Here’s a great article on Shawn Johnson, U.S. Olympic gymnast. The article details her coach giving her permission to fail.

From the article:

Shawn has the express permission of her coach, Liang Chow, to make mistakes.

in one of those great twists, it’s precisely because she feels the
freedom to make mistakes that she rarely makes big ones.


The freedom to fail releases us from unhealthy pressure and perfectionist tendencies (which never take us to a good place). The freedom to fail can also drive innovative and courageous behavior. The best leaders create space for failure, not because failure is the expressed goal, but because it removes destructive emotional angst and increases the likelihood of personal (and organizational) success.