Leading Through Adversity - Failure is an Option

Michael Kellman
Jun 05, 2020

Taking direct aim at the narrative of the "all in" entrepreneur who takes extreme risks and depletes their bank account before ultimately succeeding, noted NYC VC Charlie O'Donnell started his Stride Consulting “Leading through Adversity” talk on May 31st.


He openly acknowledged the reality of most ventures which don't end up with a successful exit and decried the tendency to not acknowledge what real failure actually looks like.


"Because we don't acknowledge it and we avoid it, it creates uncertainty. And uncertainty is where fear comes from," he said, encouraging founders to imagine what failure would look like as a way remove their fear.


Through a combination of advice and real-world stories, O'Donnell shared his honest lessons about the value of acknowledging the real chance of failure as a way of improving your chances of success and maintaining your sense of self worth. 


Click here for a recording of the full talk:



Stride's Leading through Adversity series brings experts from around the globe, from a variety of disciplines, to provide a 360-degree view on best practices for leading during uncertain times.


Upcoming speakers in the series include:

  • Focusing on outcomes, not outputs - noted author Josh Seiden (June 9th)
  • Pivoting when your business model gets upended - Meetup CEO David Siegel (June 18th)
  • Taking smart risks in a time when everything you do is a risk - Leadership consultant and author Doug Sunheim (June 25th)
  • Continuously learning our way to better outcomes - Jeff Gothelf, author of "Lean UX" and "Sense & Respond" (July 2nd)
  • Learning to manage remotely may transform how we think about and practice management - Author and speaker Esther Derby (July 9th
  • How limits empower your agility - author of Agile Retrospectives, Diana Larsen (July 16th)
  • How the tech job market has shifted due to COVID-19 - Codecademy CEO Zach Sims (July 23rd)

For more information or to register for these events, go to 

A Little Non-dogmatic Technical Mentorship
Can Go A Long Way


Do you ever feel like your team is running 1,000 miles per hour in the wrong direction, and you're not sure why? Sometimes, a chat with a peer is all it takes to give you a meaningful perspective to help you course correct, or to give you the courage to continue on your current path. 

For friends of Stride, we're offering a free Peer Chat. Tell us what's on your mind, and we'll share our experiences. Don't be shy, we've been there ourselves.

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