Episode 33 | Why Your Biggest Failures are Your Greatest Assets, with Author Rob Bell

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Our biggest embarrassments. Our darkest fears. Our greatest failures.

They are the things that lurk in the back of our minds, loom heavy in our consciousness, and haunt our dreams. They cause us pain, anguish, and shame.

It’s tempting to think: If only I had a time machine, a chance to go back and do things right.

But as today’s Awesome Office guest Rob Bell illuminates, to do so would be to deny one of our greatest assets. With a little time and perspective, these moments have the potential to be our greatest sources of personal strength. In fact, these trying, troubling, or just plain cringe-worthy times are actually the force that shapes us into who we are today.

Named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011, Rob Bell is a former pastor and New York Times bestselling author of the books Love Wins, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, and The Zimzum of Love. His newest book, How To Be Here is all about learning how to pursue and realize our dreams, live in the moment, and joyfully do the things that make us come alive.

Rob is also an award-winning podcast host, speaker, and a sought-after business consultant, and was featured on Oprah’s 2014 Life You Want Tour. We spoke to Rob about the value of our failures, how to build and lead great teams, and a whole lot more.

Key Takeaways

  • Rob tell us his most recent new belief, and explains why it’s the stuff you’re most embarrassed about today that matters most in the long run.
  • Rob clarifies what he means by “working your craft,” and why reclaiming the idea of craft is the key to living a meaningful life.
  • Rob shares why a direct connection with the people you serve is imperative to any organization, and why stories are the key to forging that connection.
  • Rob explains how the way we treat others is based on our image of ourselves.
  • Rob describes how his experience as a pastor has given him an unflappable quality, and why this is a good trait to have in business.
  • Rob breaks down what he means by “soul vs. scale,” and why tension is actually a sign of health and self-awareness when trying to balance work, life, and ambition.
  • Rob explains how leaders are always leading (even when they think they aren’t), and describes the greatest gift a leader can give to his or her employees.
  • Finally, Rob explains why assuming joy will follow success will inevitably lead to an “existential thud.”

Recommended Reading



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To try a free SnackNation discovery box (featuring 15 delicious snacks your team will love), visit get.snacknation.com/ao. You’ll also receive a complimentary copy of the 2016 Ultimate Guide to Creating An Awesome Office.