as I risk being known as the guy that fails at a lot of things?

 Hope the question is clear enough

 Thanks for your inspiration and keep up the good work!


Nigel will give his thoughts separately, of course. For what they are worth, these are mine:

Many people who achieve their dreams say that you have to “fail” in order to succeed, therefore “failure” is a critical component to success, and therefore “failure” is a pre-requisite to succeeding. Therefore it can’t be “failure” at all.

I have certainly never thought that “fear of” anything is an “evil” – we learn many fears as we grow up in life, and I while never making value judgements about having such fears, I do believe that each and every fear we have is a choice we make, and we can choose not to have that fear.

Failure is a noun. And that’s it – and as with any noun we can give it any meaning we choose to. It is in that meaning that failure’s power lives, and as that choice is in our hands, that power lies with us and no-one else.

Now, reputation. I am absolutely convinced that your reputation comes down to behaving with consistent values and integrity – being true to yourself and to others. This will attract detractors, people who disagree with you, openly and behind your back.

And when you finally live your dream, it will be those very people who spoke behind your back who will come to you and say, well done, “I always knew you would be successful.”

As for organisational success and failure, I always think of three examples of global successes that were never intended to be, or, were invented by mistake – Liquorice Allsorts, Post-It Notes and Viagra (originally marketed as a product to alleviate high blood pressure).

Overall, to me, failure is only a label – fear of action that prevents us moving closer to our dreams is the key. If there is something you really believe in, and you want to do, don’t think about what others think about you now, ask yourself how you will feel when it is your time to leave this life, having not had a go. Will you then think those sad words – “if only, it might have been.”

By the way, Nigel and I will be running a joint event in London, on Thursday 18th November. We are both really excited – it will be a first. Details soon.

With love and warmest best wishes to you all



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